Deja Dup Makes Backup A Simple Task [Linux]

There are plenty of backup options in Linux. We have covered a few here, namely, back in time, AptOnCD, and Rsync. Deja Dup Backup is yet another backup tool, except that it turns the whole complicated backup process into kid stuff.

If you are using Ubuntu, you can install Deja Dup Backup via the Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic Package Manger, or using the command:

Deja Dup Backup Tool can be found at Applications -> System Tools. The main interface is a small window with only two big icons – Restore and Backup.

deja-dup-main

Clicking the Backup button will bring you through a short series of steps. At the first run, you will be asked where to backup your files/folders. Other than your local hard disk, you can select an external drive, connect to Amazon S3 or even backup to your own FTP server.

deja-dup-backup-folder

Next, it will prompt you to select the folder to backup. By default, the Home folder is automatically included in the backup list. You can remove it or add new folder to the list.

deja-dup-folder-to-backup

Deja dup comes with encryption support so you can backup and encrypt your files. If you have enabled encryption, it will prompt you for a password. Once the password is provided, it will proceed to backup the files/folders.

deja-dup-encryption-password

This is what you will see after the backup.

deja-dup-encrypted-files
Restoring files

The Restoration process is even easier. Just click the Restore button and it will check your backup folder for previous backup.

deja-dup-restore

Next, it will ask if you want to restore to the original location or another folder. Once you picked your choice, the restoration will start.

deja-dup-restore-to-folder

What is missing from Deja Dup?

Deja Dup also comes with a schedule backup feature where you can schedule the backup to run at regular interval. However, it doesn’t come with the incremental backup. Everytime you perform a backup, it will encrypt the whole folder and dump to the backup location. it would be good if it can detect what have changed since the last backup and backup only the changed files. Update: Deja Dup does come with incremental backup feature.

If you are not particularly concern about the incremental backup feature, Deja Dup Backup Tool can be a really simple backup tool. it may not have complicated features, but it works reasonably well, and best of all, it is really easy to use. What do you think? Is such a simple backup tool sufficient for you?

8 comments

    • It was not there when I tested it. Perhaps I have missed it. Thanks for notifying, I have updated the article.

  1. So you’ve saved your home directory.  What happens when your HD fails?

    Are you expected to reinstall the OS on a new drive, then copy over the files from your home directory, while carefully ignoring the various hidden configuration files you don’t want to over-write?

    And then to track down and reinstall the dozens or hundreds of different utilities I’ve installed since I installed the OS?

    And then track down and reapply the multitude of personal configuration choices?  Reschedule all the cron jobs, reconfigure the printers, etc.

    I’m sorry, but to me a backup means a complete backup – a system that allows me to create a drive that is identical to the one that failed.  A drive that can be put into the machine and booted off of, resulting in a system that is exactly the same as the one I was running at the moment of that backup.

    • I think there are different degree of backup. Yes, you need a clone of your hard drive, so that when your current HD crashes, you can quickly restore the whole OS. On top of that, there are cases where you only want to backup certain files. This is where application like Deja Dup comes in handy.

  2. I saved my files and backed them up on two different drives. But I put the password in passwords and keys(ubuntu 10.04) , unfortunately I did not keep the password in a different place.  The password has to be written down somewhere or a easy to remember  password.

    •  Yup. For backing up files like this case, it is best to keep the password at an easy accessible place. You never know when you will need it.

    •  You should be able to. Even if the software doesn’t provide such features, you can easily extract the specific files/folders and restore them.

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