How To Backup Your Files Using Deja Dup [Ubuntu] Part-2

This is the second part of the article  How To Backup Your Files Using Deja Dup [Ubuntu]. If you have not read the first part, I suggest that you do so.

In the first part, we discussed how to install Deja Dup and how to set up the storage location and the select the folders to be backed up. Now we continue with how you can set up the backup schedules.

After setting up the folders to back up, we have the most important part – scheduling the backup. Deja Dup allows you to take backups either manually or automatically. If you want to take backups manually, uncheck the box next to  Automatically back up on a regular schedule. It is, however, recommended that you allow Deja Dup to take backups automatically.

If you choose to let Deja Dup take up the backups automatically, pick how often Deja Dup will back up. A daily backup could be quite tedious. So, I recommend the weekly backup unless you have critical data. The next fieldKeep backups is very important. We want to keep enough backups in case something goes wrong. But at the same time keeping backups for a very long time can take up a lot of disk space unnecessarily. For a weekly backup schedule, keeping the backups for a month or two is sufficient. Keeping the backups forever is not recommended as very old backups will become obsolete.

Once you have set up Deja Dup to take backups automatically, you do not need to do anything except when you have to restore a backup. If you choose to do a manual backup though, you have to launch the application  Deja Dup Backup Tool every time you want to take a backup and click on  Back Up. Remember that taking backups will take time and in Ubuntu 11.04, the progress is shown in the launcher.

Restoring Backups

Restoring files using Deja Dup is incredibly easy. Open the  Deja Dup Backup Tool and click on Restore. Now you have to select the location where the backup files are located. Make sure to check the box next to  Backup files are encrypted if you encrypted them as recommended. After you have selected the backup location, you can choose which backup to restore and if you want to restore in the original location or to another location. Select your chose and Deja Dup will start the restoration. Depending to the size of the backups, it could take a while to complete the restoration.

Deja Dup Vs Other Backup Tools

Deja Dup is by no means the most powerful backup tool available for Ubuntu.  However, the advantage that Deja Dup have over the other backup tools is its simplicity. Deja Dup is so simple to use that anyone who can operate a computer will be able to use it. Yes, Deja Dup lacks certain features such as  restoring a single file etc. But it has most of the features that a normal user would expect from a backup tool.

As  mentioned  in the first paragraph, Deja Dup will be included as a default application in Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”. In the earlier Ubuntu releases too, I consider Deja Dup as a must have application.


How To Backup Your Files Using Deja Dup [Ubuntu] Part-1

Ubuntu 11.10 is going to come with a backup tool – Deja Dup – by default. Using Deja Dup is not difficult. In this article, I will explain how you can use Deja Dup to back up the files in your Ubuntu machine.


Before we get to how to use it, here is how to install Deja Dup in Ubuntu. Deja Dup is in the Ubuntu main repository. So to install it, open the Terminal and execute the command,

$ sudo apt-get install deja-dup

After the installation, you can find Deja Dup using the Dash in Ubuntu 11.04. If you are using an earlier version of Ubuntu or the Classic Desktop in Ubuntu 11.04, you will find Deja Dup under Applications > System Tools.

Backing up files

Before you start using Deja Dup, you need to set it up first. Run the application Deja Dup Backup Preferences. Under the tab, Storage, you have to specify the backup location. Deja Dup supports backup to local folder, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, SSH, WebDAV and Windows Share. Pick the backup location – most of the users will backup to local folder. For added security, it is recommended that you check the box next to Encrypt backup files.

If you pick Local Folder, select the folder where you want to store the backups. It is recommended that you select a folder on a different hard disk from the one you are taking the the backup. Also note that the backup files might require a large memory. So, make sure there is enough space available in the backup folder.

Now that we have set up the backup location, we need to select the folders we want to back up of. To do that, click on the next tab, Files. There are two fields – Include files in folders and Except files in folder. In the first field, you can select the folders of which you want to take back up of. Deja Dup will take backups of all the files inside the folder and those in the sub folders. The second field can be used to exclude sub-folders inside the folders included in the first field from being backed up.

The next step is to decide if you want to do either a manual backup or an automatic backup. Choosing automatic backup means that you have to schedule the backup and select how long Deja Dup holds on to the backup files. For those details and how to restore the files, read the second part of this coming up soon.