How To Set Up Automatic Backup With Deja Dup

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Many approaches to backing up data or an entire Linux installation involve making images of partitions, or entire hard drives. This method of backing up, though effective is often time consuming and confusing to those that are new to Linux. Fortunately, using Clonezilla to take snapshots of entire hard drives is not the only way to safely back up a Linux installation. Introducing Deja Dup: it’s a total system backup tool for Linux that makes backing up on Linux easier than ever. With it, users can easily create backups, restore them, and even set up a schedule to do it automatically.

Installation

Installing the Deja Dup tool doesn’t require much effort, as the program is one of the most used backup tools for Linux. In fact, you may not even need to install the program, as you might already have it installed. Here’s how to check if Deja Dup is on your system,

Open up a terminal window, write the command: deja-dup and press the enter key. If a program opens, there is no need to install. If nothing happens, follow the instructions below to install the tool.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install deja-dup

Debian

sudo apt-get install deja-dup

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S deja-dup

Fedora

sudo dnf install deja-dup

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install deja-dup

Other Linuxes

Need the backup tool but your Linux distribution isn’t on the list? To install this tool on other Linux distributions, go the package manager, software center (or the place you normally get software from for your Linux distribution) and search for “deja dup”. Chances are, it’ll show up and you’ll be able to download. Can’t find it? Consider going to the official website and installing it that way instead.

Local Backup To Device

Deja Dup allows the user to back up to many locations, but the fastest way to do it is to back up locally. Open your application menu, search (or browse for) the backup tool and open it. Once open, you’ll notice several options. These options are “overview”, “folders to save”, “folders to ignore”, “storage location”, and “scheduling”.

All of these options can be tinkered with and configured. By default, the backup tool is set to backup over the internet, or to another location besides the PC, and especially outside of the home folder. They discourage this, but with a little tweaking, it is still possible to save locally.

To start the local backup, go to the sidebar on the left, and select “storage location”. At this point, determine how your backups will take place. It’s best to not to save them inside of the /home/ folder, as the backup tool saves that entire directory by default.

Mount an external hard drive, or USB stick to your Linux PC. It should automatically mount to a folder. Click the drop-down menu, then select “Local Folder”. Using the file browser, click on the external hard drive, mounted USB or folder location NOT on /home/ to set the backup.

After the location is set, the next step is to click on “Overview”, and then click “back up now”. Doing this will tell Deja Dup to start the first backup, in the location you specified. Keep in mind that this may take a bit of time. When the backup is complete, close the app.

Back Up Over Network

Using Deja Dup to backup to a local external device is possible, but not the only way that the tool can be used. In fact, it’s probably best to take backups over a network connection, rather than using a local device because networks tend to be more reliable, and sometimes faster, especially if you have a slow USB port.

To set up a network backup, go to “Storage Location” on the left side of the program. Click the drop-down menu, select Network Server.

Determine the type of server you’re using, and then enter it in the box like:

protocol://server.ip.address

Deja Dup supports many different types of network protocols, including: SMB, FTP, SFTP, NFS, SSH, DAV, DAVS, and AFP.

Automatic Backup

Automated backups are one of the best aspects to this program. With this setting, keeping track of files is easier than ever. Here’s how to set up a scheduled backup system in the Deja Dup tool.

First, make sure you’ve taken the initial backup. This is important, so that there’s an original place to restore from. After that, go to “Scheduling”, and check the slider to enable scheduled backups.

With the setting turned on, you’ll now be able to tweak and change the exact parts of the backup schedule. By default, the settings are set to once a week. Using the various menus, change the schedule to match your needs.

Restore A Backup

Deja Dup tool is one of the most straight-forward and easy solutions on all of Linux for restoring from a backup. There’s no need to click through dozens of menus. Rolling back lost files is as easy as clicking on the “Overview” button on the left, then selecting “restore backup”. When this option is chosen, the backup tool will look through all available backups, and prompt you to enter the password (if you choose to encrypt your backups).

Restoring may take a bit of time, so be patient. Keep in mind that the amount of time really depends on how large the backup is.

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