I would like to create a full system backup using the duplicity.
Accordingly, I created a backup of the root directory /, excluding /proc, /sys, /tmp, and /mnt.
However, when trying to restore the backup to the root directory, I got the following error:

Restore destination directory / already exists.
Will not overwrite.

Upon adding the --force option to the command, I receive a series of [Errno 17] errors, stating that various files already exist.
Is it the case that to restore a duplicity backup, the destination file system must have enough space to extract the restoration to a temporary directory? It would then be up to the user to merge the backup data and existing system?

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately there is no way restoring backup with duplicity over existing files even with --force option.

Here is a discussion from duplicity-talks

Jeremy Polen wrote:
I am working on restoring files from duplicity to overwrite the current files that are on my server. I am getting the following message:

Restore destination directory /home/jeremy/www/index.htm already exists. Will not overwrite.

I know there is a --force option, but it doesn't help in this instance. Other than removing all the files before the restore, is there a way to force files to be overwritten?


Not at this point. Perhaps --force should be extended to this case. I'll look into it.


Either the file must be deleted prior to running the script, or a different path or file name must be used.

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