After using an Ubuntu virtual machine for a while, I think I am ready to get a real, physical machine and use Ubuntu on it.

Since I am still relatively new to the Linux world, is there a reliable solution for making regular backups of files and settings for my system (maybe similar to Apple's Time Machine?) that I can rely upon when, e.g. my hard drive fails, or something bad happens?

  • you may want to read this similar thread (I considered making this a duplicate of it). Sep 11, 2010 at 21:16
  • 6
    vote this up if you think I should merge the 2 questions Sep 11, 2010 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


In addition to what wormintrude mentioned you might consider:

  • rdiff-backup: I've used this myself regularly in the past. The pros are that it does incremental backups, can be used for remote backups or local backups, and has a wide range of features that makes it easy to implement a wide range of backup policies. The down side is that it is basically just a collection of command line utilities and thus requires you to write cron jobs to manage the backups.

  • Deja Dup: This is a GUI-centric solution that provides a lot of the same features as rdiff-backup but without the need for self-written cron jobs. It also supports encrypted backups and backups to amazon's cloud service.

  • rsnapshot: This is still a command-line based utility but uses conf files in /etc to reduce the amount of custom script writing that is necessary.

As far as I know, all of these are available in the Ubuntu repositories. The most straightforward of these is Deja Dup, which is meant to be easy-to-use and integrate well with GNOME. One advantage of all three is that they make incremental backups. Thus you can have daily backups reaching fairly far back without taking up much more space than one full backup.


You could give TimeVault or FlyBack a try.

I am a Gentoo user myself, so I haven't really tried these, but they seem like they are pretty straight-forward.

TimeVault does not seem to work correctly under Lucid, but only due to an incompatibility with python 2.6.

Let me know if this helps or if you need further information.

  • Also, found Back in Time (backintime.le-web.org), will decide which one to use. Thanks a lot!!
    – hpy
    Sep 11, 2010 at 18:35

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