I'm using Back In Time 1.1.12 in elementary 0.3.2 (based on Ubuntu 14.04) to backup my home folder to an external hard drive. Seemed to work fine so far.

Now I've bought a new computer and installed the system from scratch. Of course I want to restore the data from the home folder backup using Back In Time. But alas, none of the ~15 snapshots on my external drive shows up in the snapshot list, which is just empty (and yes, I have refreshed the snapshot list ;) ).

Any ideas?

  • You need to copy over the config file - askubuntu.com/questions/509857/… Mar 20, 2016 at 18:07
  • Thank you, I'll try that. But how would I do that if my HDD breaks and I thus don't have access to the config file anymore?!? Isn't that the situation I do a backup for in the first place?
    – deesnook
    Mar 20, 2016 at 18:18
  • No idea - does the manual / help guide / documentation for BackInTime not explain how to achieve what you need? edit: Ah, you appear to have raised a bug report. Excellent. Mar 20, 2016 at 22:40
  • Yeah - apparently the config file is stored together with the snapshot, but you cannot easily find it if the snapshot is encrypted (at least I couldn't) - let's see if they find an easy solution in the next version :) See here: github.com/bit-team/backintime/issues/556
    – deesnook
    Mar 21, 2016 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


It looks like the problem is a bug which has been added to the list of issues to be resolved in the next version of Back in Time (see here: https://github.com/bit-team/backintime/issues/556).

Until it is fixed: I was able to work around the problem by naming the snapshot path on the new machine according to the path used on the old machine. You can find the settings for the path in the configuration menu under the first tab. This is essentially what Germar advises to do for versions of Back in Time below 1.1.0 in his answer to this issue https://askubuntu.com/questions/416606/backintime-cannot-find-my-snapshots?rq=1

So in the meantime, if you want to use encrypted backups on a local device, better jot down the snapshot path. Otherwise you might not be able to easily access your encrypted backup if your HDD is broken. However, there's also a more complicated solution in the abovementioned github link.

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