Just trying out BackInTime, not running as root, and when I've completed the initial configuration of settings I hit OK and... nothing happens.

I've got my destination base set to a dedicated partition, also used by Timeshift, at /mnt/backup. I think Timeshift mounts this partition when it needs to, and it was already mounted when I tried to run BackInTime.

Running as non-root, BackInTime doesn't seem to like this destination (it doesn't error, but doesn't move on from the settings dialog when I hit OK).

Running as root, it seems happy, and completes a quick single file test backup.

Do I just run as root, or do I need to get it running as non-root by mounting or addressing the backup partition differently?


Not sure if it helps, but I had similiar problems (hitting ok and nothing happens) when setting up backintime to backup to a ssh destination. To narrow down the problem, I would do the following:

  • Check that your user has read and write access to /mnt/backup
  • run backintime-qt4 from the commandline to see if any errors are reported there
  • run journalctl -f while hitting the ok button to see if there are any suspicious messages in there
  • run htop and filter for rsync to see whether backintime has started some commands

Best case, you figure out the commands that backintime is starting and you can run them yourself to get the error messages and start working your way from there.

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For me, the problem was permissions on the backup drive, and then a bug in handling that error (so that it doesn't give an error in the GUI).

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/share/backintime/common/tools.py", line 189, in make_dirs
    os.makedirs( path )
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/os.py", line 210, in makedirs
    makedirs(head, mode, exist_ok)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/os.py", line 210, in makedirs
    makedirs(head, mode, exist_ok)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/os.py", line 210, in makedirs
    makedirs(head, mode, exist_ok)
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/os.py", line 220, in makedirs
    mkdir(name, mode)
PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/media/someuser/somedisk/backintime'

That can be fixed by making sure that the drive is owned by the user running Backintime, or by running Backintime as root. EDIT: If you're going to back up things in directories that you don't have read permission for, then running as root is going to be necessary.

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