I have a rather technical question concerning Back In Time.

I'm currently trying to work out the gory details about how to keep an incrementally updated, rolling mirror-backup of a given location (call it "myFolderX") in an external drive. Gory partly because I'm using a VeraCrypt encrypted container to keep all the backup files on this external drive.

Anyway, I very much want to emulate the Timeshift arrangement, where you can programme 3 (for example) rolling hourly mirror-backups, 3 (for example) rolling daily mirror-backups, 3 rolling weekly mirror-backups and 3 rolling monthly mirror-backups.

As I understand things, this works so efficiently in Timeshift because these are all incremental backups... so once you have set up the original mirror your incremental backups will hopefully not be all that large.

For backing up arbitrary folders I am using the "user file backup" counterpart of Timeshift (which is essentially for system files), Back In Time, which seems to work very well. But you create individual "profiles", each of which has a particular frequency, "every 10 mins", "every hour", "every day", etc.

As far as I can make out, each of these is independent of one another, so your "10 minutes" incrementals are relative to one initial mirror of myFolderX, your "hourly" incrementals are relative to a second initial mirror of myFolderX, your "daily" incrementals are relative to a third initial mirror of myFolderX, etc.

If this is so, you have to make a (typically) large initial mirror of myFolderX for each profile (i.e. for each frequency), even though each is in fact mirroring the same folder, myFolderX.

I suspect that Timeshift actually works more efficiently than this, making all frequencies' incrementals relative to a single initial mirror.

Is there any way of doing this in Back In Time?

1 Answer 1


Looks like you can simply create a new profile with similar settings and change the full snapshot path under General->Advanced to the same folder as the other profile. However, there are some problems with this improvised solution: for example the "last_snapshots" folder doesn't show folders only backed up in earlier backups but not the latest one. I created an issue here: https://github.com/bit-team/backintime/issues/1079

  • 1
    Thanks... that's interesting and I'll have to experiment with it. In my question, for some reason, I made no reference to the "Auto-remove" tab --> Smart remove, which I think actually addresses most of my concerns. Commented May 2, 2020 at 10:35
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    I edited the answer. I opened an issue at the github repo. What I described earlier would only be an improvised solution which probably has some problems incl. that it doesn't show folders backed up earlier but excluded in the newer backup in the "last_snapshot" folder.
    – mYnDstrEAm
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 12:24

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