How to backup hidden files/folders?

Asked by Martin Fisher on 2009-04-22

I would like to start using Back In Time (seems to have a sensible design and I like the KDE interface). However, how do I include a hidden file or folder? When selecting for include I can't see a way of the making the hidden folders visible for selection. With grateful thanks!

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Back In Time Edit question
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Solved by:
Craig Huffstetler
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Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #1

It should include all hidden files and folders by default. There is no setting you need to enable in Back in Time to make it back these up.

You may not be able to see them, but Back in Time upon performing the back-up, will be able to. To test this theory (if you need to) run the back up. You can check the back-up archive for the hidden files and folders. They will be there.

For example when you backup /home it is backing up all of your hidden folders (these begin with ".") and may not be visible unless you may them visible to yourself.

In Nautilus you can press CTRL + H to show hidden files and folders.

Back in Time, when backing up, will back up ALL files and folders (no matter if they are hidden or not).

Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #2

I think I see what you are asking -- when selecting your "files" in BiT just select the directory.

This will automatically select ALL files (including hidden files & folders) within that directory. There is no need to select invididual files within the directory. With my example, I am saying to just select /home ... as this will backup *everything* (including hidden files/folders) within your /home directory.

Does this make sense?

Martin Fisher (yusuf-martin) said : #3

Many thanks, and you have fully answered my question (and I have tested). However, I think the option to backup single hidden folders (and even single files from a folder) would be useful. Is there a place where I can make suggestions to the author of this wonderful utility?

Best Craig Huffstetler (xq) said : #4

One way is to specify it manually by typing in the full path I.E. hidden folder "x" in /home/craig.

So, I would specify:


To be backed up. If .x was just a file in folder ".x" then:


But to make a feature request go ahead and file a bug here:

And let me know when it is filed. I will mark it as a wish list feature. Be as detailed as possible when you are done. You can also leave a comment over on the author's blog here (but I highly suggest filing a bug as it helps sort things out for the author) and I can attach it to this ticket/answer.



Martin Fisher (yusuf-martin) said : #5

Many thanks, and I will do as you suggest.

Martin Fisher (yusuf-martin) said : #6

Thanks Craig Huffstetler, that solved my question.

Martin Fisher (yusuf-martin) said : #7

I have now filed this wish as a bug. Thanks.

John Watson (bcch) said : #8

I would like to add something to Martin's question. Maybe it's the same question...

I do not want to backup my .wine folder (which is actually a partition as it's huge), however I would like to backup my SAVE folder in ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Steam/steamapps/steamuser/half-life 2/hl2.

If I "include" the SAVE folder and "exclude" ~/.wine, which one takes preference. They both seem to contradict each other in a way.

John Cottier (j-cottier) said : #9

I have browsed backintime folders directly on my usb hardrive, but there is now sign of any hidden folders on my home folder. Am I doing something wrong, or is this a bug?

Martin Fisher (yusuf-martin) said : #10

Check Settings -> Exclude. Have you removed the .* exclude? As I understand it any hidden folder starts with a dot, and thus you need to remove it to have your hidden files backed up (it works for me).

John Cottier (j-cottier) said : #11

Yes, I found that hidden files (*.) are set to be excluded by default! So it would be better to say, hidden files get saved automatically, but only after the installed defaults have been changed not to exclude them.

John Cottier (j-cottier) said : #12

Yes, I found that hidden files (*.) are set to be excluded by default! So it would be better to say, hidden files get saved automatically, but only after the installed defaults have been changed not to exclude them.

This isn't very clear is it? There should be a click to include hidden files option.

Dan (danleweb) said : #14

BIT >= 1.0 is less restrictive by default.


andré (andr55) said : #15

I've followed this thread, and this is ridiculous
1) There seems to be no way to back up specific "hidden" files (starting with a "."), despite the suggestion to enter the name with path. This doesn't work directly in BIT, and won't work in Nautilus.
2) Why would the graphical file selection specifically exclude "hidden" files ?
3) Why wouldn't the graphical interface allow direct entry of the file name ? (whether or not the file is a directory.)
This is a very frustrating deficit, which prevents me from using it ... otherwise it seems that BIT is a very well thought out utility.