Is this program suitable for full disk backup?

Asked by Justin Dugger on 2009-04-17

I'm looking for something to regularly back up my computer, for restoration after the drive fails. Is Deja Dup intended for this use case?

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Déjà Dup Edit question
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Michael Terry
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Chaker ZAAFOURI (zaafouri) said : #1

Deja Dup is a tiny backup solution. If you are sysadmin, I suggest to use BackupPC or Bacula for backup data from many OS on many servers/Desktop.

Michael Terry (mterry) said : #2

Deja Dup is intended largely for backing up your home directory and all your data. It can backup the full disk just fine, but it's not it's primary use case.

If all you have is a single-user machine, backing up your home directory is likely sufficient. If disaster strikes, you just reinstall your OS and then restore your data.

But Chaker is right, that if you want a more enterprise solution (though far less pretty :)), Deja Dup might not be what you're looking for.

Justin Dugger (jldugger) said : #3

Allow me to expand the use case a bit more:

I want to be able to restore my entire desktop drive from backup. There's lots of packages, configurations, local installed programs I don't want to remember and so on, going all the way back to Warty Warthog. I don't think I need a "enterprise" solution, but perhaps I'm wrong.

What I'd like to have is a regular backup of the entire drive stored on my NAS, and a tool recover it to a freshly formatted ext3 drive. sbackup is clearly unsuited to this task, and I thought I'd ask the active contributors their opinion on current and future support for it.

Best Michael Terry (mterry) said : #4

So Deja Dup should be able to do that, but you should run it as root, obviously, so it has read permission for everything. And it might not integrate as well with your current session as a result (dbus and all that will be root); for example, the 'backup on a regular schedule portion' will run Deja Dup as your user, which isn't what you want for a full backup. So your best bet would be running it manually as root.

You may be interested in duplicity, which is the command line tool that Deja Dup wraps. It has all the features Deja Dup does and is suitable for inserting into a cron job.

Michael Terry (mterry) said : #5

I'll note that at some point, I'd like to fix Deja Dup to ask for permission to read things it can't. But that's not done yet.

Justin Dugger (jldugger) said : #6

Oh, I'll definitely check out duplicity. I have several tools on my list, and duplicity and Deja Dup are both on it. When I saw that Deja Dup was a frontend to duplicity, I figured I'd have a look at the GUI tool first before digging into the CLI.

Having observed that Deja Dup is now in Jaunty, I may wait a week to upgrade and evaluate.

Justin Dugger (jldugger) said : #7

Thanks Michael Terry, that solved my question.

Michael Terry (mterry) said : #8

Cool. BTW, there's a PPA for hardy/intrepid/jaunty for instant satisfaction here (which also has the newest duplicity too):

Justin Dugger (jldugger) said : #9

I'm never going to remember a ppa URL during a restore from backup procedure. My plan is to basically run a liveCD, install a recovery tool from official repos and restore to a new drive.

Matthew Twomey (mtwomey) said : #10

Just adding a +1 to this feature request (rather than opening a new thread). I have the same situation, I'd like to do a backup of my mounted root partition to an scp location.

This is what I'm using now:

sudo duplicity / scp://username@host/backupdirectory/duplicity/ --asynchronous-upload --exclude /tmp --exclude /proc --exclude /media --exclude /mnt --exclude /cdrom --exclude /sys --gpg-options='--compress-algo=bzip2 --bzip2-compress-level=9' -v5

I can *almost* do this via duplicity, but when I run it as root it I don't have access to the typical Nautilus style "Connect to Server" options. It seams there isn't a way to specify an scp destination. Then there's also the scheduling issue mentioned above.

Thanks for your excellent work on this tool Michael!