Question regarding encrypted Home directory

Asked by alan kerr on 2019-04-28

Hi .... absolute newcomer to Linux Mint(19.1) ... given the fact during install I encrypted my Home Directory can I use Deja Dup to do a restore .... this I ask because on my travels around the forums I am seeing references to the fact encrypting Home Directory complicates attempts to restore ... ??? (why that should be the case puzzles me more than somewhat .... surely it should be possible to undo encryption for restore purposes, by simple expedient of entering a user password .... why the complication???)

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Vej (vej) said : #1

Hello Alan.

Déjà Dup does an encrypted backup which has nothing to do with the encription of your home. So the threads you read when saying "on my travels around the forums I am seeing references to the fact encrypting Home Directory complicates attempts to restore" probably mean "restore from the hard drive of your computer".
 If you made an backup with Déjà Dup you would not restore from that harddrive but from the device where you saved your backup, which really should be another location not on your main hard drive. So encryption of you home is not an issue here.

Although encryption of the backup itself happens within Déjà Dup and this can make things harder if you need your backup but your backup (not your home drive) is corrupt. Any encryption which is worth the effort comes with the problem, that small errors on the filesystem cane make larger portions of the data unavailable.

I hope this helps a bit


alan kerr (akstirling) said : #2

Thanks a lot for that Vej .... a little wiser now .... just a quick follow up: basically what do i backup .... when I open the program it defaults to backing up the 'Home' folder .... is that sufficient to protect me against the loss of the software i've installed into Linux?? Would it, in the case of a total loss simply be a case of installing a fresh copy of Linux, and restoring my backed up Home folder to that, and hey presto i'm back to where i was with my software intact????


Michael Terry (mterry) said : #3

Alan, no - backing up your home folder mostly just backs up your personal data.

To back up the software you've installed, you probably want to do a full system backup. You probably want a more industrial solution than deja-dup.

(Though really, backing up all the software you've installed is probably not a good use of your time. I would think the things you really care about is your data - software you've installed can be reinstalled easily enough.)

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #4

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.