Back up Linux with ease

By   |  March 10, 2008

I’m not particularly fond of backing up my data. I know I should do it and I feel pretty smug when it is done, but it is a time-consuming and frustrating process. Mainly because it requires a whole lot of thinking on my part: which files do I want to back up? where should I store them? What format? And to date I haven’t really found the one tool that makes baking up truly simple. Sure, there’s compression formats available to me and a good handful of command-line incremental backup tools on Linux but really what I want is a one-click backup tool that, once set, does all the work for me. Think Time Machine on Mac OSX and you have the idea. Backerupper may not be TimeMachine but it is pretty idiot-proof and does the job.

Over the past few months we’ve seen a number of backup tools for Linux being released and while they range from the wildly complicated to the temperamental, Backerupper, apart from a dodgy name, is one of the easiest to use.

First, get hold of a copy of Backerupper from its Sourceforge homepage. Download that and uncompress it somewhere on your hard disk. (tar -zxv backerupper-0.24-32.tar.gz should do it.)

Once that is done you need to run the install script which takes all of a couple of seconds. Switch to the backerupper directory and run the following at the command line:

sudo ./

That will install backerupper and you’re ready to go.

Backerupper doesn’t install a menu item by default so you will need to open a terminal window and issue the command “backer” to start the programme. That will bring up a window similar to the following one which is fairly easy to navigate.

The first thing you need to do is create a new profile (click on “new”) and set the various directories you want to backup and where you want to store the resulting files. Backed-up data is stored in a compressed file in your chosen location.At this point you can also set when you want the files to be backed up and how many copies to keep.The benefit of Backerupper is that it is incredibly easy to use. It takes just minutes to set up. The downside is that there isn’t a lot of flexibility in Backerpper. You can backup directories and that’s pretty much it. You can’t exclude directories or files based on patterns fo example which may or may not be good for you. Of course, you could also just create multiple profiles of specific directories you want to back up.I typically only want to back up my home directory as that’s where the all important emails, documents and pictures are stored. You could, presumably, just as easily back up your entire system using Backerupper.Restoring files from an archive is equally simple. In fact, this is where Backerupper shines. To restore anything you simply select the profile and it finds the archive for you. You then tell Backerupper where to restore the files to and hit “restore”.I like Backerupper. It may not be the most powerful backup tool but it is the easiest I’ve found and when you only have a few directories to save it really does make it simple.

Get Backerupper from here.



3 Responses to “Back up Linux with ease”

  1. Vernon
    March 10th, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

    Other Apple Time Machine workalikes:

    1) Flyback
    2) RSnapshot
    3) dirvish

    note the rsync bias.

  2. Peter
    March 10th, 2008 @ 11:29 pm

    Better than Time Machine IMHO: rdiff-backup – saves versions of files (via diff’s) – bullet proof (included in most distros)
    KDE GUI: Keep

    Also worth checking: Unison – two way sync
    commandline and GUI included

  3. Toph
    March 12th, 2008 @ 5:36 am

Comments are closed