There are many backup solutions for Linux-based operating systems like the Kubuntu Focus. We have configured BackInTime as the out-of-the-box solution, but there are other options you may want to consider.
Please read the disclaimer before proceeding. We review and update guided solutions like this regularly. If you have suggestions or requests, please write email@example.com.
BackInTime is installed by default on the Kubuntu Focus. You may use this to restore an earlier version of a file or restore a deleted file.
To see what is being backed-up, examine the BackInTime settings. It is pre-configured to ignore directories that would otherwise be useless, such as cache directories and temporary directories. It only backs-up your home folder, and backs up most of your configuration files as well.
By default, snapshots are stored under
/home/backintime (in 20.04, this was
/backintime). This configuration is useful to recover from human errors, but it does not protect against drive failures since the backups are stored on the same disk. For this reason, we highly recommend you use an external or remote drive to store backups instead. To learn more, please see the official BackInTime documentation. Please make sure you adjust the backup filter to allow larger files and test your backups to ensure you capture all the data you need.
Another handy technique is to copy your home directory to a USB thumb drive or external drive:
/home. You should now see all user home directories on your system.
/homedirectory to the USB drive by dragging them from the left-hand file-area to the right-hand file area. When prompted, select
copy. Do NOT move the directories as this could harm your system!.
Safely Removeand then remove the physical drive after confirmation by the Device Notifier in the system tray.
Because of file permissions, you may not be able to copy all files. When using Dolphin on 22.04, you can right-click on a folder and
Open as Administrator to copy additional files. On 20.04, one can add the
Open as Root service to Dolphin, but use this cautiously: click on
[Hamburger Menu] > Configure Dolphin… > Context Menu (or Services) > Download New Services…. Then search for and install "Open Dolphin As Root". After installation, you can right-click on a folder or file and select
Actions > Open as Root to access it as root.
If you decide to clean install the OS, we have found it very useful to backup the following data to a completely separate disk directory before proceeding:
desktop-screenshot.pngof your desktop. Use
spectacleto create this.
etc.tgz, which contains all the files from the
/etcdirectory. To create, run
sudo tar cvzf etc.tgz /etcin the backup directory.
apps-to-reinstall.txt, where you list all the apps you know you want to install again. We recommend you look through the app menu for guidance and use
kateor other editor to enter your picks into this file.
installed-packages.txt, that lists all installed packages. To create, run
apt list --installed > installed-packages.txt
After the clean install, we recommend the following steps to restore your data:
desktop-screenshot.pngto help restore your desktop.
meld home-backup/.config ~/.configor
meld home-backup/.ssh ~/.ssh.
etc.tgzfile and compare it to the new
installed-packages.txtto the software you wish to install. We recommend installing apps from Curated Apps when available, as this will set up the correct repositories and keys in almost all cases.
Cloud storage, such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Google Drive, can often provide multiple versions of files using heuristics. However, we recommend explicitly versioned backups such as those provided by SCMSs (Source Control Management Systems like Git) for more exact control. Ultimately, one must balance convenience and storage requirements with completeness. And remember, any backup solution is better than none.
Content will be added as needed.
This is a partial revision history. See the
git repository for all entries.
2023-01-10 cd436779Detail recommended backup data and actions
2022-12-14 984993c4Add clean-install backup recommendations
2022-11-21 8ff6778dUpdate to backintime to include jammy and focal paths
2021-10-10 5728326eReformat to 2-column
2021-09-22 dc862884Update link and headline colors
2021-08-23 681261b4Review and update codeblocks
2021-06-01 5a195210First publication
We try hard to provide a useful solution validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always backup your data and test the solution to determine the correct procedure for you.
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