About Backups, BackInTime and Déjà Dup

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About Backups, BackInTime and Déjà Dup

Post by Danko8321 »

Hello, forum fellas, I have a nice question for all of you who want to answer and/or want to share their own personal/professional opinion. Here is the thing, I have been a Windows User for a Long Long time, but in some point of my life (and thanks to Linux Mint) I decided to switch to the Linux Community. I was amazed, Thrilled, Stunned and Speechless when I saw my Old PC run fast as hell with Mint and Mint LXDE. I simply loved it. I made it my full-time installation and started using it for both Linux-Curiosity and regular use. All my data and files were migrated to my Linux Mint installation, and soon I was fully integrated with Mint 11. Days and Days of everyday use and command-line-juggling finally made its way into the system integrity, and soon I was fearing to the effects of my actions. Silly (Nearly Stupid) me, I didn't backup (no, not just "not regularly", but EVER), and when the day came and my Mint installation Wouldn't Boot, I had none of my data safe, and a big part of it was lost.

I thought "No big deal, they're just things that happen when you juggle with your system" and I was right, but that wasn't gonna bring my data back from the dead. I used a Live-CD and tried to recover my data, but most of it was terribly corrupted (Don't Ask why; I don't feel proud of it) and the few thing that I could actually recover just weren't enough.

I Kinda learned my lesson and started to make regular backups (Good 'ol "cp -Ru /home/user/Folder /media/USB"), but that still wasn't enough; I don't have such a good memory and ended up doing backups every two weeks, sometimes three and sometimes even a month. If you are someone like me and don't have such a good memory PLUS you modify critical data rather often, losing a month, or three weeks or two weeks or even one isn't possible; you just can't let that happen.

Later on, my hard disk died and I lost a Week of data.

I was seriously pissed off and tired of losing data every once in a while, so I spent nearly a week on the web Looking at backup threads and trying to find a decent one and finally came op with two candidates: Déjà Dup and BackInTime. They are both very good, but both of them have flaws.

BackInTime: It is a very good backup tool, and lets you do Incremental BackUps as well as some other Kind of them; it is very easy regarding data restoration. You can schedule backups and make a lot of interesting choices regarding the time between backups, but it has a problem that I fear: It can't encrypt BackUps.

Déjà Dup: This is a very good tool; minimalistic, yet powerful; it allows you to use a great variety of On-Line BackUp services and so on; it has the ability to do incremental BackUps as well and even offers a Nautilus-Buit-In option to revert a file into other that was backuped before, this one does have the ability to Encrypt BackUps but it has one little issue: The minimum time between BackUps is of one day.

I don't know whether to pick just one or keep both (I would really like to keep only one of them since it is hard to manage all the different BackUp files and settings) and I don't know which one I would pick; the truth is that both are great but, the two things I care about the most are things that one has while the other doesn't: BackUp file Encryption (which Déjà Dup has and BackInTime doesn't), Automatic BackUps at least every hour (Wich BackInTime has but Déjà Dup doesn't) and the ability to "Re-Use" BackUp Profiles for file restoration in another system.

I really care about that last one the most; it is really annoying (sometimes even hard) to restore from a BackUp that wasn't made in the same system (For example, when I kill my system after some serious Command-Line-Juggling). Therefore, I would Like a BackUp tool that can Re-Read the profiles from the BackUp location and is able to Restore them as if it was the same system. I have managed to do so with BackInTime by using the same BackUp location settings of the other system where I run BackInTime and it works like a charm. However, BackInTime isn't the best option of them two since it can't encrypt BackUps. I don't really know which one to pick.

So, I ask for your help on this one, forum fellas; personal experiences, thoughts, etc. Anything will be appreciated. Thank you for your help. Cheers, Danko.

EDIT: I posted something here that isn't clear enough. Déjà Dup is able to restore from BackUps made in another system as well, so that balances out the count to the following two features: Déjà Dup is able to encrypt the BackUps while BackInTime isn't; BackInTime is able to BackUp to the minimum amount of every five minutes (Isn't that just amazing?) and is able to BackUp on some intresting events as well (Like a Boot/Reboot cycle) while Déjà Dup doesn't.

Give me your opinions and thoughts about this BackUp Duality. Thanks for your help.
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Re: About Backups, BackInTime and Déjà Dup

Post by pfjap.paco »

I personally use Deja Dup. It's just easy to use and like you said, it can be restored in other systems. My current set up is all current files in Dropbox, Ubuntu One or Google Docs and then nightly backups with Deja Dup. Having all my current files in the cloud saves me worrying about what'll happen if I lose something important in between backups :D .
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Re: About Backups, BackInTime and Déjà Dup

Post by Inkit »

I don't need any encryption and so just use rsync. I take incremental backups every day and if you use the right combination you can get pretty much whatever you want, including compression of the data.
I also just use a reminder in thunderbird to remind me every day to take a backup. I guess an automatic feature would be to start a cron job to do an rsync every hour. It's not a GUI, so I don't know if you'll be interested, but it works, and is actually quite fast too. And you can use it over the network too.
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