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I use the default backup utility of ubuntu (deja-dup) in the settings panel. Today I delete by error one directory. I tried to restore it but I did not succeed. Must I restore all my backup if I only need one single directory or file ?


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up vote 37 down vote accepted

Of course you can do that. From the gnome DejaDup Help wiki (oh and where it says file you can also read directory)

Restore a Lost File with Déjà Dup

  • Open the file browser (Nautilus)
  • Browse to the folder containing the file you lost
  • Click File ▸ Restore Missing Files…
  • When the Restore dialog appears, it will scan for files that are in the backup but no longer in the folder.
  • When you see the file you want to restore appear, select it and click Forward.
  • Review your selections and click Restore.

Restore a Previous Version of a File with Déjà Dup

  • Open the file browser (Nautilus)
  • Go to the folder containing the file you want to revert. Choose “Places → Home Folder” and navigate down as needed.
  • Right click on the file you want to revert.
  • Choose “Revert to Previous Version…”
  • Up comes the Déjà Dup dialog. Choose the date from which to restore. Click “Forward”.
  • Review your selections and click “Restore”. Note: this will overwrite your current version of the file.
  • Done!

Note that for Ubuntu you'll need the ubuntuone-client package installed in order for the menu entries to appear in Nautilus, even if you're not using Ubuntu One. Also note that Mate's version of Nautilus, Caja, does not support restoring files.

Pro Tips

  • You can select multiple files at once before right clicking.
  • You can revert files on the command line:

    deja-dup --restore FILE1 FILE2
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Thanks, it works perfectly. Can you give the adress of the wiki please. – Ger Aug 28 '12 at 11:40
It is already there: click the red links in the headers ;) – Rinzwind Aug 28 '12 at 12:28
Sorry, thanks again ! – Ger Aug 28 '12 at 14:14
it might be needed to install deja-dup-nautilus before you see the restore file menu. – Jens Timmerman Jan 19 at 12:49

The above answer did not work for me as the drive that had originally been backed up had been removed. I share the procedure I followed below:

  • In a terminal, type:

duplicity list-current-files --no-encryption file:///[path_to_backup_folder] > /home/[your_username]/list.txt

Be aware of the format "file:///..." in which duplicity expects to receive path to archive - You need to indicate the full path to the folder containing your backup.

  • Create folder for restore:


  • Find the file/folder you wish to restore in the 'list.txt' file we created earlier (in home folder). Copy just the filename and path to file, not the date. Execute the following:

duplicity restore --no-encryption --file-to-restore [PASTE RESULTS FROM PREVIOUS STEP] file:///[LOCATION OF BACKUP] [PATH AND FILENAME FOR RESTORED FILE]

Please note that the commands will be different for an encrypted backup. Check reference below.

Duplicity Reference

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This answer is useful for the users of duplicity instead of the GUI. +1. – Christophe De Troyer Sep 19 '15 at 17:32
duplicity list-current-files file:///[path_to_backup_folder] > /home/[your_username]/list.txt (without the --no-encryption) make it asks the password - for encrypted backups - and works too. – diegov Feb 15 at 23:55

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