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I was hoping to utilize Ubuntu One and in particular, the syncing feature within Ubuntu One to provide offsite backup for some of my files. My intention was to mark any of my folders that have important files as 'folders to synchronize' to Ubuntu One. It works great in that whenever an important file is placed in the folder, the file is copied up to Ubuntu One (hence creating a backup). However, if any of these important files are lost or accidently deleted from my computer then due to the synchronization it is also immediately deleted from Ubuntu One. This approach does not work very well to provide backup. On one hand I really like the automatic way in which the synch feature will upload any of my important files to Ubuntu One but on the other hand if I lose the file on my computer it will likely be taken off of the cloud as well (via synchronization).

What approach are others taking to backup their important files to Ubuntu One? I didn't want to have to manually upload my important files to Ubuntu One and remember to upload other important files as they are created on my computer.

Your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Deja Dup will be included in Ubuntu 11.10 by default, and could potentially support Ubuntu One backups in the future ( omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/05/… ). –  WarriorIng64 Jun 5 '11 at 5:02

2 Answers 2

  1. Install Déjà Dup Backup Tool with Ubuntu Software Center.

  2. Start Déjà Dup and go to Edit -> Preferences.

  3. At Backup location choose Local Folder option.

  4. Add an Ubuntu One Synced folder.

  5. Do regular backups with Déjà Dup.

This is not a perfect solution because if you delete your Déjà Dup backup files then you loose your backups. However it is still better than just syncing a folder because Déjà Dup makes incremental backups which means that you can always go back to any previously backuped version of the file. Even if you delete the original file, you can restore it as long as you have your Déjà Dup backup files. Déjà Dup has many great features, such as scheduled regular backups, and it supports many locations such as Amazon S3, SSH, FTP, WebDav, etc.

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Déjà Dup will also, as mentioned above, soon support direct backup straight to Ubuntu One (that is, without storing the backups on your computer), and this should provide what you need. –  sil Jun 13 '11 at 16:59

That is true, because you are syncing (making a redundant copy), not backing up. There is a fundamental difference that you have found that other people need to realize. Many will protect themselves using this form of 'backup' to protect against catastrophic hard drive failure, but as you have found file corruption/deletion will be considered by the as normal activity and be synced across.

If you want to have some sort of backup, I would rather suggest using something like rsync or some backup utility that can do snapshots in time. That way you are able to restore back even if the file you want was deleted or corrupted and that change was synchronized across to the other computer. You could keep the snapshot on Ubuntu One as well in case the hard drive fails.

Unfortunately this comes at the cost of extra hard drive space used, as does all true forms of backup.

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