I have a serious problem.

Earlier today I had to make a clean install of Ubuntu 17.10 on my private computer. I'd hoped that I could easily access the (encrypted) backups I've earlier made with the Deja-dup Backup tool on my external hard drive. However, I now get the error message that the "restore failed" because there are "no backups to restore", although I do see the relevant .difftar.gpg files in Nautilus.

I've tried using the command line

duplicity restore file:///path_to_folder_contains_backups/ path_where_to_extract_it/

but get the error message:

CollectionsError: No backup chains found


sudo duplicity collection-status file:/path/to/file

returns that there is 1 secondary backup chain and 1 primary backup chain with a matching signature chain. However, it also throws a gpg WARNING: "unsafe ownership on homedir '/path/to/my/homedirectory/.gnupg'". Checking the permissions on /.gnupg gives

drwx------ 3 username username 4096 Apr 21 16:00 .

for the directory and this for the files inside:

-rw------- 1 username username   43 Apr 21 16:00 gpg-agent.conf
-rw------- 1 username username  258 Apr 21 16:00 gpg.conf
drwx------ 2 username username 4096 Apr 21 13:25 private-keys-v1.d
-rw------- 1 username username   32 Apr 21 14:02 pubring.kbx
-rw------- 1 username username 1200 Apr 21 14:02 trustdb.gpg

The directory /private-keys-v1 is empty.

I would greatly appreciate any help since I have lost access to all my private files.

  • Had you ever restored from a backup before you did the install? In other words, did it used to work? – Organic Marble Apr 21 '18 at 12:46
  • No, since there was no need for a restore while everything worked fine. – needhelp Apr 21 '18 at 12:50
  • You can get some information on the problem by doing the command sudo duplicity collection-status file://[location of your backup directory] I suggest you do that and edit the results into your question. It may just repeat the CollectionsError you already got though. – Organic Marble Apr 21 '18 at 12:53
  • The command returns that it has "found 1 secondary backup chain" and "Found primary backup chain with matching signature chain:". – needhelp Apr 21 '18 at 12:59
  • Have you imported the gpg keys after reinstall? – vidarlo Apr 21 '18 at 13:03

What seems to be working for me (the recovery is currently halfway through) was the command

duplicity --gio file:///media/backup /tmp/restore

where I've replaced media/backup and /tmp/restore with the filepath to the backups and my recovery destination, respectively. After entering the GNUpg passphrase I've chosen when setting up the backups in Deja-dup, the recovery process started.

For more detailed information please refer to this guide.

| improve this answer | |
  • That's a useful guide, thanks for the link. Glad it's working. – Organic Marble Apr 21 '18 at 16:19

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