I set up my Backup software (deja dup) on Ubuntu 20.04 after a clean customizing. And my storage is Google Drive.

So I have checked and there is the folder now on Google Drive.

Someday for some reason if I wipe my SSD without taking any other backup and if I install Ubuntu 20.04 to my empty SSD and connect Backup software to my Google Drive account, can I have all my todays customization and softwares back?

Bacause i have 5 backups in Google Drive Backup and the folder is only little bit over 1 GB...

On Deja Dup settings seen:

Folders to save: Home(username)

Folders to ignore: Trash and Downloads

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    You will have the contents of your home directory restored, yes. Applications, the operating system itself, and anything outside of the directories you have explicitly chosen to back up will not be included.
    – matigo
    Apr 30, 2021 at 14:49
  • 1
    You can set the Dejá Dup backup tool to save to external device (USB drive, SD card, etc.) by adjusting your save location on the Settings tab on the tool.
    – Logan
    Apr 30, 2021 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Bottom line

Deja Dup indeed is intended for you to be able to restore all data if the original data accidentally gets lost.

How does it work

Tar archives preserve all data, file names and attributes

Deja Dup uses duplicity as its backend. Duplicity uses the rsync algorithm to make backups, and stores the data that are backed up in .tar archives. Doing so, it does not matter what type of destination file system is used. All file information and unix permissions are stored within the tar archive. Thus, independent of where the tar archive is stored, all original data can be retrieved, including file attributes and unix permissions.

Incremental backups make for time and space efficiency

Duplicity makes incremental backups. That means that the very first time, all of your data are backed up and stored in a big initial tar archive. On subsequent backups, only changed files are included in the backup, and stored in smaller, additional tar files. These are the incremental backups.

That approach makes for a very space efficient backup. It explains why you see less data than you expected after making 5 backups. The same data is not duplicated in a next backup. That makes for space efficiency, but also for fast backups.

However, now and then, by default after three months, DejaDup will start over and create a new full backup. After a while, it will delete older full backups and the incremental backups that belong to it.

When you restore the data, the data in your original big tar file and the smaller tar files that captured the differences during subsequent backups will be used to reconstruct all of the original data. Optionally, you may restore just selected files, or older versions of the backup. These advanced features may not be exposed in the Deja Dup graphical interface.


A little detail: duplicity also encrypts the data. So, apart from fully storing your data, it also keeps them safe from prying eyes.

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