I'm currently using Deja Dup ("Ubuntu Backups") to create backups of my data. However when reading around I see a lot of issues of people being unable to restore their backups in case the catastrophe hits.

  • one person reports he might have deleted his ".ssh" or ".gnupg" folder which probably contained the necessary for decrypting the backups

Obviously I want to be able to reinstall my backups whenever needed, meaning:

  • my computer gets hacked and .ssh and .gnupg are deleted
  • I mistakenly delete .ssh or .gnupg (might even be due to a necessary reinstallation of the operating system)

How do I prevent data loss, when the above described "catastrophe" hits? Can I note the encryption password on a piece of paper, if yes, which one?

  • some .ssh key?
  • some more keys? (gnupg?)

Some more infos I found around the topic "issues with restoring encrypted backups in Deja Dup":

  • 1
    and so to your question?
    – 24601
    May 16 at 10:51

There seems to be a few parts to unpack …

Re: Digital keys

One of the things that I do for SSH and other keys is keep them in a LUKS encrypted volume on a USB stick. The USB stick is attached to my keychain, and always with me. If my house were to burn down, or all of my computers confiscated by a government organization, or my son were to go on a venomous rampage, I could use the keys on the USB stick with one of my offsite backups to restore 100% of my irreplaceable data in a matter of hours.

Re: Backup Restoration Failure

All backup process that is never tested can offer you is a false sense of security. Test your backups by restoring them to a virtual machine at regular intervals. I have mostly automated this process away, so test a full déjà dup restoration on a VirtualBox instance thrice a week. Errors result in notifications. Notifications result in a manual verification of the failure followed by a fix.

Most normal people would sleep just fine doing it once every few months.

  • very insightful answer. However do you know specifically about the necessity of the keeping a separate backup of the .ssh and .gnupg folders in order to restore encrypted deja dup backups?
    – mcExchange
    May 16 at 11:59

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