With Windows 7 I can easily set up a scheduled backup, which will incrementally backup directories I have selected, as well as create a disk image, all whilst I am still using my PC.

Is there anything even approaching the level of seamless convenience and quality of the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for Ubuntu?


Yes, far surpassing it in fact ;-)

There is Déjà Dupinstall.

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DéjàDup allows you to easily back up anything to a local drive, a network drive (e.g. a NAS), Amazon S3 and elsewhere. It's set up in seconds and extremely reliable. You can install it by just clicking the link above.

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Backup intervals can be set, and the system will automatically delete old files, if you want it to, after a given amount of time.

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Select any storage target for your back up, even my university's web-server (shhh!) :P
All very easy. :-)

You can read all about it at gnome live.

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You can restore specific versions of a file as well, the number of versions kept depends on storage and how long you set déjàdup to keep backups. In my example, there's about a version a day for three month for the file.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. I had come across this, but it's surprising how little info there is available about this program. Does Deja Dup perform incremental backups, so that I can restore a file to the most recent version, or the second most recent, etc? Does it do it's thing in the background, so that I can continue working whilst it runs? Does it create a system image, so if something catastrophic occurs I can restore my entire Ubuntu drive?
    – Dave
    Dec 17 '10 at 6:34
  • 2
    It backs up files, not entire drives. You could of course have it back up everything (you'd prefer to just use your whole home directory instead of everything though), but it won't be a single image. Yes it does do incremental backups, of course. I've added another screen shot that should answer your question about restoring specific versions. DéjàDup is keeping itself invisible, and only occasionally shows up as an Indicator when backups are processed, you never need to worry about it. You won't notice it's running. Dec 17 '10 at 6:49
  • Keep in mind also that changes in files are backed up incrementally. Changing a large file will result in no more than a the number of changed bytes of extra space needed for you to be able to restore an older version at any time. Dec 17 '10 at 6:55
  • Whoops- Stefano beat me to it :^) According to this LiveGnome page it is rsync-based and does incremental backups. It doesn't explicitly state that it works in the background, but I'm sure it's so.
    – koanhead
    Dec 17 '10 at 7:01
  • 1
    It won't be any slower, rsync is very frugal about system resources. And nice process scheduling ensures that you won't notice a thing. Dec 18 '10 at 16:29

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