I want to know how to backup entire applications and configurations of the system and applications, allowing me to exclude some directories.

  1. Must be GUI, bad at command-line (can be a script for periodical automatic quick backups)
  2. Entire directories of my user's files and configurations of system and of applications.
  3. Allow exclusion of some directories, which I have backup manually myself
  4. Automatic, of everyday (customizable to which date, when exactly at which time, allow auto deletions or increment)
  5. Allow restore when I have done a fresh install. (Restoring all files and configurations, almost like the older version.
  6. Fast backup to my external hard drive.

If you need more information please answer.

3 Answers 3


System Settings > Backup you have many options available, as to which folders to backup, which folders to ignore, where to backup to, including Ubuntu One cloud storage, there's scheduling available, which will regularely do backups for you and many more.

  • Does that allow you to backup all configurations, so if I done a fresh install, I can get the entire files just as before? Or if I want my other computers to have the same files? Does it work?
    – owl
    Nov 12, 2012 at 11:37
  • Sure. There are also other solutions for that particular result. You don't necessarily need a backup to keep all your settings. All you have to do is, during installation, create a new partition and associate the /home mount point to it. That way you will later be able to re-install your system a million times without losing any of your settings and/or files. Of course, backup and restore will work too, but it requires some more time (to create backups and restore them back) EDIT askubuntu.com/questions/247/… Nov 12, 2012 at 11:39
  • Sorry. I mean I want to use the backup and restore it on other systems if possible, because this computer is dying due to hardware failure. However, I wish to keep and retain all configurations and apply it on my other computer.
    – owl
    Nov 12, 2012 at 11:41
  • Then backup will work for you, as I mentioned. But keep in mind that a separate /home partition is still considered the best practice. Nov 12, 2012 at 11:42
  • 1
    If I transfer my /home folder to another partition, will ubuntu lose "link" to it? So ubuntu will not be able to store in a cross partition manner? Can I fix it?
    – owl
    Nov 13, 2012 at 0:21

I use a three pronged approach:

1) I clone my entire system to an external USB hard drive monthly (or whenver I make any kind of significant change). I use Clonezilla, which I've created a Live USB for. The GUI is primitive, but if you use the defaul "beginner" option, it's actually very straight forward. You can exact replicate of your working system at the time of cloning, and you will be able to just plug the drive into any other machine and boot from it. It's very reliable.

2) I do nightly backups to my home network NAS (could also be done to an external drive). After experimenting with may different GUI (and non-GUI) tools, I really like LuckyBackup Lucky does all of the requirements you've requested and is very very straight forward.

3) I backup to the cloud using Crash Plan. This is a commercial service with a good Linux client app. It's inexpensive, and in my case, I just have it work right on my NAS, but you can just put the client on your local machine. It has the capability of backing up to a local external drive too.

Obviously, many ways to do all of this, but the above work for me. I recently had a failed upgraded to 12.10, but since I had cloned my 12.04 system, I was able to get right back to where I was pretty painlessly.

  • Regarding your point 2) why not using the native System Backup from Ubuntu at System Settings > Backup, setting a network NAS folder as the default saving backup folder? That's what I do, and it works quite smoothly without extra software. Nov 5, 2017 at 13:08

Just in case someone else needs help. This software does the job and more 'systemback'


You dont need to install remastersys or pay for Black Lab Image creator. It's a very well design application and works great on 14.04

To install, open the terminal and do:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nemh/systemback
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install systemback

then in case you plan to upgrade your system some day, just remove the ppa :

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:nemh/systemback

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