I'm 24hrs into using Déjà Dup. All seems well apart from this error message:

Backup Finished

Could not back up the following files. Please make sure you are able to open them.



What should I do, if anything?


I've been able to solve my question after finding this web page. You need to update the owner and group for each file which is failing to backup. I used these commands to solve the situation.

sudo chown mjwittering .cache/dconf .gvfs
sudo chgrp mjwittering .cache/dconf .gvfs

Then run the backup again, which should now complete successfully.

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  • 2
    Are you sure you want to back up the contents of the .gvfs directory? That's just a mountpoint for user-mounted filesystems (e.g. when you browse to a network share via nautilus) - typically those files would be backed up on the remote system where they actually reside - backing them up locally may cause a lot of unnecessary network traffic (and local disk usage) – steeldriver Sep 17 '13 at 22:48
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    Your right, I probably don't need to backup the contents of both paths, and could extend the default ignore list in Déjà Dup. I'm actually backing up to an external disk and haven't mounted any network shares to my system, so should have any problems, but that is quite an interesting unexpected consequence. Thanks for the advice. – mjwittering Sep 18 '13 at 20:52
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    I too, had this problem. Just that on my system it was ~/.cache/dconf + ~/.dbus instead. The directories should not be owned by root so absolutely, do change it. This was discussed on ubuntu-devel-discuss and here is a reply that confirms this, lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-discuss/2014-April/… – Konstigt Apr 5 '14 at 18:03
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    For the purposes of answering the question, these should be ignored within deja-dup, rather than chown'd/chgrp'd – eggonlegs Aug 14 '14 at 11:26
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    I tried ignoring ~/.dbus and still got the error. It's mostly a minor, but daily annoyance: instead of running silently in the background, every time I backup, Deja-Dup wiggles in the Launcher, waiting for me to "OK" and close the error message. So, chown and chgrp are a welcome solution--it will save seconds of my day every day for a long time. – Khashir Nov 22 '16 at 17:58

Seen in a 12.04 system that ~/.gvfs is owned by me:me and permissions are dr-x------.

So once you granted ownership to user yourself and group yourself run:

chmod 500 ~/.gvfs

No comment to add about .cache/dconf

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Regardless of what's causing the problem, these directories should be excluded from a backup. For details, see What files and directories can be excluded from a backup of the home directory?

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