My Hard Drive failed and I had to do a fresh install of Ubuntu (13.10). Fortunately (maybe) I had backed up most of the folders from /etc and /home using Backintime (root). I installed BIT on the new system. The BIT information was stored in a separate HD, with the same path as was used for the original backup. I copied the config file from the last snapshot: /Backup/backintime/{old host name}/root/1/{latest backup folder} to ~/.config/backintime/.

When I try to use BIT it cannot find my snapshots. I looked at the config file following the hint given here:

Can't reset BackInTime snapshot path

However, the path is correct so I did not have to change it there.

The hostname on the new system is different than the old machine, could this cause a problem?

Is there any other way to restore the files, even if to a different directory? If so, how? Is there something else I need to change somewhere?

  • Well, I found that I could copy many of the files and folders from the backintime files to my home directory (it said that it could not copy some of them). I guess the one folder that did not get backed up properly was ~/.thunderbird. It had backed up the settings and the crash reports but not the actual E-Mail or Contacts. I don't know why that would be the case. – user214733 Feb 5 '14 at 10:57

I discovered how to recover the files (I still could not use the Restore function of BIT). I found that the problem with recovering my .thunderbird folder was caused by the permissions (owner: root and read-only). Once that was fixed, I was able to recover that. It was not as critical to me, but I was also able to recover my .mozilla folder by fixing the permissions.


BackInTime version < 1.1.0

You have to deactivate Auto Host / User / Profile ID and change the value for Host to match your old systems hostname. After that all snapshots should be shown in the main window.

BackInTime version >= 1.1.0

On first start BackInTime will ask if you would like to restore your old config. Maybe connect your external drive and click Yes. It will scan your drives and collaps all folders with snapshots. Just select the snapshot from which you would like to restore the config and click Restore.

Disclaimer: I'm member of BIT-Dev Team

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