I am using the default backup software for Ubuntu 14.04(deja dup). It backs up weekly to a network location.

I'm about to put a new hard drive in my laptop, and I would rather just install ubuntu and put my files in rather than copy over the whole OS and everything. If I reinstall ubuntu and connect to the network backup location, can I restore my backup?

  • Yup. It is possible. Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 13:41
  • 1
    Hazaa!!! Best feature ever! Upvotes for everyone! Commented Jan 25, 2020 at 4:13

3 Answers 3


Sure. These instructions are for a fresh ubuntu install.

  1. Open Déjà Dup. Search the dash for deja.

  2. Click on the big “Restore” button.

    enter image description here

  3. A dialog will appear asking where your backup files are stored (your “Backup location”). Choose “Other…” and navigate to the folder of backups. On this same screen, select whether you encrypted the backup or not. Click “Forward”.

    enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  4. Choose the date you want to restore from. Usually you can just leave this alone, as the default is the most recent backup. Click “Forward”.

  5. Choose where to restore. Since this is a full system backup, leave it as the default (to restore over your current install). Click “Forward”.

  6. Review your selections and click “Restore”.

  7. Wait. Your files won’t appear in your home directory until the entire restore is finished. It may take a while.

  8. Reinstall any programs that you enjoyed in your previous install.

Taken from the deja dup help wiki.

  • Backup file is from ubuntu 16.04. Restoring to ubuntu 18.04 is possible?
    – Smile
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 14:02
  • @Smile That’s a good question. Is Deja Dup still available for 18.04? If it is, I expect it will work.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 14:09
  • 1
    Deja dup is available on Ubuntu 22.04 (the utility called Backups) but the option to change the path to restore from is in the preferences menu. There you will have to navigate to the path where the files are. Then select Restore and choose the subfolder(s) and the date as usual. Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 4:04
  • @PabloAdames Thanks for the new answer! Welcome to Ask Ubuntu
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 10:51

This is such a cool and helpful tool that I will attempt to update the images for those in 2023 on Ubuntu 22.04.

Déja Dup is called Backups in Ubuntu 22.04. After opening its window select the Preferences from the menu shown below. enter image description here

Then select Location in the dialogue window that comes up, shown below: enter image description here Navigate to the location of the files you want to restore by clicking on the box called Storage Location and then typing the folder name, shown next. enter image description here Alternatively, if the location is not shown and you don't remember the name of the folder, choose Local Folder and then click on the button Choose Folder... as shown next. That will allow you to navigate to the exact location with a graphical file manager window.
enter image description here

After choosing the folder to back up from (on an external disk or a remote location available to your host), click on the Restore button to select what folders and date to restore. As an example, I chose to restore all of the LaTeX Documents folder below. enter image description here When you click on the Restore button you will get prompted to choose the destination for the restored files. enter image description here Voilá, you are done. Enjoy your backups fully restored where you want or need them.


Certainly, you have the flexibility to restore a Deja Dup backup on a different computer than the one on which the backup was initially created. This capability is particularly convenient when transitioning to a new computer or replacing hardware components. Here's how you can smoothly accomplish this process.

First, on your new computer, ensure that Deja Dup is installed. You can use the following command to install Deja Dup on your Ubuntu system.

sudo apt-get install deja-dup

Afterward, establish a connection to the network drive where your backup is stored.

# Mount the network drive (replace <network_drive_path> with the actual path)
sudo mount -t cifs //<network_drive_path> /mnt/network_drive -o username=<your_username>,password=<your_password>

Deja Dup facilitates a straightforward restoration process. Open the application, then navigate to and select the "Restore" option. Subsequently, choose the specific backup you wish to restore.

deja-dup --restore

With another click, initiate the restoration process. Deja Dup will systematically scan the selected backup, recovering all the files it contains. You can then pick and choose the files you'd like to restore and simply click "Restore" again.

deja-dup --restore <backup_folder>

Deja Dup takes care of restoring these files to your new computer, ensuring a hassle-free transition. It's worth noting that Deja Dup also offers the flexibility to restore backups to a different location on the same computer. The procedure is quite similar, as you access Deja Dup, click on "Restore," choose the backup you'd like to restore, and once again initiate the restoration process:

deja-dup --restore

The application efficiently scans the backup and displays your files. At this point, you can select the specific files for restoration, after which Deja Dup will prompt you to specify the location for the restored files.

deja-dup --restore --folder=<destination_folder>

This feature proves handy for reorganizing or reconfiguring your data on the same computer, enhancing the versatility of Deja Dup's restoration capabilities.

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