I have just installed Déjà Dup on my (11.04) laptop and have scheduled automatic weekly backups to an external hard disc which is not always connected to the laptop.

What will happen if a scheduled backup is attempted when the external disc is not connected?

2 Answers 2


From v14 release note:

The most visible new feature is much better support for external drives. Now Deja Dup will notice if the drive is not connected when a scheduled backup occurs, and will wait for it to be connected. It will notify you that it is waiting.


Deja Dup uses duplicity as backend which would just fail if the backend directory (your external disk) is not available. Since the backup logic is not in Deja Dup, but in duplicity, no backup would be attempted to be created.

So, no data loss, no local backup cache pollution. If the backend is not available, there won't even be an attempt to check data to be backed up.

  • The fact it uses duplicity as a back-end does not mean it can't offer features like notifications for disconnected drives> it would wait for the user to plug it in, and then start duplicity
    – MestreLion
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 18:26

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