After failing to fix a login issue, now I'm attempting to restore from a backup file using Duplicity. As I have no clue what went wrong where, I want to restore from backup file, let's say 30 days prior.

From what I can see, this should be the command:
sudo duplicity --force -t 30D file:///backup-folder /

However, I get a bunch of [Errno 17] File exists... and I'm not sure if this is normal.

I would like to restore EVERYTHING- root and user folder and all. I'm about ready to format the drive and restart from scratch... so I'm willing to try anything at this point.

P.S. I cannot use Deja-dup, as I cannot login to GUI except as a Guest.

2 Answers 2


first.. duplicity will never overwrite data while restoring. that is a design choice to protect your data. what you've got to do is to restore to a temporary folder and copy/move the restored data manually to your desired location.

second.. how come you cannot login into X but use the command line as root?


  • 1
    First, I was successful in restoring the backup files as you said. (It still didn't fix the issue... :( ) Thank you. Second, I wasn't clear in what I meant- I can login through tty terminal, but the Unity desktop is stuck in the login loop. So I only have command line through tty terminal. Mar 11, 2015 at 4:46

If the user wants to restore everything it sure seems wrong to have to install everything to another folder and move it into place. How can you be assured that everything has the proper ownership and permissions when you move it into place. Plus you'll have to have twice the disk space for the copy. By definition then, if the original system was > 50% full you cannot do this.

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