I'm trying to restore from a Deja Dup backup. My original system was Zorin 9, but when disk fried I moved to Ubuntu 14 installed on fresh disk. I don't think this is causing any problems, platform is the same, just thought I should mention it.

Most of the backup restored properly, but I was given a list of 46 files (unfortunately including some thunderbird inboxes and skype chatlogs I'd really like back) with the following error message: "Could not restore the following files. Please make sure you are able to write to them." I thought this might be a problem writing to areas of the new drive, so I ran the restore again, this time to a folder on another drive. Those files are not present in either extraction from the backup.

Yes, I know, I'll find a better backup solution for next round. This is what I have to work with now.

I'm wondering:

1) Is there any way to get inside the duplicity archives and inspect for viable versions of these files? 2) What is meant by "Please make sure you are able to write to them."? What problem does this indicate? 3) Anything else I might try? Or are these files just probably just corrupted or lost? The log seems to remember them as belonging to the backup, they must have been there at some point.


1 Answer 1


Yes you can get to them. You need to take a look at the .manifest file in your backups and figure out which compressed backup the files are in. Then you need to manually unzip that backup and manually move the files where you want them.

Alternatively, you can make restore those files using deja-dup, but restore to a different location. Also make sure that you have read access to those backups with chmod 755 * in the deja-dup folder.

What it means by "Please make sure you are able to write to them." is that you need to make sure you can write to the restore location. For instance, if you are trying to restore to /root/ as a normal user, that's obviously not going to work since you can't write to /root/.

  • Thank you for the answer Daniel. I had been trying to get into those archives, but they are .difftar and .sigtar, not zips. Do you know of a way to open them? When I try, archive manager just tells me they're not supported archive types.
    – David
    Dec 24, 2015 at 18:34
  • This newtips.co/serverfault/questions/89355/… might help you.
    – Daniel
    Dec 24, 2015 at 21:41
  • If you can send me the archives containing your files I can do it for you, if they're not corrupted.
    – Daniel
    Dec 24, 2015 at 21:41
  • That's a very kind offer Daniel, and I may take you up if I have to. I'd rather try it myself first, but I need a little more to go on. Can't fully understand the link you sent, and would rather use gui than command line if possible, to search archives for specific files visually. Anything for that? Also, I did try restoring to a separate folder, after restoring to original locations, and found same files missing, with the error mentioned. They may be corrupted in the archive, but I'd like a look see in case just some strange permission issue instead.
    – David
    Dec 27, 2015 at 22:33
  • I'm moderately proficient, but for terminal step-by-step will be most helpful. Thanks!
    – David
    Dec 27, 2015 at 22:33

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