I have been using my Ubuntu 16.10 for over a year now and I have accumulated over 50GB of backups. Since I'm growing out of memory I wonder if this is a good practice to keep all the records of my backups instead of keeping only the last record in order to keep all my data. I believe that this question raises specially because I'm not aware of the whole procedure of backing up and restoring data. Right now I'm evaluating to keep up my data and restoring only the documents and set-up that could be used on an Antergos distro.

Any insights on this?

Thanks in advance.

closed as off-topic by mikewhatever, user68186, Fabby, karel, George Udosen Jan 21 '18 at 6:18

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    That really is a personal choice. In general you would need to decide this on the contents of those backups. Lets assume you backup 10Gb in music files every day... that would amount to a lot of duplicates and you could remove all but the last backup. If you code software and have 1 Gb in software where it all evolves into better, more software I would not touch a single backup and store them online (google drive is a good spot). – Rinzwind Jan 20 '18 at 17:15
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    Have you ever tested your backups? – muru Jan 20 '18 at 18:22
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    @muru No! I really should do that, right? – pedrez Jan 20 '18 at 18:39
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    Moreover, you should upgrade to a supported version of Ubuntu! – Zanna Jan 20 '18 at 19:26
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    It's not really allowed to change a question so that good answers are no longer good answers. Since this is now Déjà Dup-specific and invalidates the accepted answer, you should ask a new question instead of editing this question. I've reverted your edit, and you can click here to see the newer version of your question so that you can re-ask it (the newer question title is Backup with Deja-dup: keep records to keep history vs keep lastest backup to save memory?). – Chai T. Rex Jan 21 '18 at 7:52

Generational backups

I started doing daily backups about six months ago to my email account at gmail.com. gamil limits email backups to 25 MB per archive. The "free" account is limited to 15 GB and is currently 14% full. Soon I will have to start sifting through the archives with a backup strategy to keep:

  • Monday to Sunday (Daily backups) that get purged after 14 days
  • Sunday backups (Weekly backups) purged after 8 weeks
  • Last day of month backups (Monthly backups) purged after 18 months
  • Last day of year backups (Yearly backups) kept forever

The backup strategy follows the Grandfather-father-son theme.

Writing a script to access a gamil.com account to copy an existing daily backup to a Weekly backup, Monthly backup and/or a Yearly backup based on date will be no easy task. It might be easier to email the backup multiple times, depending on date, to create the Weekly, Monthly and Yearly backups in real time instead of copying them in the future.

The script to manage Weekly, Monthly and Yearly backups has to account for the fact a backup may not be available for Friday of week, Last day of Month or Last day of Year in which case the next earlier backup has to be selected.

Finally a script to purge Daily, Weekly and Monthly backups based on expiry dates has to be written.

Until script(s) are written, manual copying and renaming of backup archives is required.


Large backups of say 60GB of music files will be a separate process to a large enough USB stick or pair of alternating USB sticks.

Programs are not backed up but a list of installed programs (package names) is backed up daily.

It is extremely important that you test your backups from time to time. You can do this by restoring them to an empty partition and then running diff command between the backup restored partition and real partition.

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