Welcome to part 3 in the series on taking smart backups with duplicity. This article will show how to use Déjà Dup, a GTK+ program to quickly back up your personal files.

Déjà Dup is a graphical frontend to Duplicity. Déjà Dup handles the GPG encryption, scheduling and file inclusion for you, presenting a clean and simple backup tool. From the project’s mission:

Déjà Dup aims squarely at the casual user. It is not designed for system administrators, but rather the less technically savvy.

It is also not a goal to support every desktop environment under the sun. A few popular environments should be supported, subject to sufficient developer-power to offer tight integration for each.

Déjà Dup integrates very well with GNOME, making it an excellent choice for a quick backup solution for Fedora Workstation.

Installing Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup can be found in GNOME Software’s Utilities category.


Alternatively, Déjà Dup can be installed with dnf:

dnf install deja-dup

Once installed, launch Déjà Dup from the Overview.

Déjà Dup presents 5 sections to configure your backup.

  • Overview
  • Folders to save
  • Folders to ignore
  • Storage location
  • Scheduling

Folders to save

Similar to selecting directories for inclusion using duplicity‘s --inclusion option, Déjà Dup stores directories to include in a list. The default includes your home directory. Add any additional folders you wish to back up to this list.

Perhaps your entire home directory is too much to back up. Or parts of your home directory are backed up using version control. In that case, remove “Home” from the list and add just the folders you want to back up. For example, ~/Documents and ~/Projects.

Folders to ignore

These folders are going to be excluded, similar to the --exclude option. Starting with the defaults, add any other folders you wish to exclude. One such directory might be ~/.cache. Consider whether to exclude this carefully. GNOME Boxes stores VM disks inside ~/.cache. If those virtual disks contain data that needs to be backed up, you might want to include ~/.cache after all.

Launch Files and from the Action menu, turn on the Show Hidden Files option. Now in Déjà Dup, click the “plus” button and find Homecache. The list should look like this afterwards:

Storage location

The default storage location is a local folder. This doesn’t meet the “Remote” criteria, so be sure to select an external disk or Internet service such as Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files. Select Amazon S3 and paste in the access key ID you saved in part 1. The Folder field allows you to customize the bucket name (it defaults to $HOSTNAME).

Scheduling

This section gives you options around frequency and persistence. Switching Automatic backup on will immediately start the deja-dup-monitor program. This program runs inside a desktop session and determines when to run backups. It doesn’t use cron, systemd or any other system scheduler.

Back up

The first time the Back Up utility runs, it prompts you to configure the backup location. For Amazon S3, provide the secret access key you saved in part 1. If you check Remember secret access key, Déjà Dup saves the access key into the GNOME keyring.

Next, you must create a password to encrypt the backup. Unlike the specified GPG keys used by duply, Déjà Dup uses a symmetric cipher to encrypt / decrypt the backup volumes. Be sure to follow good password practices when picking the encryption password. If you check Remember password, your password is saved into the GNOME keyring.

Click Continue and Déjà Dup does the rest. Depending on the frequency you selected, this “Backing up…” window will appear whenever a backup is taking place.

Conclusion

Déjà Dup deviates from the backup profiles created in part 1 and part 2 in a couple specific areas. If you need to encrypt backups using a common GPG key, or need to create multiple backup profiles that run on different schedules, duplicity or duply might be a better choice. Nevertheless, Déjà Dup does an excellent job at making data back up easy and hassle-free.