Back In Time

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The "BackInTime" application is a very good and powerful backup tool, but using it to do a full system backup requires some settings. The instructions here were written for BackInTime 1.0.7 on SuSE 11.4 but will apply to most distributions and also newer versions.

  • install "backintime" and "backintime-kde4" (or gnome version if you like) from repository (using Yast on SuSE)
  • open the application editor (in KDE4 SuSE, right-click on SuSE Logo and launch applications editor)
  • locate "BackInTime", go to "advanced" Tab, click "run as another user" and enter username "root". save settings
  • start "BackInTime" from application menu. if the previous setting is correct, you will be promted for the root password.
  • edit/create the backup set. choose "/" as "included". choose destination folder, etc to your liking
  • in exclude, accept the defaults and add "/dev", "/proc", and "/sys".
  • on SuSE and other distros, there is a copy (actually a mount) of "/proc" as "/var/lib/ntp/proc". if you have this, make sure to also exclude.
  • on the general settings, untick the "automatic host / user / profile" checkbox. in the user field, write "root".
    • (failure to do so will make all interactive backups work, but all scheduled profiles will fail with "WARNING: Can't find snapshots folder !" error message - as the cron job does not know your user name, it will look for a folder ".../backintime/<yourmachinename>/root/" whereas the GUI app has created a ".../backintime/<yourmachinename>/<yourusername>/")
  • define a schedule
  • save settings. test and run an interactive backup.
  • as root, run "crontab -l -u root" to test that the backup schedule has really been inserted.
  • happy backuping...