Default backup program in 18.04?

Hey all,

See this [1] discussion on Reddit.

I am wondering whether or not you think it’s good to keep Deja Dup as the default backup program?

  • Do we need a backup program at all by default?
  • Is Deja Dup still a good option or better switch to Timeshift (like Mint) or Back In Time?

Thank you!


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Do you have a reply to daemonpenguin’s comment?

Timeshift is an entirely different beast and not in the same category as Deja Dup. Mint still uses their mintBackup tool for data files. Timeshift is just for operating system snapshots.

I think we do need a backup program by default because it’s very good practice to do regular backups and having a backup program by default encourages users to backup.

I think Deja Dup, generally speaking, works fine. We don’t need to change it (unless you can give good points on where it’s lacking and how an alternative program would do better).


I agree with you. At least I haven’t found anything missing for Deja Dup. Just wondering why Mint went a different route than it’s parent Ubuntu. Was surprised to see from the discussion that not many mentioned any other distros with default backup programs.

This is not Windows, where if you don’t back up, you are in trouble and have to buy a new copy. If you keep all your (very special) data in a secure place (in another partition), you can always re-install the distro in 10-15 mins. Actually, nothing really breaks these days. Anyway, you can always use

sudo rsync -av --one-file-system

, if you really want to back up your system.

Deja-Dup is a really good program, first because it’s unbelievably simple to use, and second because of its integration with Nautilus to provide direct access to “Previous Versions” from the context menu. It’s not very fast, not very space efficient, doesn’t deal with very big volumes well, and not very configurable, but it’s the most appropriate program without someone assembling a real monster with a superset of its features and integration with the GNOME DE.


I don’t use Deja Dup, but if it remains fit for purpose - and looks as if it will be maintained through the cycle - I don’t think it should be changed (even if subjectively better alternatives are available). If the current program is deprecated, there is less chance it will be supported or maintained in future releases and users’ backup strategies may fail as they upgrade to a new version of Ubuntu.

The default backup program is one area where it is important to be conservative.


This is a very important point. Haven’t thought about it and makes total sense, thanks!

It’s a very good application - Simple front end to rsync which is powerful. It hasn’t let me down, ever, and does sync backups to the popular cloud services as well as local LAN or NAS device.

It was/is buggy on 17.10 (python errors) but has been working great on 18.0x. It is the default Gnome backup utility, and as such I don’t see it being dropped upstream anytime soon.

Being simple, it fits into the Ubuntu ecosystem well, making it easy for people that just want to use their computers, do so, without needing to be a sysadmin.

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@stephen-d-allen do you know who is the maintainer of Deja Dup at the moment?

@orschiro, You mean for Ubuntu or Upstream? There is a PPA: (don’t know if that by the Ubuntu developer) and Debian

Update: Missed the upstream at Gnome:

Does this help?

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I think we need. It’s always a good practice taking a backup of your “precious” files.

Yes it is. Timeshift is another thing. Completely different on how it works compared to Deja Dup.
Deja Dup is simple and effective. Someone needs to backup his personal files (like Photos, Music, Videos …etc). That’s the majority, imho.


Is this a trick question?

Yes, it does. Thank you!

I was just wondering whether or not it was actively maintained because the last edit date on the GNOME page is from 2013.


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Ok That’s when the wiki page was last edited - their email list and points of contact are still relevant AFAIK

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Déjà Dup is actively maintained.


What about Backup in Budgie 18.04, is this different or same as?

Same as.

Déjà Dup seems to appear as either Backup, Back Up or Backups is program menus.

déjà dup is a front end to duplicity right.

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I think that that we should have a backup program that restore the os. the resound for this is that it would make ubuntu more attractive to user that do not have the experience to restore the Ubuntu os . I do not have much experience using Timeshift but if It can restore Ubuntu to a previous time easily or resote the os if Ubuntu will not boot anymore then I think it a good idea.

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Yup, you’re correct! I’m getting mixed up with other backup packages, for the desktop.