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Ubuntu Hacks by Bill Childers, Kyle Rankin, Jonathan Oxer

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Hack #79. Back Up Your System

Use Ubuntu's Simple Backup utility to easily set up standalone or recurring backups of your important files.

Backups always seem to be the thing we think about after it's too late. Just about every computer user we know has been bitten at least once by failing to make a backup of an important file or directory. Yet what should you back up? How often? Out of the hundreds of backup tools out there, which should you use? Ubuntu has answered all of these questions with the aptly named Simple Backup tool. This tool allows you to schedule automatic recurring backups of predefined important files on the system, or, if you want more control, it allows you to set fine-grained backup options that better suit your needs. In this hack, we discuss some of the main options in the Simple Backup tool and how to set up a backup-and-restore solution for your computer.

Get Simple Backup

The first step is to install Simple Backup. Its package is called sbackup and is available from the universe repository, so if you haven't yet enabled universe, you will need to do so. If you need more instructions on how to enable repositories, refer to "Modify the List of Package Repositories" [Hack #60] or the individual hacks corresponding to your preferred package-management tool [Hacks #54, #55, and #56].

Once the program is installed, two new menu entries will appear under System→Administration: one called Simple Backup Config and a second called Simple Backup Restore. Select Simple ...

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