Simple gui backup tool backerupper

Jack Wallen
Oct 9, 2009
Updated • Feb 13, 2018
Backup, Linux

In my last article I covered the backup GUI Flyback ("Quick and easy backups with Flyback".) Although it seems development has stopped for that tool, it is still a viable solution. Does that mean it's the best solution?

No. There are far better GUI tools for easy desktop backup. One of those tools is Backerupper. Backerupper is still in beta at release .24-32. But that doesn't deter from the fact that the tool is very useful and stable.

Backerupper not only does a good job of simple backups, it also adds an icon to the GNOME notification area for quick access. And with Backerupper offers enough features to satisfy the users who demand ease of use, as well as those who want a feature-rich tool.


Speaking of features, Backerupper has them:

  • Simple configuration.
  • Simple installation.
  • Profiles.
  • Restore.
  • Automated backups.
  • Limit amount of backup copies stored.
  • Quick access from notification area.
  • Portable (run Backerupper from your thumb drive).

Now let's get into the thick of things and install Backerupper.


Installing Backerupper is simple. You will not find this tool in your repositories so you're going to have to download it from the


The above command will download the latest (as of this writing) version of Backerupper. Now you need to unpack the tar file with the command (issued from within the directory you downloaded the file):

tar xvzf backerupper-0.24-32.tar.gz

This will create a new directory called backerupper-0.24-32. Change into that directory with the command cd backerupper-0.24-32 and you will find five files and one directory. If you want to install Backerupper issue the following command:

sudo ./

If you are not on a sudo-based distribution you will want to su to the root user and then issue the command ./ The file will copy the file backer to /usr/bin and will create the directory /usr/share/backerupper and then copy the doc directory to the newly created directory.

Once installed all you have to do is issue the command backer as a standard user.

Now if you want to have a portable Backerupper you can  just copy the backer file to your mounted thumb drive. When you run the backer command from your thumb drive you will get a warning that the online help system can not be found and the help system has been disabled. You will see this every time you run the command.


Figure 1
Figure 1

Now let's see how Backerupper is used. When you issue the command backer the main window will appear (see Figure 1). As you can see there are no profiles created by default. In order to create a profile you need to click the New button. When you click this button a window will appear (see Figure 2) asking for the details of this profile. The details should be fairly obvious. You can create a profile for every backup you want to create. This window is also where you set up the

Figure 2
Figure 2

automation of the backup. You can also configure a destination directory as the default backup destination.

By default Backerupper will set your backup to happen every day. You might want to change this depending upon the frequency you require for your backup.

After you have created your profile that profile will appear in the Profiles drop down on the main page (see Figure 3).

Even though you have a backup setup for a specific time, you can automatically run that backup by selecting the profile you want to use from the drop down and then clicking the Backup Now button.

It should be pretty obvious that, in order for a backup to occur, Backerupper must be running. If you are one that logs out of your desktop, or shuts off your laptop, you have to remember to start up Backerupper. I would suggest adding Backerupper to your list of startup applications. To do this go to the Preferences sub-menu of the System menu and select Startup Applications. From this new window, click the Add button and fill out the necessary information. Once you have that done, Backerupper will start upon login and your backups will happen.


Figure 3
Figure 3

The restore process is very simple. Click on the Restore tab in the Backerupper main window (see Figure 3) and follow these steps:

  1. Select the profile you want to restore.
  2. If you have more than one archive of this directory click the Select Archive button and select which archive you want to restore.
  3. Click the Restore button.

That's it.

Final thoughts

Backerupper is one of the easiest (and fastest) desktop backup solutions I have found. And its portability makes it an even better solution for flexible Linux desktop backup.

Simple gui backup tool backerupper
Article Name
Simple gui backup tool backerupper
Backerupper not only does a good job of simple backups, it also adds an icon to the GNOME notification area for quick access. And with Backerupper offers enough features to satisfy the users who demand ease of use, as well as those who want a feature-rich tool.
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