Déjà Dup News

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Déjà Dup. Actually, looking back in my archives, I haven’t blogged specifically about Déjà Dup since it’s first 1.0 release. As it’s now on it’s tenth feature release, I guess it’s fitting to give some news.

Since 1.0, Déjà Dup has continued to rock. Here are some of the new features:

  • Scheduled backups
  • All sorts of crazy backends, like SSH, FTP, WebDav, or samba(!)
  • Restoring from any given point in time
  • A nautilus extension to restore files with a right click
  • Sexy awesome backup and restore wizards that guide a user through setting up a backup
  • All sorts of usability tweaks, bug fixes, and minor improvements

Anyway, the point is, I have not been idle.

And the project is definitely looking for help. If you can translate or write code, please let me know!

11 thoughts on “Déjà Dup News”

  1. My first impression of the top image: It seems somehow backwards to me. It took me a second to figure out which button did which action. This could be dangerous.

    After some thinking, I think it might be that I would expect “Backup” to be on the left and “Restore” on the right, since backing up precedes a restore.

    My gut feeling is also that the direction of the arrows should be reversed — backup should have a down arrow and restore should have an up arrow. Maybe the hard drive image should be a picture of a cloud or something, I’m not sure. My mental model is that down=save and up=load. And my analogy for backup/restore is that backing up is equivalent to saving, and restoring is equivalent to loading.

    Anyway, just my two cents.

  2. Thanks, Dave, for the suggestions. 🙂 I’m not wed to the current button layout, but the current design was intentional.

    A bug about the button order has already been filed. I’ll quote from my reply:

    “Having Backup on the left, then Restore on the right might be useful if they were usually done in sequence. Like, first you backup, then you immediately restore. But that’s not the case. Usually you want one or the other. So I designed according to how the GNOME Human Interface Guideline’s suggests dialog button should be ordered:

    “The eyes of people who read left-to-right tend towards the upper-left and lower-right corners of boxes. Therefore the action the user is most likely to perform should be located in the lower-right corner. With this button order, the action the user is most likely to perform is always in the same place and is always the most noticeable.” (http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/proposals/dialog.html)”

    As for up or down arrows, again I outsourced the decision. According to the Icon Naming Spec, there are recommended metaphors for the concepts of ‘document-send’ and ‘document-save’. They suggest that ‘send’ be an arrow pointing away from a hard drive, and ‘save’ be an arrow toward one.

    So I stole the artwork from existing icon themes and re-used them in a backup context. I’ve been looking for better replacements, something that shouts ‘I’m a backup icon’, but nobody has been able to come up with a better metaphor.

    In the icon, the hard drive is *your* hard drive, not where the data is going. I like the idea of a cloud (and then reversing the arrows because the icon would be a destination, not a source), but not all backup locations are cloud-oriented. In fact, only one supported backend is — Amazon S3.

  3. Yeah, I figured out what the icons meant. But it took me a few seconds of conscious deciphering. If you were backing up/restoring from your internal hard drive to an external one, I could see those icons being even more confusing.

  4. I can provide Japanese and Romanian translations, and assist with Chinese and French. I can also program like nobody’s business. Point me in the right direction!

  5. Hi Michael,

    Deja Dup is really refreshing comparing to complexity of other back up tools. I would just like to stress one thing that could be problematic, assuming that I got the way Deja Dup is functioning correctly.

    Deja Dup is backing up all the files in specified folder, including hidden ones. If I decide to move to newer version of Ubuntu by doing fresh install I’ll run Deja Dup and back up my whole Home folder as it contains my personal folders and files.
    After I restore my Home folder by Deja Dup on my fresh Ubuntu installation it will restore hidden files as well. Many of those hidden files can affect, and most probably will, system.
    This happened to me, I just installed new version of Ubuntu and fine tuned it for myself, then I restored Home folder (in that time I used grsync) and everything went messy. I had to do fresh installation again, and remove all hidden files from backup before restoring.
    It would be great to have option not to backup hidden files and folders in Deja Dup, it does have “Except…” option but it will not solve particular case I mentioned as I also have personal files within Home directory that I want to backup.

    Cheers mate

  6. I like to save my hidden directories, too. Deja Dup should _overwrite_ the existing hidden directories, so that it does not go messy.

  7. Just wanted to say thanks for a great piece of software. I’m new to Ubuntu and it makes it really easy for me to ensure I have my /home directory nice and safely backed up.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  8. Hi Michael,

    I’m having a lot of trouble restoring my backup. I’m trying to restore to the same location as the backup, because it’s got a lot of room. I’m not restoring on the same laptop as the backup was made on, because there isn’t enough room. Nothing has worked, except changing the location of the restore to my external drive.

    I only get a small way into the restore though, and then I get the following error. (I’ve also tried choosing an earlier backup date)

    Could you help with this please? I’m desperate to get my files back:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/duplicity”, line 1466, in
    File “/usr/bin/duplicity”, line 1459, in with_tempdir
    File “/usr/bin/duplicity”, line 1393, in main
    File “/usr/bin/duplicity”, line 687, in restore
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/patchdir.py”, line 526, in Write_ROPaths
    for ropath in rop_iter:
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/patchdir.py”, line 499, in integrate_patch_iters
    final_ropath = patch_seq2ropath( normalize_ps( patch_seq ) )
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/patchdir.py”, line 479, in patch_seq2ropath
    misc.copyfileobj( current_file, tempfp )
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/misc.py”, line 166, in copyfileobj
    buf = infp.read(blocksize)
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/librsync.py”, line 80, in read
    File “/usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/duplicity/librsync.py”, line 94, in _add_to_outbuf_once
    raise librsyncError(str(e))
    librsyncError: librsync error 103 while in patch cycle


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