How-To Geek

Backup Your Ubuntu Machine Easily with SBackup

Your computer’s data is very critical and losing it can can occur due to variety of reasons. A complete (or even partial) backup of your system is always a good idea. SBackup is a tool that’ll help you backup and restore data on your Ubuntu machine with utmost ease.

SB Backup

SBackup is a simple backup solution for the Ubuntu desktop. It allows you to backup selected files and directories, define the file size limit, use regular expressions to exclude files and folders, and much more. These backups can then be saved locally, on removal media or even on remote directory. Let’s see how to install and configure SBackup for creating a backup and restore solution for an Ubuntu machine.

Install SBackup

Type the following command to install SBackup on your Ubuntu machine:

sudo apt-get install sbackup


Backing up using SBackup

Once installed SBackup will be available under System \ Administration \ Simple Backup Config.


SBackup window will look like the one below:


As you can see on the first tab “General”, there are 3 options for making backup. Depending on your need you can choose the one that you want to use. It can be used in 3 modes.

1. Use recommended backup settings

    Has all the default settings. All you have to do is click “Backup now” button to backup the default files and folders.

2. Use custom backup settings

    This one is for custom backups where the user can define what she/he wants to backup on a regular basis. This setting can be configured for automatic backups

3. Manual backups only

    This option should be used if you do not want to have regular automatic backups. You can backup manually whenever you think you need backups.

However, for the sake of this demo let’s use “Use custom backup settings”.

The next tab is “include” which let’s you define the folders and files you want to include while creating a backup. You can click add a file or folder by clicking the respective buttons.


The third tab is “exclude”. Here you can define, path, filetypes, regex and maximum size for exclusion criteria. For example you have added a directory included for backup, but you don’t want to backup files larger than 50 MB, you can use the exclude tab to define it.


The fourth tab is “Destination”. This one is used to define the destination location where you want to save the backup file.


As you can see there are 3 options for setting up destination backup location. The first one is the default location /var/backup/. The second option can be used to define the custom backup destination. The third option is used when you want the backup destination on a remote location.

The fifth tab is to set up schedule of backup. This one is pretty self explanatory.


The last tab “purging” is about how the old backup files will be handled. You can choose from one of the 2 options. In my case I am leaving it as the default selection which is Logarithmic (Recommended).


We are done with configuring all the settings. All that is left is to click the “Save” button for the backup settings to be effective. However, you can also click “Backup Now !” button to make an instant backup.


Restoring from a backup

In order to restore from an existing backup go to System \ Administration \ System Backup Restore.


Select from the available backups, the one that you want to restore.


If you are looking for a quality backup app for your Linux desktop, SBackup is a great choice.


Vivek fills our weekly guest spot with tales of Linux and open source goodness. You can also find him writing on his personal blog,

  • Published 11/6/09

Comments (14)

  1. Chris

    I think the install command in “sudo apt-get install sbackup”

  2. Miguel

    Have you tried deja dup?… Could you do a comparision?

  3. Jason

    >Posted by Chris
    >I think the install command in “sudo apt-get install sbackup”

    Yes, you are right. I will be emailing them.

  4. Mysticgeek

    @Chris and Jason:

    Thanks for pointing that out. We made the correction. I am glad someone is keeping us on our toes!

  5. Mohan

    This can be installed via the Software Center, and I have used it before and it works well!

  6. Tusker

    I have done it using software center and it works well that way. Nonetheless it is a very useful application.

  7. Santo

    sudo apt-get install sbackup command worked for me.

  8. edward

    I installed sbackup and performed a test of its ability to restore applications. I used recommended backup settings to make my initial backup. I then deleted several applications such as totem etc. I then attempted to restore them from backup. I restored all files in recommended backup settings. None of the programs worked or reappeared in their normal places but did show up in the synaptic package manager. I could not reinstall or delete them,when i tried I got an error message. Luckily the partition was backed up with paragon drive backup and I restored it. I did successfully restore system settings panels,and personal files. I am concerned that even if i don’t use sbackup to restore applications which i probably wouldn’t ,using it could cause me to not be able to reinstall programs I uninstalled before a backup and restore. Am I doing something wrong? Any solutions? Thanks.

  9. Mahmoud

    can i use norton ghost for the same job ??

  10. Kanj

    Is there a way to backup all the Ubuntu OS files and installed applications only? Fact of the matter is that I had Ubuntu 9.10 and I upgraded to 10.04. I don’t have a bootable installer for 10.04 so when I’d format and reinstall I’d be back to 9.10 and I don’t want to download 1 GB of packages to upgrade again.

  11. vonvon

    how to backup full system image

  12. bassman22

    Is it possible to make a full system image? It’s just that it’s taken me a very long time to set up Ubuntu just the way I like it, so I’d like to keep a system image in case I buy a new PC.

  13. Skeletor

    Nice post – a ton of thx

  14. hallari

    Thanks for this explanation, helped a lot.

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