Simple Backup is a combination of Linux utilities with a simple user interface for backing up one computer to local or remote storage.
Here is the feature list from the Simple Backup listing at Sourceforge.
- Creates compressed and uncompressed backups.
- Can split uncompressed backups into several chunks.
- Support of multiple backup profiles.
- Logging, email notification and status icon presenting progress and notifications.
- Scheduled backups and manual backups.
- Supports local destinations (e.g. harddisk) and remote destinations (e.g. NAS over FTP).
Simple Backup is available from Sourceforge and is listed in the Ubuntu Software Centre. Ubuntu lists Simple Backup as
Simple Backup Suite for desktop use (core functionality). I am testing with the version installed by Ubuntu.
You find the software listed under Accessories in Ubuntu. There is a backup program and a restore program. The following image shows the settings screen for the backup program.
There are seven tabs, General, Include, Exclude, Destination, Schedule, Purging, and Report.
The default for a full backup is every 7 days. The backup is uncompressed and you can change it ti gzip or bzip2. You can split backups into chunks with the 650 MB chunk aimed at backing up to CD and the 4 GB chunk aimed at backing up to DVD.
You can include files or while directories.
You can exclude files by type and other options. Excluding by type lets you exclude temporary files left by editors.
The destination can be a default local directory in the middle of the default include directory for the backup. You can also choose a local or remote directory. I can choose the external disk, as
Expansion drive, but not a directory on the disk. Weird.
The schedule screen is not usable in my tests. Something extra has to be done to switch on scheduled backups. I do not care on my notebook. I want a manual backup at my convenience, not something that suddenly starts up when I am busy.
You can set the deletion of old backups. The default is to delete anything older than 30 days. Some things I work on once per month and want the previous version so I changed the default to 100 days.
A better setup for my work would be to keep daily backups for a month and monthly backups for a year.
The Report screen lets you set logging and email reporting. Start with the default logging at the info level then move to the warning level when you are confident the backup works. Use the email option to send you alerts for backups on other machines.
There is a button on the screen menu to
Save configuration. Remember to press it after making changes.
The button after
Save configuration is
Make a backup now. Make a backup now! Go on, before you forget.
The backup will be in a directory of the format
ful means a full backup and
t2 is the system from which the backup is made.
The directory contains several files containing the information from the backup settings, a log file, and an archive file containing all the backup files. The archive is in the
Uncompressed, gzip, or bzip2
The following table shows the results from a backup of a directory with mixed content. Uncompressed is the fastest, gzip is not much different in speed and saves significant space, and bzip2 saves more space but has a significant processing overhead. I will use bzip3 and set it to run when I am doing something that does not change files.
|Uncompressed||4.0 GB||3 minutes|
|Gzip||3.1 GB||4 minutes|
|Bzip2||2.6 GB||13 minutes|
The gzip attempt crashed Linux and I had to reboot. The file appears to be complete but I cannot be sure, making the backup useless. Linux doing a
Windows? Ubuntu 12.04 is better than the previous couple of Ubuntu releases, is more reliable than Windows 7 or Vista, but is not as reliable as the last release of Windows XP, the 64 bit version.
I reran the gzip version and it finally worked.
The bzip2 version finished, reported the process was finished then sat forever without closing the indicator, suggesting another problem with the software.
I will use Simple Backup on my notebook for a while and test it with bigger backups when the files build up.