Aptik v19.07

Aptik v19.07 is now available.

This is a major update which adds support for Flatpak and Snap packages, and switches to Borg as a back-end for saving home directory data. The UI has been overhauled and is now more easier to use.

There are dozens of minor issues that were fixed, and dozens of improvements that were added over the last year.

What’s New

New UI

The UI has been revamped and is now much simpler to use.

Home Directory Backups

Borg-based Backup

Home directory backups now use Borg as a back-end instead of using TAR and GZip. Data will be encrypted, compressed and de-duplicated before saving to backup location. Borg is extremely efficient at archiving data. If there are multiple files in your home directory with similar contents, the common data blocks will be stored only once.

Backups are incremental. Re-running the backup is extremely fast and saves only the modified data blocks.

Encryption password and compression method can be selected from the settings window.

Exclude items in home directory

The UI now provides an option to exclude files and folders in home directory. In previous versions the exclusion list was hard-coded and UI did not have an option to add custom entries.

  • Size of backups is displayed in list for each user
  • You can use the Clean button to delete backups for all users
  • More entries have been added to list of default filters to avoid migrating junk and cache data to new system
  • Home directory backups are created with the --one-file-system option to avoid traversing into other file systems that may be mounted under sub-folders in home directory. This avoids the creation of very large backups in cases where users have mounted storage devices under their home directory.

Snap Packages (New section)

New section was added to backup and restore Snap packages.

Flatpak Packages (New section)

New section was added to backup and restore Flatpak packages.

Repositories

  • Launchpad PPAs will show “(PPA)” in name
  • Disabled repositories will show “(disabled)” in description column

Packages

  • If installation of packages fails due to an error (network connectivity issues, or if package manager is locked by another process) then it will prompt to retry installation instead of proceeding to restore remaining sections
  • Aptik can now find and exclude base distribution packages even if file initial-status.gz is missing on system

Mounts

  • fstab and crypttab files are now copied to backup location without splitting into separate files for each entry
  • Swap file entries will be excluded to avoid issues
  • Restore view now displays a combined view of existing and new entries. What you see in the list is exactly what will be written to fstab and crypttab files when you click the Restore button (previously it only displayed new entries from backup). Items displayed in green are existing entries and items in grey are new entries from backup file. Un-check any entries that you don’t want to be written to the fstab and crypttab file.

Users & Groups

  • passwd, shadow, group, gshadow files are now copied to backup location without splitting into separate files for each entry
  • Fixed a critical issue while updating group memberships. Existing users were sometimes removed from system groups which can cause problems.

Scheduled Tasks

  • When saving cron scripts from system folders (/etc/cron.d*), any scripts that were created by the system will be excluded from backup, and only user-created scripts will be included. This avoid any issue caused by unnecessary scripts being copied to the new system.
  • File permissions will be fixed for restored scripts if they are incorrect

Icons & Themes

Backup will be skipped if the theme already exists in backup location. This saves time when backup is run again.

System Files (New section)

  • Added new section for saving system files and folders to backup location. You can add any files and folders that you wish to move to the new system.
  • Borg will be used as back-end for archiving data
  • Some entries are already added for taking backup of Python packages (installed with pip) and nodejs packages (installed with npm). You can add your own entries to the list.

Scripts (New section)

A new section was added for executing scripts after restore. You can add custom bash scripts to this section for carrying out any post-restore cleanup and other activities. Scripts will be executed after restoring all other sections.

Common

  • Improved logging – Logs are saved automatically whenever you execute a backup or restore action from the GUI. Logs are saved to the backup location so that they are not lost after you reinstall the system.
  • Improved terminal – The terminal window now supports copy/paste and saving output to text file. The font size can be adjusted if you have difficulty reading smaller fonts. If you resize the terminal window, the window size will be retained when you run the application again.
  • Improved selections – When you click the individual buttons for Repositories, Packages, etc and select/unselect items from the list, the selection will be maintained when you exit the app and run it again. UI selections are saved to a file named selections.list in the backup location along with the backup.
  • Aptik now supports all Ubuntu releases from 16.04 (Xenial) to 19.04 (Disco). It also supports Debian 9 (Stretch) and Debian 10 (Buster). Support has been dropped for Fedora and Arch Linux.

Purchase

Starting with this release Aptik is moving to a paid licensing model.

A personal license for Aptik is available for $25. This is a single-user license that is valid for lifetime, and includes future updates.

Buy License

22 thoughts on “Aptik v19.07

  1. Sir could you tell me if Aptik is a replacement for timeshift? I use timeshift now but trying to figure out if I need to really run both of them? I realize that you shouldn’t use timeshift with home directory that’s why I am asking. Thanks in advance.

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    1. None of these tools are replacements for each other.

      Timeshift is designed to repair your system by keeping a backup of system files. It will blindly backup and restore system files. It doesn’t understand anything about packages, repositories, etc.

      Aptik is designed to move your data to another system. It can be used when reinstalling, or moving to the next release of Ubuntu. It is not designed for repairing a broken system. If your system is broken, you will have to reformat your disk, reinstall Ubuntu, and then restore backups with Aptik. Aptik will restore items one by one by installing missing packages, adding missing respositories, creating missing users, extracting data to home directory, etc.

      Timeshift and Aptik are backup tools designed for a special purpose. These are not general-purpose tools. Examples of general-purpose tools are BorgBackup and Deja-Dup. You can select specific folders to backup, extract specific folders, keep multiple levels of snapshots, schedule backups, upload backups to cloud storage, etc.

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  2. I am using Kubuntu 18.04.2 LTS. If i buy a single-user licence for Aptik will i be able to download a deb file to install version 19.06? Don’t want to have to install from source code. Thank you.

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  3. Tony, I have been having a hard time getting a straight answer on how to properly migrate my settings after changing the partitioning scheme on my Linux Mint 19.1. I’d previously had Windows 10 dual boot, and my gut is that the drive and MBR are a bit of a mess as my attempts at cloning via DD, Clonezilla, and Macrium have all not properly been restorable. I just bought another SSD of the same size, so I’m thinking that I would install 19.1 new on there and then use Aptik to backup the existing and restore to the new drive (including home). Will this work as i’m suggesting? I’m more than happy to pay the $25 for the peace of mind 🙂

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    1. If you are able to boot into the existing system for taking backups, then Aptik will work. Do a full backup on the existing system and restore it on the fresh system on the new SSD.

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      1. One more question. Since I have 19.1 and 19.2 just came out, should I install 19.1 on new first, restore back up, then upgrade?

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  4. It’s nice to see that you added the ability to exclude things from the /home directory. For example, I don’t need to copy everything in my Dropbox folder, since I can just re-install Dropbox and it will do the job. But it’s unclear from the description here if I can also exclude things from Packages.

    I am moving from Linux mint 18.3 to 19.2. I’ve been getting some weird behavior in 18.3… maybe the hard drive is going bad; maybe I have too much crud installed.

    So, “cruft” removal is an important goal. I installed Linux Mint 19.2 on a different hard drive, ran the Aptik back up to a USB drive (that took about 3 hours), then restored to the empty hard drive. Restore took about 2 hours.

    I notice zillions of apps being (re) installed. I probably no longer care about 2/3 of them!

    The restored system DID boot, so that’s a win. Only a brief look, but some things did not active or come across. Active startup items became inactive (a small problem) and a calendar app, “Rainlendar.”

    Mysteriously, SOMETHING that was reinstalled broke the keyboard shortcut CTL + ALT + END, which evokes the Session window that asks “Shut down your system now?” That WAS working on the fresh install of 19.2, but was not working after the Aptik restore. Nor does it work on the source machine (Linux Mint 18.3).

    I can’t imagine how I might track this down, but clearly one was is to restore as little as possible, hoping the problem was one of my experimental installations or downloads.

    Thanks!

    eo

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    1. Are you using the free version or the paid version?

      When you restore your “Home Data” you are also restoring your local config files. So any problems that were caused by your local settings will also be migrated to your new system.

      Try excluding all hidden directories like “.config” and “.local” in Home. Also skip the restore for Dconf Settings. This will keep the fresh settings from the newly-installed system, but you will lose your desktop layout and local app settings.

      For packages, click the “APT packages” button in the GUI. It will show the extra apps intalled by you. Unselect any apps that you don’t want to restore.

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  5. Tony,

    Nice app – very useful.

    Question: I’m running MX Linux which doesn’t use PPA’s. If I purchase aptik 19.2 will I be able to update, from a .deb perhaps?

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    1. An APT repository is available for receiving updates. Once you add the repo, Aprtik will be updated automatically when you update your system.

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  6. I’m presently using Aptik v18.8.2, and have several backups safely stored. If I upgrade to the newer paid version, will it be backward compatible with my stored backups? Or will both versions reside on my computer until I have a chance to completely transition to a set of backups prepared by the new version?

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    1. The paid version of Aptik is not compatible with backups created by free version. It uses Borg for taking home directory backups instead of just zipping the data. There are many other changes which break compatibility.
      Note: The free version is unmaintained and has plenty of issues that were fixed in later versions. Avoid using it if possible.

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