Back In Time Documentation

Back In Time Documentation
Back In Time Documentation
Release 1.1.12
Germar Reitze
December 22, 2016
Contents
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Contents:
1.1 Main Window .
1.2 Settings . . . . .
1.3 Snapshots Dialog
1.4 Log . . . . . . .
Introduction
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CHAPTER 1
Contents:
1.1 Main Window
1.1.1 Overview
1.1.2 Main Toolbar
Take Snapshot Take a new Snapshot in background. The main window can be closed during taking the snapshot.
You can alternative take a new Snapshot with checksums option enabled. This will calculate checksums for
every file to decide if the file has changed. Normal behavior is to only compare files size and modification time.
This takes a lot more time but it will make sure, the destination files won’t be corrupt.
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Refresh Snapshots List Refresh the Snapshots in Timeline.
Snapshot Name Add a name for a Snapshot so you can easily identify it later. If Don’t remove named
snapshots in Settings → Auto Remove is enabled this will also prevent the Snapshot from being removed.
If this button is grayed out you need to select a snapshot in Timeline.
Remove Snapshot Remove one or more Snapshots from Timeline. Now can not be removed as this is no Snapshot
but the live view of the local file-system.
If this button is grayed out you need to select a snapshot in Timeline.
View Snapshot Log View the log of the selected Snapshot.
If this button is grayed out you need to select a snapshot in Timeline.
View Last Log View the log from the last snapshot attempt.
Settings Open Settings.
Shutdown System after Snapshot has finished Shutdown the computer and poweroff after a snapshot has finished.
The main window must stay open for this. If shutdown is not supported on the system this button will be grayed
out.
Exit Close the main window. Running Snapshots will remain in background.
Help Menu with links to this help, FAQ, report bugs...
1.1.3 Files Toolbar
Up Go to the parent folder.
Show hidden files Toggle hidden files (starting with a dot) to be shown in files view.
Restore Restore selected files or folders. This button has a sub-menu (hold down the button). Default action is
Restore.
If this button is grayed out you need to select a snapshot in Timeline.
Restore Restore the selected files or folders to the original destination.
Restore to... Restore the selected files or folders to a new destination.
Restore ‘/path’ Restore the currently shown folder and all its content to the original destination.
Restore ‘/path’ to... Restore the currently shown folder and all its content to a new destination.
Snapshots Open Snapshots Dialog.
1.1.4 Timeline
The Timeline lists all Snapshots which where already taken. You can browse them to see its contents in right hand
Files View. The first item Now is not a Snapshot. It is a live view on the local file-system. It shows exact the same as
your normal file browser. Multi selection is possible to remove multiple Snapshots altogether.
1.1.5 Files View
Depending on selection in left hand Timeline this will either show the original files or the files in the selected snapshot.
You can jump directly to your home or include folders in Shortcuts.
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1.1.6 Statusbar
Show current status. While a snapshot is running this will show a progress-bar combined with current speed, already
transfered data and the last message from rsync.
1.2 Settings
1.2.1 Profile
1.2.2 General
You can choose which mode Back in Time should use to store snapshots.
Available modes:
• Local
• Local Encrypted
• SSH
• SSH Encrypted
Local
Local snapshots can be stored on internal or external hard-drive or on mounted shares. The destination file-system
must support hard-links. Also the protocol used to mount the remote share must support hard-links and symlinks.
By default Samba (SMB/CIFS) servers doesn’t support symlinks (can be activated with follow symlinks =
yes and wide links = yes in /etc/samba/smb.conf). sshfs mounted shares doesn’t support hard-links.
1.2. Settings
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Choose the destination path for snapshots with the Folder button (to show hidden files use CTRL + H or context menu
with right mouse button). Back in Time will create sub-folders backintime/<HOST>/<USER>/<PROFILE>/
inside that folder. Snapshots will be placed inside the <PROFILE>/ folder.
Local Encrypted
Local Encrypted works like Local but the snapshots will be stored encrypted with EncFs. The encrypted folder will
be created automatically inside the selected folder.
Warning: A recent security audit revealed several possible attack vectors for EncFs.
From https://defuse.ca/audits/encfs.htm:
EncFS is probably safe as long as the adversary only gets one copy of the ciphertext and nothing more.
EncFS is not safe if the adversary has the opportunity to see two or more snapshots of the ciphertext
at different times. EncFS attempts to protect files from malicious modification, but there are serious
problems with this feature.
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This might be a problem with Back In Time snapshots.
Enter the password for EncFs in Encryption. The password can be stored in users keyring. The keyring is
unlocked with the users password during login. When running a scheduled backup-job while the user is not logged in
the keyring is not available. For this case, the password can be cached in memory by Back in Time.
SSH
This mode will store snapshots on a remote host which is available through SSH. It will run rsync directly on the
remote host which makes it a lot faster than syncing to a local mounted share.
In order to use this mode the remote host need to be in your known_hosts file. You need to have a public/private
SSH key pair installed on the remote host. Starting with Back in Time version 1.2.0 this will be done automatically.
For versions lower than 1.2.0 you need to do this manually:
• if you did not login into the remote host before you need to run ssh USER@HOST in Terminal. You will be asked to confirm the fingerprint of the remote host-key with yes. In order to
compare the host-key you need to login to the remote host locally and run ssh-keygen -l -f
/etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key.pub. The fingerprint from this output must match the fingerprint you
got asked above. You can exit immediately after this.
• generate a new public/private SSH key with ssh-keygen. Press Enter to accept the default path and enter a
password for the new key (this has nothing to do with your user-password on the remote host).
• run ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub USER@HOST to install the newly created key on the remote host. For the last time you need to enter the login password for the remote user. If successful you should
now be able to log in without being asked for your login password.
1.2. Settings
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Enter the name or IP-address of the remote host in Host and the port of the remote SSH-server in Port (default 22).
User need to be the remote user. Path can be empty to place the snapshot folder directly into remote users home
folder. Relative paths without leading slash (foo/bar/) will be sub-folders of users home. Paths with leading slash
(/mnt/foo/bar/) will be absolute.
In Cipher you can choose the cipher (algorithm used to encrypt) for SSH transfer. Depending on the involved
systems it could be faster to select a different cipher than default. Some of them might not work because they are
known to be insecure. You can run backintime benchmark-cipher to compare transfer speed of all ciphers.
In Private Key you need to select your private SSH key. If this does not yet exist, you can create a new public/private SSH key without password by clicking on
Enter the private key password in SSH private key (this is the password you chose above during creating the
public/private key pair, not the login password for the remote user). The password can be stored in users keyring. The
keyring is unlocked with the users password during login. When running a scheduled backup-job while the user is not
logged in, the keyring is not available. For this case, the password can be cached in memory by Back in Time.
SSH Encrypted
SSH Encrypted will work like SSH but the snapshots will be stored encrypted using encfs --reverse. Back in
Time will mount an encrypted view of the local root file-system (/) and sync it with rsync to the remote host. As
Back in Time will backup the encrypted files, all logs and status messages will show cypher text.
Warning: A recent security audit revealed several possible attack vectors for EncFs.
From https://defuse.ca/audits/encfs.htm:
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EncFS is probably safe as long as the adversary only gets one copy of the ciphertext and nothing more.
EncFS is not safe if the adversary has the opportunity to see two or more snapshots of the ciphertext
at different times. EncFS attempts to protect files from malicious modification, but there are serious
problems with this feature.
This might be a problem with Back In Time snapshots.
Additional to those settings from SSH you need to provide a password for encryption.
Advanced
Host, User and Profile will be filled automatically (must not be empty). They are used for the snapshot path
backintime/<HOST>/<USER>/<PROFILE>/. The full snapshot path will be shown below. You can change
them to match paths from other machines.
Schedule
You can choose between couple different schedules which will automatically start a new snapshot. Most of them will
use crontab to set up new schedules. You can use crontab -l to view them or crontab -e to edit.
• At every boot/reboot: start a new snapshot immediately after startup. This will add a @reboot <COMMAND>
line in crontab. Wake up from suspend/hibernate will not trigger this schedule.
• Every X minutes: start a new snapshot every 5, 10 or 30 minutes. This will add a line */<X> * * * *
<COMMAND> in crontab.
• Every hour: start a new snapshot on every full hour. This will add a line 0 * * * * <COMMAND> in
crontab.
1.2. Settings
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• Every X hours: start a new snapshot every 2, 4, 6 or 12 hours at the full hour (e.g. at 0:00, 6:00, 12:00 and
18:00 with schedule Every 6 hours). This will add a line 0 */<X> * * * <COMMAND> in crontab. If the
computer is not running at scheduled time there will be no new snapshot. This will not resume after switching
on again.
• Custom Hours: define custom pattern for crontab. This can be either a comma separated list of
hours (e.g 0,10,13,15,17,20,23) or */<X> (e.g. */3) for periodic schedules. This will add a line 0
0,10,13,15,17,20,23 * * * <COMMAND> in crontab. If the computer is not running at scheduled
time there will be no new snapshot. This will not resume after switching on again.
• Every Day: start a new snapshot on a configurable time on every day. If the computer is not running at the
configured time there will be no new snapshot for the day.
• Repeatedly (anacron): this schedule will start new snapshots after a configurable time (hours, days or weeks)
when the last snapshot was done before this delay. This will also work when the system was powered off. It
does imitate anacron but doesn’t use it. Instead Back in Time writes it’s own time-stamp after each successful
snapshot and add a crontab job which will start Back in Time every 15min (or every hour if configured for
weeks). If the configured delay is not done yet it will just exit immediately. If an error occurred during taking
the snapshot it won’t write a new time-stamp and so will try again after 15min/one hour.
• When drive get connected (udev): this schedule will start a new snapshot as soon as the
USB/eSATA/Firewire drive get connected. You can configure a delay (hours, days or weeks like in
schedule Repeatedly) so it won’t start on every new connection. This will add a new udev rule in
/etc/udev/rules.d/99-backintime-<USER>.rules using the partitions UUID. If using KDE you
need to enable auto-mount for the device in System-Settings.
• Every Week: start a new snapshot on a configurable week-day/time every week. If the computer is not running
at the configured time there will be no new snapshot for the week.
• Every Month: start a new snapshot on a configurable day/time every month. If the computer is not running at
the configured time there will be no new snapshot for the month.
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1.2. Settings
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1.2.3 Include
1.2.4 Exclude
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List only different Snapshots If checked only Snapshots with different file versions will be shown below.
List only equal Snapshots to If checked only Snapshots with file versions equal to the Snapshot on the right will be
shown below.
Deep check Calculate checksums to decide if file versions are equal or different with List only different
Snapshots or List only equal Snapshots to. This takes a lot more time but is more accurate, too.
Restore Restore the file/folder from the selected Snapshot. Will be grayed out if Now or multiple Snapshots are
selected.
Delete Delete the file/folder from one or multiple selected Snapshots. Will be grayed out if Now is selected.
Select All Select all Snapshots except Now.
Snapshots Lists all Snapshots which contain the file/folder. Can be filtered with List only different
Snapshots or List only equal Snapshots to.
Diff Open a Side-by-Side view of the file/folder in the Snapshot above and the Snapshot in the right hand selection.
Diff Options Change the Program which is used for the Side-by-Side view with Diff. You can use %1 and %2 for
the paths of both Snapshots.
Go To Return to the Main Window and show the file in the above selected Snapshot.
1.3. Snapshots Dialog
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1.4 Log
1.4.1 Last Log View
1.4.2 Snapshot Log View
1.4. Log
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CHAPTER 2
Introduction
Back In Time is a simple backup solution for Linux Desktops. It is based on rsync and uses hard-links to reduce
space used for unchanged files. It comes with a Qt5 GUI which will run on both Gnome and KDE based Desktops.
Back In Time is written in Python3 and is licensed under GPL2.
Backups are stored in plain text. They can be browsed with a normal file-browser or in Terminal which makes it
possible to restore files even without Back in Time. Files ownership, group and permissions are stored in a separate
compressed plain text file (fileinfo.bz2). If the backup drive does not support permissions Back in Time will
restore permissions from fileinfo.bz2. So if you restore files without Back in Time, permissions could get lost.
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