Aptik v19.07

Tony George
5 min readJul 19, 2019

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.


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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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