Using Aptik

Case 1: Move to the next release of your Linux distribution

If you avoid using the 6-monthly releases of Ubuntu (or any other Debian/Ubuntu-based distro) because of the hassle involved in setting up the system after installation, then Aptik provides a simple solution for this.

  1. Take a full backup with Aptik on the old system
  2. Format your system partition and do a clean install of the new version of Ubuntu
  3. Boot up the new system and do a full restore with Aptik
  • Your desktop layout, application settings, wallpapers, themes, etc.
  • Your home directory data along with everything in it — your SSH keys, application config files, documents, downloads, etc
  • Extra software repositories added by you
  • Extra packages installed by you, including Flatpak and Snap packages. It knows which packages were installed by you and which packages are part of the distribution.
  • User accounts, including login credentials and group memberships.
  • Extra cron jobs added by you (scheduled tasks and scripts)
  • Storage devices mounted to different directories using fstab/crypttab.

Case 2: Create a portable disk when travelling

Aptik is also useful when you need to create a copy of your system.

  1. Take a full backup with Aptik on your laptop or PC
  2. Format the portable hard disk or SSD and install Ubuntu on it
  3. Boot up the new system and do a full restore with Aptik

Case 3: Re-do the same setup on multiple systems

You can restore the Aptik backups on any number of machines to recreate the same setup. Want to set up 100 systems with the same apps and desktop settings? Simply set up one machine, take a backup, and restore the backup on all other machines.

Some Limitations

  • Restore must be done on a freshly-installed system. If you run the restore on an old system, you will run into issues.
  • Backup and Restore must be done on similar distributions. Taking the backup on one distribution (say, Linux Mint) and restoring it on another distribution (say, elementary OS) will work, but may not give the best results. Packages often vary between different distributions. A package that is available on one distribution may not be available on another.
  • Backup and Restore must be done on systems with similar desktop. Taking the backup on a system with one desktop (say, Linux Mint with Cinnamon desktop) and restoring it on another system with another desktop (say, Linux Mint with XFCE desktop) will not give the best results. If the desktop is different you will lose the desktop layout. Aptik will not attempt to install the original desktop.
  • As mentioned previously, Aptik does not backup everything, especially the configuration files in system directories. You need to select any additional system files and directories that you want to backup.

Taking a backup with Aptik

  • Start Aptik
  • Connect a pen drive or external hard disk and select it as the backup location. The drive must be formatted with a Linux file system (like ext3/4, btrfs, etc). Don’t use a drive formatted with Windows file systems (like FAT or NTFS).
  • Select mode — Backup
  • Click the button — Backup All Sections
  • Click the button — Start Backup
  • Wait for backup to complete. This will take 5 to 20 minutes.

More Info

Aptik v19.07

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