Profiles for different target locations

Bug #324631 reported by libertarian on 2009-02-02
This bug affects 112 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Déjà Dup

Bug Description

Use case: I would like to backup my data every evening on my usb flash drive to save bandwidth and weekly on Amazon S3 in case of the house burning down.

Thank you for the software.

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

That's a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

The trick is making it easy to set that up with the UI. I'll have to think about it.

Changed in deja-dup:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
mb (maxbloemer) wrote :

maybe with "scheduled tasks"?

libertarian (david-treumann) wrote :

You mean gnome-schedule?

I thought about something similar. Use a little script that asks, maybe with the help of zenity, which of the two targets should be used and changes the gconf preferences of Déjà Dup accordingly. Then it starts Déjà Dup. But maybe there would be a problem to use the schedule function of Déjà Dup for the daily backups?

Another way:
Default would be the local backup on the usb flash drive with the schedule function of Déjà Dup and whenever I want to backup to Amazon S3 I would manually run a script that changes the preferences and after finishing reverts them to the default ones.

Vincent Tschanz (fogia) wrote :

Here is a draw of how I see profiles in Déjà-Dup :

Main window :

"Preferences" becomes "Sessions manager" :

To keep the maximum of simplicity, the "add" button on the main window can be removed, and sessions can be added only with the session manager.

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

Adding to bug so the pictures don't go away.

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :
apeacox (apeacox) wrote :

+1 for this idea ;)

thank you,

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

In practice, one generally just wants 'remote' and 'local' profiles. Restricting support to two profiles might be able to buy us something in terms of simple UI.

Matej Kovacic (matej-kovacic) wrote :

Yes. profiles (sessions) would be nice. At the end of Preferences windows user should be able to save profile and profile will be seen (and selected) as described above.

Why is that important? For instance - I would like to backup my files regulary to Ubuntu One, but sometimes manually to external hard disk. And I have some special directory let's say it is called "projects", which I would like to backup to a second external drive when new project is finished.

Using multiple profiles (for backuping differend directories to different storages) would solve that problems for me.

BeowulfOF (beowulfof) wrote :

Being able to us multiple profiles in Deja Dup would be charming. But please do not restrict the number of profiles, it is only a self-made restriction with no point to it.

Daniel Stoyanov (dankh) wrote :

+1 for this, it's the only feature I miss from this great app.

Thanks for the work done so far.

Jugney (jugney) wrote :


My main need for this is the fact that I backup my personal files as well as some websites I work on, but don't want to back them all up at the same time.

Sergey Klimov (nbdarvin) wrote :

please assign to me

Sergey Klimov (nbdarvin) wrote :

ow, it is on vala (( sorry, do not assign me please (

Michael Terry (mterry) wrote :

After much consideration, I'm marking this Won't Fix. Here's one section from Déjà Dup's Mission Statement (

"Trying to be everyone's One True Backup Solution is doomed to failure. The best experience can be crafted by targeting a specific audience or use case.

Déjà Dup aims squarely at the casual GNOME desktop user. It will take advantage of the GNOME environment to offer an integrated solution. It is not designed for system administrators, but rather the less technically savvy."

I don't see how this profiles feature fits that focus. Supporting it would add a burden of UI complication, development time, testing time, and maintenance effort as there will most certainly be bugs. These distract from the core focus of offering a simple, first-class backup experience for the 80% use case. The biggest 'competitor' (Apple's Time Machine) does not offer profiles AFAIK.

I'm willing to offer advice/assistance to someone interesting in making/forking a Super Duper Backup App for more advanced use cases. For the interested, the various mockups for this feature are documented here:

But for the foreseeable future, this is not in the DD roadmap.

Changed in deja-dup:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Kip Warner (kip) wrote :

Different profiles is definitely something needed. As an example, I would have one for offsite and another for local to an external drive.

Daniel Stoyanov (dankh) wrote :

Every coherent backup scheme even the "simplest" one integrates 2 backup locations. Offering the casual GNOME desktop user the ability to apply professional backup scheme can be a big plus to DD. It's also important to educate the same less technically savvy what is a "good backup".

Maybe we must turn this feature into 2 backup locations and not "profiles" feature, if it's easier to implement. Apply the same pass/gpg and include/excude rules for the 2 locations, it's more replication then "configure a second backup".

Fabio Machado (fabio-machado) wrote :

+1 for this idea!

I don't see how difficult the implementation of this idea could be for any kind of user. You could let a "Default" profile set up by default and only the "advanced" users would bother messing with it. This way it would attend the mission of the software, to be simple... and also the desire of the truly fans of this amazing, essential backup software!

Thanks in advance Michael, and a Happy New Year to everyone.

ceg (ceg) wrote :

Doesn't duplicity provide some profile functionallity?

Aren't the options used saved in the corresponding archive dir (.duplicity/archive/<name>) that duplicity will create?

ceg (ceg) wrote :

DD is already capable to back up to different locations, however the UI could be improved slightly.

Backing up to different locations is possible by changing the destination in the preferences. I just tested that deja-dup picks up on existing backups correctly, if there is one, and does an incremental backup.

My suggestion to simplify the UI would be to make the schedule a property of the destination, and move the scheduling settings from the separate scheduling tab onto the storage tab. Additionally, in the backup dialog (summary), the destination could be made editable as well (basicly showing the storage tab of the preferences).

ceg (ceg) wrote :

The UI could even be streamlined further, if the options could be changed in the backup dialog:

You could fully replace the edit -> properties menu entry, in fact the whole deja-dup main window could be turned into a single small tray icon or nice desklet. Then if you click the DD button, the settings window opens, and provides you the choice to make a backup now, or to restore files, from the chosen destination.

ceg (ceg) wrote :

Considering deja-dup can well be switched between different destinations, and it's only the UI that does not make it easy to have two destinations and associated scheduling options, and that there is a common safety need to backup to multiple destinations, and even about dozen people already cared enough to find this issue and set it as affecting them, could you reconsider the "won't fix" status?

Different Destinations may be represented by tabs in the UI. To define another destination, just have the user open (+) a new tab. Personally, I first prefered the old UI with all settings concerning a backup in one window, instead of spread accross tabs you can never see all at the same time. However now, showing the common (file) options in the upper part of the window, and the destination tabs below, seems just right.

Anttix (anttix) wrote :

I shall second to the idea.

Let's not call the feature profiles, call it tasks.

For example:

* Alice has loads of videos and music stored in her home directory.
* This is a large amount of data that can't be backed up offsite in a reasonable time.
* She doesn't care too much about that stuff either
* However, her documents are very valuable to her
* Alice can set up two different deja-dup tasks to meet her needs
   - Task 1, run daily, will back up her documents to Amazon S3
   - Task 2, run weekly, will back up her videos and music to an external drive

* Bob is very paranoid about data loss, his files are very dear to him
* He is worried that he can lose work if his backup server is down or
  remote backup fails because of a network outage.
* Bob sets up two tasks in his deja-dup
  - Task 1, run daily will back up to a WebDAV server in his office
  - Task 2, run daily will back up to his Amazon S3 account

* Jack is terminally paranoid, he wants his files spread up all over the place so that nobody but him
  has a full copy. Plain old encryption is just not good enough for Jack
* Jack sets up 10 deja-dup tasks to back up his files to 10 different locations.

mallangong (mail-mallangong) wrote :

Thanks for the software, sorry to see this is set to 'won't fix'. This would be a great feature, even if was just 2 or 3 locations on the Storage page. (perhaps a tick box to 'backup to multiple locations?'). On-site, off-site seems to be a standard backup principle.

Michael Terry said in comment #15:
"I'm willing to offer advice/assistance to someone interesting in making/forking a Super Duper Backup App for more advanced use cases. For the interested, the various mockups for this feature are documented here:"

That URL tells people to go to:

But that URL is also empty.

For those playing along at home, the page has moved to:


Augusto (augusto.rendon) wrote :

I would love to see multiple profiles too. E.g.

Profile A (really critical stuff)
Backup some critical folders (emails, work, notes, ...) to a web service daily

Profile B (less critical but would help to recover in case of disaster)
Backup the complete home directory once a week to an external drive.


scw (shaun-walbridge) wrote :


I also think that this feature would be a great addition: I can't afford to regularly back up my VM to the cloud (a large binary blob with many changes) but do want to do so regularly to a USB disk, as sounds like a common workflow in the comments above. I respect Déjà Dup's strong focus on a few core features, but on a list of potential future improvements, I think this would be a great addition.

Fabien Toral (malibug) wrote :


I like the idea of profiles/tasks because i've several locations where i can backup and different level of importance on what i want to backup.
It could be an "advanced" usage, but for my Father wich is not a computer specialist or other users in my circle, they have the same requirements.
The current option in DD forces us to select what to not backup : you backup all or you does'nt backup at all, or use another tool for other backup option...

Tadeáš Pařík (pariktadeas) wrote :

This idea is really nice. Now I can create my backups manually, but if it would be possible automatically with multiple profiles... Thanks.

timbo (timbolino) wrote :

This would be really great. For example one profile that backs up to the cloud (only the most important data) and one profile for the external hd backup.

dc (darkcharl) wrote :


Daan W. (bubukind) wrote :

While I understand that this is not a feature every user needs I would very much appreciate it being reconsidered. That 20% of Users starts to amount to many people as Linux and Ubuntu grow.

KaiO (kaio-okai) wrote :

I second this suggestion.
There is a need to differentiate between frequency and destination for different types of data.
Being able to have multiple backup profiles would make my life much easier.
But Deja Dup is still great today - so thanks to the developers!

typo (gnomeuser8) wrote :

I like to backup to my MyBookLive network storage plus my cloud storage.

Ken (kkinder) wrote :

Even setting aside "profiles", I urge you to reopen this if only for supporting multiple backup destinations.

To Deja Dup's mission statement:

"No Compromises - Nor is backing up a binary, either-you-do-it-or-you-don't action. Backups can be more or less 'safe.' They can and ideally should be: [off-site, encrypted, regular, easy]"

By preventing me from backing up to a removable storage some of the time, and to the cloud when I can, the net result is that I'm really less likely to back up at all. With even a modest photo or music collection Ubuntu One and S3 can both be prohibitively expensive for all data, so mixing and matching offers the safest solution for most users.

I sure hope you'll reconsider.

I prefer to do backups both to cloud and a USB disk. Reasons:

* The USB disk is fast to backup to, and fast to restore from. If my internet connection is down, I can still restore. If my cloud provider is down / goes bankrupt / is hacked, I can still restore.

* Backing up over the cloud means I get "instant" backups even if I forget to plug in my USB disk for some time (we're all lazy with these tasks), and my cloud provider probably has its servers in some vault, safe from fires, electrical surges and whatnot. It takes a bit of time and money to restore though (and to run the initial backup).

Backup should always be both on-site and off-site. With only USB, my single drive could be faulty and I might not even know it. With only cloud, and a slow upload link, it may be months before the first backup has run, in which my data will be in danger in case my drive has a a failure / is stolen within that time.

Piotr (piotrtokaj) wrote :

Highly support this. Cloud + server + usb backup all at once (or at least two of those). I often travel with my hard drive and my laptop, so if something goes terribly wrong, I don't have anything to fallback on. I want to have an option to back up to a remote location, for safety, as well as to a USB, for speed.

Marcos Alano (mhalano) wrote :

I like to say a like to do a full backup to my USB hard drive and backup some very important files to online services too.

Ricky-burg (ricky-burg) wrote :

That is a ridiculous reason to not implement this feature. Some people would consider deja-dup *broken* simply because it can only support one backup destination, which fails to provide a personal backup solution that could even be considered safe.

This really needs reconsideration.

Viale Fabrice (viale-fabrice) wrote :

I have just tested and imediately stopped to use DejaDup. Mission statement is either bad or your interpretation of it is wrong. Aanyway, I don't trust you now. I support developpers that are not able to develop because they lack of time, money... and avoid those who lacks opened minds whatever their works, which ultimately serve always nothing over time.

Kip Warner (kip) wrote :

I'm in agreement. Multiple profiles isn't really an obscure feature request for only a handful of people, but is something reasonable you'd already expect out of the box by now. This is why unfortunately I don't use DD, but still rely on a tried and true rsync script to both local and off site encrypted drives.

ceg (ceg) wrote :

For what it's worth, it happended that in the end I also actually just never used DD.

Unfortunately, this seems comparable to how GNOME began cut down on functionality and causing regressions, and me also ended up switching to projects that stayed with important reasonable features, rather than hyping around.

And for remote backups, storebackup or obnam may actually even be better suited backends.

aldebx (aldebx) wrote :

@mterry, select a new backup destination in Apple Time Machine and the software will ask if you want to use multiple external hard disks for backing up the system. This is a sensible feature that Dejadup has been lacking for 8 years now due to a short sighted vision.

Allowing for multiple backup destinations is an important feature for linux user profiles. Calling linux OS users "casual" is a mistake. Windows OS users might be, instead, using linux is a deliberate choice whose lynchpin is reliability. No sensible user who cares about data resilience would trust one backup medium only.

Please reconsider this decision and implement multiple concurrent backup mediums.

Marcos Alano (mhalano) wrote :

I think too the position should be reviewed. It is extremely important to teach the users, even the beginners who use Déja Dup, how to create, implement, and maintain a good backup plan. And the 3-2-1 rule is very important and with multiple profiles should be a piece of cake implement that rule in a good manner.

Matej Kovacic (matej-kovacic) wrote :

I am also asking to reconsider this feature.

Apple TimeMachine allows you to select several backup locations and it is simple even for non-technical users.

Anyway, we all know that disks can fail and tha remote backup is important (in case of fire, earthquake,...). And there are several cloud storage providers around.

BTW, TimeMachine is able to backup:
a) data of all users on a system
b) system data

It is also very well integrated in, so you can revert back to deleted maps/e-mails) directly from

It would be great if DejaDup OR some other software would be able to do similar thing in Linux.

I know it is not a simple task (people are using ecrypted filesystems on their home directories), but it would be great for set-and-forget. Because right now, this is not so easy if there are multiple users on a computer.

Why? You must set DejaDup for each and every user, and if you are backing up to external disk you have a problem with folder rights. It is not something that cannot be solved, but for non-technical people could be complicated ("why I cannot use the same ext4 USB disk as the other user? I have ho rights on the disk???").

Jose Espinosa (jhespinosa) wrote :

+1 I also will like this feature. I will use deja-dup for my on-site and off-site backups.

Alexander Adam (7ql6) wrote :

At first I was surprised and happy that somebody already opened this feature request but now I'm very disappointed because it is marked as "Won't Fix".

Is there no way to change your mind?

Matej Kovacic (matej-kovacic) wrote :

Nah, don't mind. Just move along and install Duplicati or Borg Backup. Works way better and much more reliable. And has a development, while this software is in fact dead.

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