Back in Time – simple backup tool

Back In Time is a simple backup tool taking inspiration from FlyBack and TimeVault. These applications are in turn inspired by Apple’s Time Machine. Time Machine automatically saves up-to-date copies of everything such as photos, music, videos, documents, applications, and settings.

The backup is done by taking snapshots of a specified set of directories.

Back In Time is a framework for rsync, diff and cron for the purpose of taking snapshots and backups of specified folders. It minimizes disk space use by taking a snapshot only if the directory has been changed, and hard links for unmodified files if it has. The user can schedule regular backups using cron.

There are two graphical user interface to choose from for your desktop environment, either GNOME or KDE v4 based.

Back in Time is superior to both FlyBack and TimeVault as it has a more intuitive graphical user interface. Furthermore, the software seamlessly rewrites all of the underlying rsync commands in plain English.

Back in Time can be integrated with Nautilus using nautilus-actions.

Features include:

  • Simplicity itself. Simply configure the following:
    • The location to save the snapshot.
    • Select which directories to backup.
    • The frequency of the backup (manual, every hour/day/week or month).
  • Enable schedule per included folder.
  • Exclude patterns, files or folders.
  • Auto-remove if older than a set number of days/weeks/years, or if free space is less than a specified amount.
  • Smart remove functionality:
    • Keep all snapshots from today and yesterday.
    • Keep one snapshot for the last week and one for two weeks ago.
    • Keep one snapshot per month for all previous months of this year.
    • Keep one snapshot per year for all previous years.

Developer: Oprea Dan, Bart de Koning, Richard Bailey, Germar Reitze, Taylor Raack
License: GNU GPL v2


Back In Time is written in Python. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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