How to back up to your Google Drive cloud account with Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup is the default GNOME back-up tool. This user-friendly tool is installed on most GNOME desktops (or, if not, can be found within the standard repositories) and does a great job of creating simple backups. It's not a bare-metal solution, but for data backups, it makes the process painless.

Déjà Dup can back up to Google Drive, Nextcloud, a network server, or a local folder (be it internal or externally attached).

It's that connection to Google Drive I want to focus on here. I'll demonstrate with Pop!_OS, which doesn't include Déjà Dup by default. So let's install and back up to Google Drive.

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Installing Déjà Dup

The first thing to do is install Déjà Dup. For this, you can turn to your distribution's GUI package manager. Open up GNOME Software (or, in the case of Pop!_OS, Pop Shop) and search for Déjà Dup. Click the Install button (Figure A) and, when prompted, type your user password.

Once installed, launch Déjà Dup from the desktop menu or, in the case of GNOME, from the GNOME Dash.

Creating a backup

From the Déjà Dup main window (Figure B), click on the Storage location section.

In the resulting window, select Google Drive from the Storage location dropdown (Figure C), and you should be good to continue configuring the backup.

Note: If you've not connected GNOME to your Google account (via Online Account Settings), you'll be required to click Open Online Account Settings (Figure D) and connect GNOME to your Google account.

To finish the configuration, click Folders to save and, from the resulting window (Figure E), click +. When Nautilus (File Manager) opens, navigate to the folder you want to back up and click Add. Once you add all the necessary folders (you can add more than one), click Folders to ignore if you need to prevent subfolders from being backed up. You can also name the destination folder that will house the backup on Google Drive.

With the folder selection out of the way, click Scheduling and decide how you want the back up to work (automatically or manually). You can set it up for automatic backup (by clicking the Automatic backup On/Off slider to the On position (Figure F). If you prefer to manually run the backups, leave the Automatic back-up slider in the Off position.

Next, select how often you want to backup (Daily or Weekly). When you select either Day or Week, you'll be prompted to install another package (duplicity). Click Install (Figure G), otherwise the scheduled backup will not work.

At this point, you'll be prompted to set an optional password for your backup (Figure H). I highly recommend doing this to protect your data.

Once you configure your password, click Forward and then select how long to keep your backups. You have the choice between:

With retention configured, your backup is done. You don't have to bother running a backup, as it will launch at the next scheduled time.

A solid (but simple) solution

And that is all there is to backing up to your Google Drive cloud account with Déjà Dup. Although this tool doesn't include all the bells and whistles of an enterprise-grade back-up tool, for backing up simple data, it's hard to beat.

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