Ubuntu has deja-dup preinstalled so you can skip the first command to install it but essentially you will add another disk to you system (ex USB external disk) and backup your home directory to it. Now if your system experiences a failure (eg: hard disk dies) you can restore your files or access your files as they are backed up.
To do this just do the following after plugging in a backup disk (via USB etc). The backup disk will be used completely by the backup. Make sure you have cleared the disk of any files you need using gparted or some other tool.
sudo apt-get install deja-dup
Now open the backups program from activities menu. In my case I have not yet formatted the blank disk I inserted as a test so need to run the disks tool and create a partition on it. I create an ext4 partition but you can choose “other” and type btrfs if you prefer, so you have the option of enabling compression or other things under the mount options if you like.
Then press the play button to mount the disk and it will tell you where its mounted (in my case /media/peter/Backup).
Now browse to the disk using the files application and go to other locations and you should see your disk. I then make an appropriate folder to keep things neat and tidy to place the backup files into:
Now in the deja-dup program I click the hamburger menu and select “preferences” and under location change it to the folder I just created, keep backups I choose 1 year, and I select daily for my backup:
Under “folders” tab I normally remove ~Downloads as an excluded folder because I like to backup my downloads, but you can either leave it in or remove it up to you:
You can then close that and choose “create my first backup”. Once done (it asks for a password and things like that to encrypt the backup, so enter one), it will backup daily so long as you leave the drive plugged in.
That it! Now you have a restore point if anything happens to your hardware.
Notes: If anyone has any other notes or useful commands regarding deja-dup, add them here.