I have an idea for an application that should help with backups. I came up with the idea after talking with my dad. He is very fond of his data and likes to create backups. But, being a silver surfer with only limited english knowledge many backup programs are too difficult for him to use.

His workflow now is mainly:

  • Plugging a USB hard drive
  • remembering what to back up
  • copy & paste the data onto the hard drive
  • clicking away any notifications about existing files
  • hoping the copy process runs sucessfully

I thought that there must be an easier way to this. And there is: UDEV rules allow to target specific (usb) devices and run scripts on add or remove events. However, there is one caveat: You must be proficient with UDEV rules & scripting. This is when and why I came up with an idea for an app.

So, the app would essentially be a frontend that matches hardware devices to a backup action. The user selects a device and attaches one (or more) actions to it. The udev rules should be written automatically to the correct folder when saved.

Other software I have considered:

  • Déjà Dup
  • fwbackups
  • Grsync
  • Timeshift

None of them allows for my dads use case: Plug in the hard drive and wait for a success notification.

Do you think this is a good idea for an application that many people would use?

  • sounds good, you should give it a go at writing it. – Jeff Wilson Jan 23 at 10:12

Have you checked out Tardis, a backup application for elementary OS? Deja Dup has worked great for me and remembers my hard drive when I plug it in and automatically runs backups on a schedule when I plug the drive in. Can you hook into it to send a success notification? You might also checkout Pika Backup though it's not automated yet. You might try to extend existing solutions to better fit your use case before spinning out something new, but that's ultimately up to you. My hunch is that a lot of people find the existing applications adequate, but perhaps you could garner feedback through issues with the projects as well and use feedback to gauge interest. I'd personally love a backup solution that integrates with Btrfs and uses incremental sends / receives, but I'm certainly in the minority there.

  • Yes, I stumbled across Pika Backup a few days after my idea. I've already begun to start coding a hello world app to get my feet wet, so fortunately I haven't wasted much time and effort on my app. Pika looks like it comes very close to my idea on how a backup application should work. I tried improving the German translation, but my proposal is stuck in the Gnome i18n review process... – riker09 Feb 24 at 19:47

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