Flyback – Snapshot-based backup tool based on rsync

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FlyBack is a snapshot-based backup tool based on rsync It creates successive backup directories mirroring the files you wish to backup, but hard-links unchanged files to the previous backup. This prevents wasting disk space while providing you with full access to all your files without any sort of recovery program. If your machine crashes, just move your external drive to your new machine and copy the latest backup using whatever file browser you normally use.

Note that this means you can selectively delete specific backups and still retain files stored in previous ones. (ie., you can delete Tuesday’s backup and keep Monday’s, without screwing up Wednesday’s)

Preparing your system

First you need to install the following packages

sudo apt-get install python python-glade2 python-gnome2 python-sqlite python-gconf rsync

Installing Flyback in Ubuntu

download the software using the following command


Extract this using the following command

tar -zxvf flyback_0.4.0.tar.gz

Then change to the new directory ("flyback/src/" or "flyback/", depending on which you chose above) and run the following command as user and not as root


Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen

First you need to configure the preferences for this go to Edit---->Preferences

Configure the Storage location for your backups

Select the Backup Data

Select your backup schedule this example of backup means The * mean all the day, months and years. 3 mean to do the backup 3rd hour every day.

If you want to restore the backups select the system snapshots select location,files and click on restore from the top panel

Flybackup version details

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5 Responses

  1. Bart says:

    I would advise to use the svn version, which gives FlyBack version 0.5.0.
    Even though this is the nicest gui for rsync I saw till now (I use it actively to), I’m not sure how active development is at this moment. Let’s hope developing won’t stop!

    Another question: did somebody get the terminal command working under crontab? For me it doesn’t remove the lockfile after finishing the backup, so it won’t make another backup until I remove this lockfile manually.

  2. polarizer says:

    Just to mention it here. Another snapshot utility – but not rsync based – is time vault.
    Check it out – it’s worth a look. It has got nautilus integration for easy recovery.

    the polarizer

  3. Andreas says:

    I installed it, please tell me how to add it to the Mainmenu, just adding a new item with python doesn’t seem to work.

  4. ashghost says:

    @Andreas: You need to include the full path to, in my case it’s “python /home/ashghost/apps/flyback/

  5. Andrew says:

    Will this back-up to FAT file systems?

    If so, how does it handle the hard-linking to unchanged files?

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