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Back In Time - A simple backup tool for Linux

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Statistics on backintime

Number of watchers on Github 435
Number of open issues 187
Average time to close an issue 8 days
Main language Python
Average time to merge a PR 2 days
Open pull requests 1+
Closed pull requests 6+
Last commit over 1 year ago
Repo Created almost 4 years ago
Repo Last Updated over 1 year ago
Size 10.4 MB
Organization / Authorbit-team
Latest Releasev1.1.24
Page Updated
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Back In Time

Copyright (C) 2008-2017 Oprea Dan, Bart de Koning, Richard Bailey, Germar Reitze, Taylor Raack

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Back In Time is a simple backup tool for Linux, inspired by flyback project.

It provides a command line client 'backintime' and a Qt5 GUI 'backintime-qt' both written in Python3.

You only need to specify 3 things:

  • where to save snapshots
  • what folders to backup
  • backup frequency (manual, every hour, every day, every month)


The documentation is currently under development in


Please ask questions and report bug on


Please find the latest versions on


Back In Time is included in many distributions and can be installed from their repositories.

Ubuntu PPA

We provide a PPA (Private Package Archive) with current stable version (ppa:bit-team/stable) and a testing PPA (ppa:bit-team/testing)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bit-team/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install backintime-qt4


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bit-team/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install backintime-qt
Debian/Ubuntu make packages
sudo dpkg -i ../backintime-common-<version>.deb
sudo dpkg -i ../backintime-qt-<version>.deb

Back In Time is available through AUR. You need to import a public key once before installing

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 615F366D944B4826
# Fingerprint: 3E70 692E E3DB 8BDD A599  1C90 615F 366D 944B 4826
tar xvzf backintime.tar.gz
cd backintime
makepkg -srci

From sources

  • dependencies

    • python3 (>= 3.3)
    • rsync
    • cron-daemon
    • openssh-client
    • python3-keyring
    • python3-dbus
  • recomended

    • sshfs
    • encfs
  • Command

    cd common
    make test
    sudo make install
  • dependencies

    • x11-utils
    • python3-pyqt5
    • libnotify-bin
    • policykit-1
    • python3-dbus.mainloop.pyqt5
    • backintime-common
  • recomended

    • python3-secretstorage or
    • python3-keyring-kwallet or
    • python3-gnomekeyring
    • kompare or
    • meld
  • Command

    cd qt
    sudo make install

configure options

first value is default:
--no-fuse-group | --fuse-group (only COMMON)
    Some distributions require user to be in group 'fuse' to use
    sshfs and encfs. This toggles the check on or off.

--python3 | --python (all)
    Use either 'python3' or 'python' to start Python Version 3.x


Back In Time has a RSS feed


There is a dev-docu on It's not complete yet but I'm working on it. If you'd like to contribute please add docstrings following the Google style guide and add unit-tests for new methods in common. To run unit-test locally you can run cd common && ./configure && make test

December 2016

backintime open issues Ask a question     (View All Issues)
  • almost 3 years WARNING: Failed to read process stat from /proc/21073/stat: [2] No such file or directory
  • almost 3 years Snapshots have stopped. Just says 'Working: Create hard-links'
  • almost 3 years SSH encrypted backup: Asked for passwords even if stored to Gnome Keyring
  • almost 3 years [enhancement] [callback] add level 9 - all done
  • almost 3 years Why does BIT use EncFS?
  • almost 3 years Frage an Germar zum Call-Back-Script
  • almost 3 years Problem with Schedule "when disk get connected"
  • almost 3 years Gnome 3.22 Wayland default replaces; BIT cannot connect to X server
  • almost 3 years Unable to locate package backintime-qt
  • about 3 years mountpoint permission denied
  • about 3 years IOWAIT Blockin
  • about 3 years mysterious blank in the pathes in backintime-notify messages
  • about 3 years BIT backup stops without error message when disk quota is close but not exceeded
  • about 3 years Support for fcrontab
  • about 3 years "Local Encrypted" backup does not work
  • about 3 years How to get started?
  • about 3 years Inhibit suspend during backup/restore with root
  • about 3 years All my backups just... disappeared.
  • over 3 years support rssh installations
  • over 3 years Can no longer open snapshots dialog from cli (or as action in file manager)
  • over 3 years Feature Request: Check Integrity Of Snapshots
  • over 3 years Show remaining space on backup disk in the UI
  • over 3 years Failed to restore from backup of unmounted crypted drive
  • over 3 years Include file inside excluded path will include all files in excluded path
  • over 3 years (encrypted) snapshots not found/shown on new machine
  • over 3 years Check quota on the remote server instead of overall free inodes / space
  • over 3 years List of Issues with Synology DSM 6
  • over 3 years %configure macro of fedora not working
  • almost 4 years Website is out of date
  • almost 4 years Wishlist: mark directories for only keep latest version
backintime open pull requests (View All Pulls)
  • Fix #549 + german commen for .desktop file
backintime list of languages used
backintime latest release notes
v1.1.24 Back in Time 1.1.24

Fix a critical bug which allow shell injection

EDIT: This issue has been assigned CVE-2017-16667


  • fix critical bug: shell injection in notify-send (
v1.1.22 Back in Time 1.1.22

Fix some minor bugs and backport from 1.2.0


  • fix bug: stat free space for snapshot folder instead of backintime folder (
  • backport bug fix: backintime root crontab doesn't run; missinng line-feed 0x0A on last line (
  • backport bug fix: can't open files with spaces in name (
v1.1.20 Back in Time 1.1.20

This release fixes a critical bug which could be used to escalate permissions. @mgerstner identified a race condition in Polkit CheckAuthorization. It was reported as CVE-2017-7572


  • backport bug fix: polkit CheckAuthorization: race condition in privilege authorization (CVE-2017-7572)
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