Systemback: Restore Your Linux System To Previous State

Systemback: Restore Your Linux System To Previous State

A couple of months ago, we have described an awesome tool called TimeShift that can be used to restore your Linux desktop to the previous working state in Unixmen. In the same series, today I introduce a new tool named systemback.

Systemback is an open source, system backup and restore application. Using Systemback, we can easily create backups of system and users configuration files. In case of problems, we can easily restore the previous state of the system. There are extra features like system copying, system installation and Live system creation.


Systemback includes the following features:

  • System backup
  • System restore
  • System copy
  • System install
  • Live system create
  • System repair
  • System upgrade

Install Systemback On Ubuntu 15.10

Currently, Syetmback is available only for ubuntu based systems. On Ubuntu and it’s derivatives, we can easily install it via PPA. Run the following command sequences to install Systemback on your Ubuntu system

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nemh/systemback
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install systemback


Create System Restore Point:

After installing it, launch Systemback app either from Dash or Menu.

The default Systemback main interface will look like as below.


Initially, there is no system restore point. So, let us create a new system restore point by clicking on the Create New button which is found under the Point Operations section.

Now, the Systemback will create a new restore point for your system.



After creating the restore point, the backup will be stored in the /home/systemback/ folder. You can change the location from the Storage directory option on the top right corner of the Systemback main window. Also, the successfully created system restore points will be shown on the top left corner of the main interface.


Restore the system to previous state:

Restoring to the previous state is as simple as creating restore point. Open up the Systemback main window, select any one of the system restore point, and hit the button System Restore under the Function Menu.


You’ll be asked whether you want to do a full restore, system files restore, or just user(s) configuration files only. Select the option accordingly and hit the Next button.


Finally, click Start button to restore your system to previous working state.


System Copy:

Using System Copy feature, we can easily copy the files from one partition to another and vice versa. Use this feature with caution. Else, you’ll be ended up with data loss.

System Install:

This option will let you to create a new user with password of your choice. Also, you can change your system root user password if you want to.

Live System Create:

This is one of cool and notable feature of Systemback. Unlike other system backup and restore tools, Systemback will let you to create a live CD/DVD of your current system with or without the users data files. Later, you can use this Live CD/DVD on other system, also you can install it if you want.



After creating live system, convert it to ISO, and boot the ISO using CD/DVD or USB thumb drive.


System Repair:

Like System Restore, this option will help you to fix your Linux desktop in case of any problems. Don’t touch this option, unless you know what you’re doing.

System Upgrade:

Using this option, you can upgrade your Linux system to the most recent version.

System upgrade_002


If you don’t want to include a file or folder in your restore points, you can use this feature.


Removing Systemback

If you not happy, or doesn’t have necessity to keep it on your system, you can remove this software as shown below. But, I guess, this tool will definitely be an useful tool in your arsenal.

sudo apt-get purge systemback

For me, Systemback is doing the good job as it advertised, and has many additional features among other system backup and restore tools. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.


  • Miquel Mayol i Tur

    Are there any AUR and or RPM versions?

  • setevoй червь™

    It works only with GUI? What about CLI or simple shell options?

  • Tech gs

    Will it work like Remastersys ??? ( great program but now discontinued )

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  • SK

    I can’t find AUR and RPM versions in

  • SK

    Yes I think.

  • SK

    Try sudo systemback-cli. It should work.

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  • anechoic

    :~$ sudo apt-get install systemback
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package systemback

    I also wondering if this will work with Mint 14 Nadia MATE 32b?

  • SK

    I didn’t check it on Linux Mint. But, It should work. Make sure you have added the correct repository.

  • anechoic

    I cut and pasted out from the text above

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nemh/systemback

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install systemback


    apparently it automatically added “quantal” as the distribution of the repo
    and why it couldn’t be found
    I switched the distro name to “precise” and it found it this time

  • Guest

    I have installed IT Successfully.Thank You for your contribution.

  • Manjit Kumar

    I have installed it successfully and working fine ,Thank you for your contribution .

  • Chris M Balz

    It seems to require an Ubuntu CD:
    0 upgraded, 11 newly installed, 0 to remove and 7 not upgraded.

    Need to get 0 B/2,038 kB of archives.

    After this operation, 4,612 kB of additional disk space will be used.

    Do you want to continue? [Y/n] Y

    Media change: please insert the disc labeled

    ‘Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS _Trusty Tahr_ – Release amd64 (20140722.2)’

    I don’t have this CD, and when I try to create a start-up CD, there is not enough room. How to proceed?

  • G.J. Reitsma

    I’m very very happy with it. I use mostly the ISO option to make live-usb of dvd (also I do cloning with Clonezilla). Respect the underlying Ubuntu-version. So Mint 17 -> Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    There is also a GUI-version for Debian or SolydKX and a lot more distro’s.
    Restore with Systemback works just as nice or better than Remastersys in former days.
    I waited for many months for this one after the discontinuing of Remastersys.

  • John

    Hi Chris

    Have you only recently installed ubuntu? if so please remove the CD from your software sources.

    see this link for details

  • Sreehari S

    thank you .. saved me .. :)

  • NJ

    I got this working on Mint, by following the original instructions in
    the article. Thank you. However, I should like to know just what this
    utility backs up and what compression it uses. Thanks.

  • Peace By JESUS

    Using the above installed systemback on Mint 17.1 32bit, though after sudo apt-get update it said some files could not be found and old ones were substituted. I have yet to try it on this new install (LM seems to lack showing disk space on all drives) but I hope to. Thank God for those coders who help make the OS more viable.

  • Maravento

    Hi. This tutorial (in English) has been selected by default on the official site congratulations

  • SK

    Thank you very much

  • rijnsma

    Systemback did super here with Mint Linux 17 a.o., thanks a lot for this ‘must-have’, but a live-version on pendrive now does not boot anymore (29-8-2015).
    ‘Initramfs aufs not supported’ it says. I’m no expert, I don’t know what to do with it.

  • rijnsma

    So I took my clone(zilla) of the system, restored and use an older, not updated Systemback version now. Great again, works fine. But I think this is not meant to be. :smile:

  • Carol McAnulty

    cmcanulty@ubuntu1:~$ sudo systemback

    Unsafe X Window authorization!

    Please do not use ‘sudo’ command.

    when I try it without sudo it says I need sudo it won’t launch from menu either am running xubuntu 14.04

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  • doleo

    your website has a bunch of annoying pop up ads in it. I don’t know why anyone would tolerate this. I understand that ads generate income, but these are some of the most annoying variety. You suck.

  • Marisa

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

    Appreciate it!