As regular Linux users, we know that whenever we need to install a new version of our OS or when we are shifting to another system, we have to reinstall and reconfigure all the apps and settings one by one on our new system. What if we have an easy way of reinstalling and reconfiguration those apps and settings in our new system? Fortunately, we have a great tool known as Aptik that backs up all our PPAs, installed packages, themes, fonts, settings and much more and helps us in restoring them to our new system or the new release.
How can Aptik Help?
With Aptik, you can perform the following backups:
- Launchpad PPA
- Installed applications
- Apt-cache downloaded packages
- Application settings
- Home directory
- User and group accounts
- Themes and icons
In this article, we will explain how to install Aptik and Aptik GTK on your system through the command line. Next, we will explain how to use the Aptik to backup the data from the old system and restore it to a new system.
We explained the procedure mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system.
Installing Aptik and Aptik GTK
First, you will need to download the setup file for the Aptik program. To do so, open the following page and download DEB and RUN file for Aptik.
The next step would be to install the package. To do so, open the Terminal by going to the Activities tab in the top left corner of your desktop. Then in the search bar, type the keyword terminal. When the search result appears, click on the Terminal icon to open it.
In the Terminal, enter the following command to navigate to ~/Downloads directory:
$ cd ~/Downloads
Then run the following command to install Aptik:
$ sudo apt install ./aptik-gtk-v18.8.2-amd64.deb
When prompted for the password, enter the sudo password.
The system might ask for confirmation by providing you with a Y/n option. Hit Y and then Enter to continue. Now, wait for a while until the installation is completed.
To verify the installation and check the version, run this command in Terminal:
$ aptik –version
Similarly, to install graphics utility of Aptik, run the following command in the ~/Downloads directory:
$ sudo ./aptik-gtk-v18.8-amd64.run
Launch and Use Aptik GTK
To launch Aptik through the command line, use the following command:
Alternatively, you can launch Aptik utility via GUI by accessing it from the installed Applications list.
You will be prompted for the super user password each time you launch the Aptik application since only an authorized user can run /usr/bin/bash.
Enter the password for the superuser and click Authenticate after which the Aptik application will be launch.
Start Backup with Aptik
To perform the backup from your system, select the Backup option under the Backup Mode. Under the backup location, click the Select button and choose a valid location where you want to store your backups.
Then select the Backup tab from the left pane. Here you will see a list of items and settings that you can add for backup. Select the required items and settings or click the Backup All Items button at the bottom of the application window if you want to backup all options.
You can see the backup process in the Aptik Terminal window. Once completed, you will see the “Backup completed” message at the end of the screen as follows:
Restore Applications with Aptik
Now in the same system or new system where you want to restore your backup, open the Aptik application.
When the Aptik is launched, select the location from where you want to restore your data. Then under the Backup Mode, select Restore.
Next, select the Restore tab from the left pane.
From here, you can select the items and settings that you want to restore from the backup you have created earlier or else click the Restore All Items button at the bottom of the window to restore all items.
You can see the restore process in the Aptik Terminal window. Once completed, you will see the “Restore completed” message at the end of the screen as follows:
Using Aptik CLI
You can also perform backup or restore from the command line by using the Aptik CLI. To find detailed help regarding the Aptik CLI, use either of the following commands in Terminal:
$ aptik or
$ aptik --help
Uninstall Aptik and Aptik GTK
In order to remove Aptik and Aptik GTK from your system, use the following commands:
$ sudo apt-get remove aptik
$ sudo apt-get remove aptik-gtk
And then run the following command to remove the packages that were automatically installed:
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
Now that you have learned how to install and use Aptik for creating and restoring backups, you can securely transfer installed programs, PPAs, and settings from your current system to a new one.