Aptik – A Tool to Backup/Restore Your Favourite PPAs and Apps in Ubuntu

As we all know that Ubuntu has a six month release cycle for new version. All the PPAs and Packages of your choice also needs to be re-added, to avoid doing those stuffs and save your time, here we bringing a fantastic tool called ‘Aptik‘.

Aptik (Automated Package Backup and Restore) is a GUI application that lets you backup your favourite PPAs and Packages. It is very difficult to remember to which packages are installed and from where it has been installed them. We can take backup and restore of all the PPAs before re-installation or up-gradation of OS.

Install Aptik in Ubuntu

Backup/Restore PPAs and Apps

Aptik is a open source package that simplify backup and restore of PPAs, Applications and Packages after a fresh installation or upgradation of Debian based Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Ubuntu derivatives.

Features of Aptik

  1. Custom PPAs and the Apps
  2. Backup Themes and icons
  3. Backup applications installed via APT cache
  4. Apps installed from Ubuntu Software Centre
  5. Aptik command-line options

How to Backup PPA’s and Packages on Old Systems

By default Aptik tool is not available under Ubuntu Software Centre, you need to use PPA to install it. Add the following PPA to your system and update the local repository and install package as shown.

Installation of Aptik

$ sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install aptik      [Commandline]
$ sudo apt-get install aptik-gtk  [GUI]

Start ‘Aptik‘ from the applications menu.

Start Aptik

Start Aptik

Create Backup Directory

Create or Select a backup directory to store your all sections to re-use on your new install.

Aptik Backup-Directory

Select Backup Directory

Backup Software Sources

Click the ‘Backup‘ button for Software Sources. A list of installed third-party PPAs will be displayed along with their Packages names that are installed from the PPA.

Aptik Software Sources

Backup Software Sources

Note: PPAs with a green icon indicates as active and have some packages installed. Whereas yellow icon indicates as active but no packages installed.

Select your favourite PPAs and click on the ‘Backup‘ button to create backup. All PPAs will be stored in a file called ‘ppa.list‘ in the selected backup directory.

Backup Downloaded Packages (APT Cache)

Click the ‘Backup‘ button to copy all the downloaded packages to backup folder.

Aptik Downloaded Packages

Backup Downloaded Packages

Note: All the downloaded packages stored under your ‘/var/cache/apt/archives‘ folder will be copied to the backup folder.

This step is only useful if you are re-installing the same version of Linux distribution. This step can be skipped for upgradation of system, since all the packages for the new release will be latest than the packages in the system cache.

Backup Software Selections

Clicking the ‘Backup‘ button will show a list of all installed top-level packages.

Aptik Software Selections

Software Selections

Note: By default all the packages installed by Linux distribution are un-selected, because those packages are the part of Linux distribution. If required those packages can be selected for backup.

By default all extra packages installed by the user marked as selected, because those packages are installed via Software Centre or by running apt-get install command. If required those can be un-selected.

Select your favourite packages to backup and click the ‘Backup‘ button. A file named ‘packages.list‘ will be created under the backup directory.

Backup Backup Themes and Icons

Click the ‘Backup‘ button to list all the installed themes and icons from the ‘/usr/share/themes‘ and ‘/usr/share/icons‘ directories. Next, select your themes and click on the ‘Backup‘ button to backup.

Aptik Themes Icons

Backup Themes Icons

Aptik Command-line Otions

Run ‘aptik –help’ on the terminal to see the full list of available options.

Aptik Command-line

Command-line Options

To restore those backups, you will need to install Aptik from its own PPA on the newly installed system. After this, hit the ‘Restore’ button to restore all your PPAs Packages, Themes and Icons to your freshly installed system.

Conclusion

You may be wondering why such cool stuff is not by default available on Ubuntu? Ubuntu does it via ‘Ubuntu One‘ and that too paid apps. What do you think about this tool? Share you views through our comment section.

Source: Aptik

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Narad Shrestha

He has over 10 years of rich IT experience which includes various Linux Distros, FOSS and Networking. Narad always believes sharing IT knowledge with others and adopts new technology with ease.

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22 Responses

  1. tobiz says:

    I tried to install aptik-gui on kubuntu 14.04 following all published commands, result: Unable to locate package aptik-gtk.

    Shame since aptik-gui sounds just what I want to migrate from 14.04 on my old machine to 18.04 on new machine.

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Tobiz,

      I never used Kubuntu 14.04, so no idea what this package isn’t avaiable to install. Also just to confirm, have you added the following PPA to system?

      $ sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
      $ sudo apt-get update
      

      If yes, could you do a quick search for the package aptik using following command.

      $ sudo apt policy aptik
      $ sudo apt policy ptik-gtk
      
  2. Ove Sentlig says:

    Just installed Aptik on Mint 18.3. However, no GUI application appears in the list of apps. Command line works.
    How do get the GUI version?

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Ove,

      Run the aptik command from the terminal to launch GUI version of Aptik.

      • Ove Sentlig says:

        Thanks, but when I run the aptik command in terminal, I just get the help output. No GUI.

        • Ravi Saive says:

          @Ove,

          It seems, the developer recently split the Aptik app into two packages.

          $ sudo apt install aptik      [Commandline]
          $ sudo apt install aptik-gtk  [GUI]
          
          • Ove Sentlig says:

            Thanks @Ravi !

            I should’ve known better than to rely on a 4 year old blog post …

  3. Jake Maverick says:

    Oh, i also did notice on applications settings i had to go through and manually do that for each user, but when it comes to restoring them individually it says directory not there, although it is?

  4. Jake Maverick says:

    Hi

    This won’t seems to work for me, some of the stuff has gone across, but a lot of it hasn’t, for example my firefox and chrome data, hasn’t as well as some bittorrent files, data is there but it’s not drawn across the settings/ d/l list to the program.

    Now i suspect I might know what the problem is, as I was restoring i noticed some files whizzing by that ended amd64.deb. Now as I’m restoring to an Intel based system from and AMD system, could this be the problem/ why it not working for me? :-(

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