Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly and secure Linux operating system distributions. It is no surprise then that it’s growing in popularity with every passing day. However, even this amazing OS distribution can get corrupted if you install incorrect drivers or malicious programs. In those moments, all you would want to do is to restore Ubuntu to its previous settings or perform a complete factory reset without losing your data. And thankfully, with open-source tools such as Systemback, you can do just that with ease.
What does it mean by restoring Ubuntu?
Restoring Ubuntu to a previous working state is the action of reverting any changes that has been made that resulted in a system failure or error. This could be a simple error to a fatal flaw that prevents the Ubuntu machine from booting up. As you may be already aware, you can simply reinstall Ubuntu and make it work again. But, it is not an ideal solution, especially if you have important data residing in the same partition as the Ubuntu files.
How to restore Ubuntu using Systemback?
In this article, we will show you how to install Systemback to your Ubuntu device, create a restore point, and revert your Ubuntu to its previous settings. So, without any further ado, let’s dig in.
What is Systemback?
Systemback is an open-source tool for Linux users that helps them back up their files and restore the system to factory settings or previous system settings. With this tool, Linux users can create restore points for a particular file or the whole system with ease. Therefore, if you ever face a problem with your computer, you can revert the operating system to its previous setup or do a complete factory reset.
Step 1. Install Systemback on your Ubuntu machine
To retrieve your Ubuntu device safely and securely, you must install the Systemback software first. These are the steps to install Systemback on Ubuntu –
- Open your Ubuntu device and press the “CTRL + ALT + T” keys on your keyboard to open the “Terminal.”
- Once the “Terminal” opens, type:
$ sudo add-apt-repository “deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/nemh/systemback/ubuntu xenial main
- Press the “Enter” key. This will add the PPA (Personal Package Archive) of the software to the computer.
- Next, you have to import the GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) signing key. To do this, type:
$ sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 382003C2C8B7B4AB813E915B14E4942973C62A1B
- Press “Enter” once again.
- Now, you have to update your local apt repository. In order to achieve it, type, “$ sudo apt update” without quotations marks in the “Terminal” and press the “Enter” key.
- After that, type “$ sudo apt install systemback” and press “Enter” yet again. This will start installing the Systemback software — a process that might take a while.
- Once the installation process is complete, you can easily open the Systemback software from:
- Opening the dash menu
- Launching “Terminal” and typing “$ sudo systemback” without quotation marks and pressing “Enter” to open the program directly
There are two ways you can use Systemback to restore Ubuntu to factory settings. The first one is to use it through its GUI or Graphic User Interface. The other method is to use it via the Terminal, a process you should be familiar with by now.
Step 2. (Option 1) – Using Systemback GUI to Restore Ubuntu
In this section, we will show you how to use the Systemback GUI to restore your Linux device. Before we dive in, let’s create a restore point.
Step 2.1. Create a restore point
Follow these steps to make a restore point on Ubuntu using the Systemback GUI:
- Open the Systemback program using the dash menu.
Tip. You can also press the “CTRL + ALT + T” keys to open the Terminal and execute the command, “$ sudo systemback” to open the program.
- Once the program opens, click on the “Create new” button that is right under the “Point operations” heading.
- This software will now automatically create a backup of your Ubuntu Linux system at “/Home” — the default directory under the software.
Note. You can always change the location using the “Storage directory” box in the upper-right corner of the Systemback menu.
- It might take a while to create a restore point, which will depend on each individual device and the number of files you’re creating a backup of.
- Once you’re done with creating a backup file, you can find it under the “Restore points” of the Systemback menu.
Please note: You can always choose to exclude one or multiple files of your choice from the system backup you create using the method above. To do that, you must click the “Exclude” button of the “Function menu” heading of the Systemback software.
Step 2.2. Restore Ubuntu to factory settings
Once you’re done with creating a restore point successfully, it’s time to restore your Ubuntu device to factory settings. Follow the steps below to revert Ubuntu to factory settings –
- As you have already created a restore point, it will reflect on one of the boxes under the “Highlighted restore points” option.
Tip. If you have multiple restore points, you need to check the box of your desired restore point to proceed to the next step.
- Once you have selected the restore point of your choice, click on the “System Restore” button underneath the “Function menu” option. This action will open a new “System restore” window.
- In the “System Restore” window, pick one of these three options:
- Full restore — This option will restore the complete backup of the system.
- System files restore — This will only retrieve your Linux system.
- User(s) configuration files restore — This option will only recover the configuration files.
- Since we want to restore the system to its factory settings, we will select the “System files restore” option and click on the “Next” button.
- Next, once the “Systemback” prompt pops up to ask for confirmation.
- Click on the “Start” button and the restoration process will start.
- Next, reboot your computer after the system restore is complete, and your device will go back to its previous settings.
Step 2. (Option 2) – Using Systemback via Terminal to Restore Ubuntu
Just like the Systemback GUI, you can also use the software via Terminal to recover your device running this Debian-based system. Before we proceed, we will assume you have already created a restore point as a data backup using method 1 under Systemback GUI we have mentioned above. Once that’s done, it’s time to restore your Linux system using the steps below:
- Press the “Ctrl + Alt + T” keys on your keyboard to open the “Terminal.”
- Once the terminal opens, type “$ sudo systemback-cli” and press the “Enter” key. This will open the main screen showing the available restore points.
- If you have created just one restore point, this will show after the letter “B.” If you have multiple restore points, it will show multiple letters and their respective restore points. In our case, we have created a single restore point, so you must type “B” on your keyboard to continue.
- Next, press “2” on your keyboard to select the “System Restore” option.
- After that, press the “2” key again to select the “System file restore” option.
- Once it’s done, the device will ask if you want to keep your current fstab file. Press the “Y” key to say “Yes” to it.
- Next, press “N” to say “No” when it asks if you want to reinstall the GRUB 2 bootloader.
- Finally, when it asks if you want to start restoring, press “Y.”
- Once the restoration process is complete, press the “Enter” key to reboot your computer.
Once you complete the 9th step and reboot your computer, your Ubuntu device will restore its factory settings.