Install Systemback On Ubuntu 20.04/19.10/18.04 And Restore To Previous State

Alon Shrestha » 21 Jul 2019 » linux, backup-restore

Upgrading an open-source operating system like Linux can be intimidating, as it often involves the risk of data loss.

But worry not, with the help of Systemback, you can easily revert your Ubuntu to the previous state, without losing any data, in case of any system failure.

Systemback is a powerful application for Ubuntu/Debian that allows you to create a backup and restore point of your entire system.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of using Systemback to backup and restore your Ubuntu system.

How To Install Systemback On Ubuntu 20.04 And 18.04

Table Of Content

Advantages Of Using Systemback

  • Backup system with users configuration files.
  • System copying, system installation and Live system creation.
  • Restore the system to its previous state.
  • Convert backup image into bootable ISO file.
  • Upgrading system and software.
  • Easy installation and fast recovery.

Install Systemback on Ubuntu 16.04

To install Systemback in Ubuntu 16.04 or older, simply run the following commands in your terminal:

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

Note: There haven't been any updates to Systemback since 2016, so these commands only work for Ubuntu 16.04 and earlier versions.

Fortunately, Systemback’s binary files are compatible with later versions of Ubuntu and can be installed using Ubuntu 16.04 PPA.

Install Systemback on Ubuntu 20.04/19.10/18.04

First remove the PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:nemh/systemback

Now, run the following command to import the PGP signing key of this PPA. This verifies the signature from the package manager. You can get the signing key from here.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 382003C2C8B7B4AB813E915B14E4942973C62A1B

You might get some error regarding “gpg: keyserver”

You can fix such errors using different keyservers. Instead of using, you can use

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 382003C2C8B7B4AB813E915B14E4942973C62A1B

Add the PPA running below command.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb xenial main"

Finally, updated the list and install systemback on Ubuntu 20.04, 19.10, 18.04

sudo apt update
sudo apt install systemback

How To Use Systemback?

After installation, open the application.

Enter your user password and press OK.

SystemBack On Ubuntu |
Here, you can see many options in the function menu. Click on “Live system create”.

 Restore Linux To Previous State With System Back|

Create Backup Image Of Your Current System

To use a different working directory path, you can replace the current path “/home” with the desired path. This is the location where your backup image and ISO files will be saved.

Give name to your new live system replacing the name “auto”.

If you want to create an image that includes your personal settings and configurations, make sure to select the option “Include user data files” while creating the backup.

After these, click on “Create new” to continue.

Create Image with System Back |

Note: The time it takes to create a backup depends on the size of your system.

Once the process is completed, your backup image will be created and saved as a .sblive file as shown below.

Backup Image And Convert .sblive to ISO File System Back |
After creating a .sblive file, Systemback provides the option to write the file directly to your USB flash drive.

Convert .sblive File To Bootable ISO File

Now it’s time to write an image in your usb flash drive.

For that, insert your usb drive and click on the “Green Refresh” button.

The “Write target” box should display your pendrive. In my case it’s “SanDisk Cruzer Blade”.

Backup Image And Convert .sblive to ISO File System Back | Select the created image displayed on the “Created Live Images” box. There will be different “Live operations” available that you can apply to this image.

Click on “Write to target”. You will see the configuration dialog box, click on Start. This operation writes the new image to your flash drive and a progress bar is displayed.

Click on “Convert to ISO” if you want to create a bootable iso file from the created .sblive image.

You can also “Delete” the .sblive image and re-create the new image clicking on “Create New”.

Note: Your image cannot be converted into iso if the .sblive file is greater than 4 GB.


In conclusion, Systemback is a useful tool for Ubuntu/Debian users who want to create backup and restore points of their entire system.

With Systemback, you can easily revert your Ubuntu system to a previous state without losing any data. Although there haven’t been any updates to Systemback since 2016, it is still compatible with later versions of Ubuntu and can be installed using the Ubuntu 16.04 PPA.

Overall, Systemback provides an easy and fast way to backup and restore your Ubuntu system, giving users peace of mind when upgrading or making changes to their operating system.