Duplicati will not run in background


I’ve installed Duplicati v2.0.5.1-1 on a computer running Linux Distro Elementary OS Hera, Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS, Linux 5.3.0-46 generic, GTK 3.22.30.

Duplicati DOES back up, however it will not run in the background and back up automatically.

I currently have it set to run every day at 3:45 PM (see attachment).

When 3:45 PM rolls around, nothing happens. If I launch Duplicati from my Applications, it will open a web browser and if we’re past 3:45 PM, Duplicati will start to run a backup.

I took a look at the instructions here: Use Duplicati to Backup Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint Desktop & Server

Per the link:

“Duplicati is installed as a service, meaning it runs in the background. However, duplicati won’t automatically start after installation. You can start it by issuing the following command in terminal.”

"sudo systemctl start duplicati

Run the following command to enable auto-start at boot time.

sudo systemctl enable duplicati

Now you can check its status with:

systemctl status duplicati"

I did all of the above as of last night.

Shut down the computer, and rebooted it this morning.

Ran the following:

systemctl status duplicati

Duplicati showed as running as of the time my computer had booted up (around 11:54 AM). All well and good.

Issue persists; Duplicati will not run in the background and do backups as scheduled. Duplicati will ONLY back up when the application is launched.

When you enabled Duplicati to run as a service (using that systemctl command), it caused Duplicati to run as root with I’m guessing a new, blank configuration stored in /root/.config/Duplicati

When you launch the Duplicati icon in your GUI, it runs a second instance under your user context where the config data is stored in /home/<user>/.config/Duplicati

If this is a single user machine, one option is to just make Duplicati run on startup automatically at login. This may be preferrable to having it run as a service, and you don’t have to worry about migrating the configuration over to the root config area.

But if this is a multi-user machine and you only want to configure Duplicati once, or if it’s a server type machine where someone doesn’t log in all the time, then you probably do want it running as a service.

In that case you need to migrate your backup job from the user instance to the root/service instance. There are a few ways to do this depending on how savvy you are. What I’d probably do is this:

(Do not proceed unless all these steps make sense to you! Also do at your own risk, I am making assumptions as to the nature of your issue.)

  • Open the Duplicati web UI for your user configuration and turn off the backup schedule.
  • Shut down Duplicati running as your user.
  • Stop the Duplicati service running as root.
  • Copy the sqlite files from /home/<user>/.config/Duplicati to /root/.config/Duplicati
  • Start the Duplicati service again.
  • Do not click the Duplicati icon on your desktop UI - never touch it again, it’s not how you interact with Duplicati running as a service.
  • Open your web browser and go to http://localhost:8200
  • Go to About, System Info, and make sure username is “root” (to confirm that you are interacting with the Duplicati running as a service):
  • Click Home and click on your backup job.
  • Click the “Database …” link and then update the path to your database file. Change it from /home/<user>/.config/Duplicati/xxxxxxx to /root/.config/Duplicati/xxxxxx and click Save.
  • You may need to edit the Source Data for this backup job to make sure the paths are correct. If you previously selected anything under the “User data” node it’s probably now wrong since you’re running under root.
  • Try kicking off a backup manually.
  • If everything is working, you can edit your job and re-enable the automatic schedule.
  • At this point I would recommend deleting the older /home/<user>/.config/Duplicati folder to avoid any problems. We don’t want the user-mode Duplicati starting and messing up your backup data.


Thanks for your response.

Some background:

I’ve been running Duplicati for about a week as a test on a single machine as a single user, but do not wish to limit the backup option to only one user.

I’m testing the application to see if it will be appropriate for an office setting with a mix of machines running MacOS, Linux, and Windows.

The issue was present for about a week BEFORE I enabled Duplicati to run as a service (using that systemctl command), so I’m assuming it was running only in the one user context.

As this is a test - I am in a position where I can delete all backups, uninstall the application, and start from scratch.

I can also follow your recommendation.

With that information available to you, what would be your recommendation as to the best method to get Duplicati to run and make automated backups on schedule, without having to launch the Duplicati GUI to get it to start backing up?

Thanks in advance.

It will run backups as scheduled if you are running it as a service. You do not want to open the Duplicati icon on your desktop. The only reason that seemed to be necessary in your case is because only that user instance was configured.

Since it was just a test backup you can probably skip a lot of my steps. Stop Duplicati (the user instance one) and delete the /home/user/.config/Duplicati folder.

Then access the service UI by going to http://localhost:8200 and configure a new backup job. Whenever you want to view Duplicati UI just go to that URL - don’t use the icon.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

The issue is resolved, and Duplicati is currently functioning as expected in the Linux environment I am using for testing.

It appears to fit the site’s need for a backup, and after successful completion of testing on the additional network components, I look forward to presenting it as the primary backup solution for my client. The stellar support this forum provides is one of the many reasons I intend to present this software as one of the backup solutions for my client; thanks for your assistance.

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