Flavio Castelli

Debugging my life

Jul 28, 2009 - 3 minute read - Comments - KDE

kaveau: easy and integrated backups solution for KDE

During the last week I had the possibility to work on anything I wanted, Novell’s hackweek is so cool :)

I decided to dedicate myself to an idea that has been obsessing me since a long time. Last December my brand new hard disk suddenly died, making impossible to recover anything. Fortunately I had just synchronized the most important documents between my workstation and my laptop, so I didn’t lose anything important. This incident make me realize that I should perform backups regularly and I immediately started looking for a good solution.

Personally I think that doing backups is pretty boring so I wanted something damned easy to setup and use. Something that once configured runs in the background and does the dirty job without bothering you. Let’s face the truth: I wanted Apple’s Time Machine for KDE.

After some searches I realized that nothing was fitting my requirements and I decided to create something new: kaveau.

What is kaveau?

Kaveau is a backup program that makes backup easy for the average user.

As you will see while coding/planning kaveau I made some assumptions and so only few things are configurable. I really think that sometimes “less is more”.

What does kaveau?

Current features:

  • it performs backups to an external storage device: I don’t think it will ever store backup data on a remote host. If you want to do that just use some good project like Backup pc.
  • it backs up the complete home directory of the user: storage is cheap and average users (like me) keep everything inside their home directory ( but it’s possible to exclude some directories from the backup).
  • it performs incremental backups.
  • the backup data are neither compressed nor stored in fancy formats: in this way you can plug your external disk into another machine and access your data without additional work.
  • backups are performed automatically every hour (of course only if your external disk is plugged).
  • notification messages are shown if your backup is older that a week. More enhancements are coming…

What technologies does it use?

Backups are performed using rdiff-backup because it’s damned easy to use, well tested (it’s used also in production environments) and packaged by all distributions.

The awesome solid library is used for interacting with the external disks is super easy.

Status of kaveau

I have been working on kaveau just for five days, so there’s still a lot of work to do.

A screenshot tour will give you the right idea of its status.

First run - external storage device attached


####Backup wizard - page 1 sf3

####Backup wizard - page 2


####Backup wizard - final page


####Backup operation in progress


####Backup completed


Right now the code is available on this git repository but I don’t recommend you to try it (unless you want to find and fix bugs ;) ).

I would really appreciate:

  • feedback about the user interface (right now it looks too much like Time Machine).
  • icons: it would be great to have a desktop icon and some system tray icons (contact me for more details).
  • new code, bug fixes, code reviews, hints,…

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