Kopia UI - Managing Repositories

So I’ve been hearing that KopiaUI configuration is difficult to understand.

Here’a dramatic simplification proposal:

  1. KopiaUI will always have one default default repository (based on default repository.config), that one can’t be removed.
  2. We will remove Configure Repositories... dialog completely.
  3. We will add new menu option Add Repository, which creates new repository configuration file (random name), starts a new local server for it and opens the repository window to connect.
  4. As soon as you Disconnect from that repository, its entry in the menu is removed and config file is deleted.

I think less is more in this case, the choices that are already present are too confusing because they intended to be powerful where the power was not really required.

Thoughts?

Would a ‘basic’ vs ‘advanced’ UI be possible ? A switch to enable full UI. In my case, the UI is one of the main reasons I got interested in Kopia versus other solutions. It should be fully usable.

Would yous solution allow complete backup/restore process to any kind of repository ?

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Same here. For me, but moreover, for less tech-savvy users I have the charge of taking care of. (And I can’t wait to for the Improvements to mount experience to roll out :wink:)

@jkowalski while I get and agree with 2. and 3.
I’m not sure about 4.
How one would reconnect to temporarily disconnected repo?

About 1. I get that user needs some starting point. But I’m wondering if a default non-removable repo is the way to go. The very first time I opened KopiaUI, I was welcomed with the “Setup Repository” window listing providers. This seems more approachable to me.
And yes, Kopia Server should appear in the Provider pop-up menu.

:+1:t2:

UI is one of the main reasons I got interested in Kopia

Hi Jarek,

here is my opinion about Kopia UI - Managing Repositories.

Here is how I imagine to use it.

  1. i have a Kopia repository server
  2. I connect from my PC to this server
  3. I create my snapshots
  4. later I want to backup several servers to the Kopia server.

So I do not need a local server for the UI. I can create and view my snapshots with the UI. With the last patches I can also mount them! Yeah!

I hope this is understandable and I hope I understood the sense of the UI. What I would like to see, if it was included in the program.

  1. easy option to connect to a Kopia server.

I think you are on a good way. Thanks for Kopia!

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

I would prefer a list of repos be kept in the config file with one being the current one. I would like the GUI to show me that list along with the paths to those repos. I ran into the situation where I wanted to delete a repo but had forgotten the path. I had to look in the config file. I think the GUI should do that for me.

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:+1:
+1 for this one.

Folks, please take a look at a demo of Kopia UI improvements I’ve been working on. They simplify user experience dealing with multiple repositories and cleaned up create/connect flow:


(sorry no sound but should be self-explanatory)

Please let me know what you think of usability here or even better on the PR:

2 Likes

As a KopiaUI user (only), this set of improvements to repo management is very intuitive. I like it! Based on what I saw, users can create a second “repo2” and still easily retain access to repo1.

In the video, you showed how the user can customize the path to the repo’s config file. I assume then, that editing a remote server’s setting (IP address, port, etc) would require opening the config file. This is a good half measure - perhaps down the road even this can be edited from within KopiaUI.

There’s UI for connecting to repository server (not shown in the video). To change parameters, simply disconnect and reconnect - it’s only 2 parameters.

Editing the file will definitely work, but should not be needed (hopefully).

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BTW. You can download and try this change now from nightly releases:

https://github.com/kopia/kopia-ui-release/releases/tag/v20200907.0.80019

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Great work! I just downloaded and tried the latest nighty build and connecting to my local repo, as well as connecting to my Kopia server, was straightforward.

…also the ability to nickname repos is really nice!

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The latest Kopia UI looks great so far. I just noticed the new Mount option which is fantastic. I wasn’t able to get mount to work with the cli on Win10 on 0.63.

The Repository creation UI looks good. And the ability to use multiple repositories in Kopia UI is also very nice.

This .80019 release also seems much faster to start. The 0.63 release would typically take about a minute to start.

The main capability I’d like to see is to be able to see a list of all versions of a file and choose which one to restore. ie. Search for a file, get a list showing date/time of backup of each version and select from that.

Crashplan did a good job of this (from memory) and Duplicati has Search, however IMO it is backwards as you pick a snapshot and then search for a file.

Unfortunately Restore capabilities are lacking in programs such as Relica and Duplicacy which seems very odd to me.

Keep up the great work.

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The latest UI is very good!
The only thing missing so far is the ability to delete an entry.
When we get to this:
ss200908_101153
There’s no way to delete the <not connected> entry without fully creating it.
Maybe the “Select Storage Type” window could show a red [Delete] or [Cancel] button?

Keep up the great work!

You need to open the repository window (click on repo1) and click Disconnect, then close the window.

The first one can be disconnected but will not be removed from the list as it’s always tied to the default kopia repository you may have on your machine.

The “connect to repository” is a bit confusing for me.

I don’t know if the UI supports automatic/scheduled backup but let say it does. Then would the UI be able to do the automatic backup only for 1 repo at a time?

Hi Bruno,

Yes and no: snapshotting can be automated using scheduling policies, but only using intervals (set in seconds), not a set wall-clock time. Therefor, if you set the same interval on multiple repos, snapshotting will repeat at the same time for all of them.

Say you set an interval of 3600 (one hour), snapshot will occur at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and so on. If you need them to be NOT at the same time, you can specify slightly different intervals (a difference of 13 seconds goes a long way).

If a planned snapshot is delayed (computer at sleep, for instance), it will occur as soon as possible, then get back to its “schedule” for the next one. Example:

If the computer goes to sleep at 9:51 and wakes at 10:38, snapshot will occur right away, then again at 11:00 and at the top of the hour from then on.

Hope that helps.

N/B using policies can set precise time(s) of day to snapshot:

kopia policy set <target-path> --snapshot-time 19:00,20:00

It’s not available in the UI yet.

I’m glad to read it’s coming. :sunglasses:

It does, thank you very much.