Trying to restore personal account data to new laptop - Unable to open config file

I cannot find in the forum anything directly applicable to my problem, so I’m asking for help:

I have been running latest Pop!_OS (22.04 LTS) on a System76 laptop, and making complete daily backups of my personal account: /home/tomc, made to an external USB SSD.

I have installed the latest Pop!_OS to another laptop (Acer Spin 5) and am now trying to restore my personal accout to that device, using my backups on the SSD. I am getting a fatal error. I have verified these backups repeatedly during the past year.

tomc@pop-os:~$ restic -r /media/tomc/SSD-WD01-backup/galp5-popos-SSD restore latest --target /home/tomc/
Fatal: unable to open config file: stat /media/tomc/SSD-WD01-backup/galp5-popos-SSD/config: no such file or directory
Is there a repository at the following location?

tomc@pop-os:~$ ls -l /media/tomc/SSD-WD01-backup/galp5-popos-SSD/config
ls: cannot access '/media/tomc/SSD-WD01-backup/galp5-popos-SSD/config': No such file or directory

I expected this to be a slam dunk. I have no idea what to do. The laptop which was backedup will no longer boot, and I cannot even boot up an install disk on it, so I cannot access anything that might be there.

Any suggestions?

If you are sure that the folder galp5-popos-SSD contains a restic repo, try checking if your permissions are ok. Can you see what’s inside galp5-popos-SSD? If not, something like sudo chown -R tomc:tomc galp5-popos-SSD might be necessary.

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Yes, I can definitely see the repo contents. I’m seeing what I expect to see, right down to the level of the individual daily backups. Correction: I actually have 7 REPOS on this SSD. Each has a visible config file.

Oh drat. I think I see the problem: me. My restic command was naming the dir containing the 7 repos as itself a repo. That’s how I think of it, casually. That no longer makes sense. I’ll now try that command with each of the 7 repos in my backup dir. That should work.

Live and learn…

Thanks so much for your quick response. It did seem to have led me to the solution. I’m very grateful.