Timeshift: Like System Restore for Linux

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by apathy, Dec 16, 2013.

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  1. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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    Timeshift is an excellent backup application. I had thought that it was just an rsync gui clone but there is much more under the hood. You can schedule monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and boot snapshots.

    By accident I disconnected my power cord and Linux went into sleep mode. I couldn't get it out of sleep mode due to AMD issues. I lost some files. I picked an hourly snapshot from a couple of hours ago and it check to see what I had lost and restore those files and even reinstalled Grub to ensure a proper boot. Everything was back to normal and I never even notice those hourly backups as they only look to see what files are changed.
    I'm very impressed!

    snapshot2.png

     
  2. jnthn

    jnthn Registered Member

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    Looks awesome. I've been dabbling with rsync the past week to backup files and folders to an external usb. This will come in handy as well. Thanks for the tip. :)
     
  3. zorro zorrito

    zorro zorrito Registered Member

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    I'm trying to install it in manjaro but it gives me an error.o_O
     
  4. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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  5. zorro zorrito

    zorro zorrito Registered Member

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    I installed it in Manjaro, then I made un snapshot, rebooted and it made 1 boot update and after that...I eliminated 1 pdf that was on the desktop and I tryed to restore a snapshot but...the pdf I eliminated before didn't appear again!:doubt:
     
  6. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Hate to say it, but this method of backing up (rsync and hard links) is IMO grossly inadequate for system backups.

    An NTFS volume shadow copy (or an LVM snapshot) is copy-on-write; instead of copying stuff, it just redirects writes so that old data is preserved in the backup. Kind of like a primitive, low-level VCS. Copy-on-write backups don't take very long, and are highly reliable.

    This strategy, on the other hand, takes forever; and it will get you a corrupted backup if anything interrupts it. Also it uses more space, since you have to copy the whole system the first time you run the backup.

    Not badmouthing Linux, BTW; the lack of available hot backup strategies has just been a thorn in my side for a while. If anyone knows of a sane way to do hot backups (that doesn't require migrating to LVM or BTRFS) I'm all ears...

    Edit: a more appropriate analogy for Timeshift is probably Apple Time Machine, which also uses the copy/hard link strategy. More reason not to buy Apple IMO.
     
  7. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    According to the website, "TimeShift is designed to protect only system files and settings. User files such as documents, pictures and music are excluded."

    This would include /home/username/Desktop.
     
  8. zorro zorrito

    zorro zorrito Registered Member

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    Thanks, I didn't see that. So that it works fine.:D
     
  9. zorro zorrito

    zorro zorrito Registered Member

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    I'm starting to take taste to this program!!! I can try new programs and if I don't like them I restore a snapshot with TIMESHIFT, that's great, even if I upgrade and something goes wrong, well I use TIMESHIFT. very interesting I thing. I made this uninstalling GParted and with TIMESHIFT it came back after the reboot, that's the other side of the program, I think I'm going to use it many many times because I'm starting to know programs in linux like I did in windows for many years. :D
     
  10. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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    You can try out a distro and then rollback to previous os you had backed up. It will reinstall grub and everything.
    I need to find something like Remastersys for Archlinux now and I'll be set.

    What is very cool is that it doesn't waste space while providing an easy way to copy files from a snapshot at the same time.
     
  11. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Hmm. I may have to eat my words on this actually. Tried out rsnapshot (another such program) on my laptop for system backup, and it seems to be pretty fast, and not too bad about disk space.

    Of course, I haven't yet taken a backup while actually doing stuff, let alone restored one... Given the lack of mandatory locks on Linux, it's possible that something got corrupted. We'll see.
     
  12. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  13. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Agreed its a file level back VS file system/partition level backup.
    Designed for backing up data rather than full systems.

    Why do you think its slow and gets corrupts ?
    Its fast/compact, only copies parts of files that have changed an does full file checksums as using rsync under the hood.

    Why do you need to do hot backups (out of interest) of I assume complete file systems ?

    Cheers, Nick
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  14. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    @NGRhodes: I didn't realize it was doing checksums... My bad.

    Re hot backups, it's more a matter of convenience; it's nice to be able to back up your entire system without booting a live CD. Not critical (as on a server) but nice.
     
  15. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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    NGRhodes, try fsarchiver and the gui QT4-FSarchiver. You can backup your partitions in live mode while they are mounted. I don't want to go down the road of LVM either.. I'll wait for btrfs to be super stable.
     
  16. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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    I installed Opensuse 13.1 and BtrFS is awesome. It took me a bit to learn all the commands with snapper but having an hourly timeline snapshot of /home and the other default pre/post/timeline is nice to have. I never even notice that it is happening.

    Now to back up my setup with Cloneziilla, ~Phrase Removed~ opensuse asks for your root pass waaay too much!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2013
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