Wiki Table of Contents

Timeshift

Firstly Timeshift is just a frontend for rsync but with a few additions. As its developer states:

Timeshift provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS. Timeshift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored at a later date to undo all changes to the system.

You can do most of what Timeshift does with a few lines in a bash script (see here for examples)

Misconceptions

  • Timeshift doesn’t back up Home – not true; it doesn’t do it by default, but it’s easy to include by clicking Settings and then Users. You can further include/exclude files/folders on the Filters tab.
  • Timeshift can’t restore to dissimilar hardware – not true; thanks to how Linux detects hardware, you can restore to other configurations, though I’ve no experience of how it performs with UEFI.
  • Timeshift restores won’t work because Grub and fstab will be messed up – not true; Grub is installed and configured as part of the restore process and fstab edited to reflect the correct UUIDs, without any intervention from the user.
  • Timeshift needs it’s own partition – not true; you can select which partition the timeshift folder is written to, there can be other files/folders on the partition.
  • Timeshift takes ages to backup a system – partially true; the initial backup can take a few minutes, subsequent backups take seconds (depending on filesystem changes made between backups).

Usage example

Post by user ChrisUK:

I only ever install an OS once… I backup the install with Timeshift and restore it to other boxes. So all but the initial install are clones. I take regular Timeshift backups before any system changes (upgrades, new software, config changes etc.).

Links

Version: 20191027

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