Desktop vs Home folder

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endusermint
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Desktop vs Home folder

Post by endusermint » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:13 am

Before I dumped windows completely, I used my desktop as the place to dump all new things, and then clean up the annoying clutter as needed; with folders and sub-folders.

I notice that my home folder on Linux shows desktop, and the other "left side column" items like video, pictures, documents...

1) is my desktop a sub folder under home? (home is shown as my user name): would backing up that folder sufficiently back up the other directories I see?

I would like to come up with a backup solution for my computer that backs it up exactly and entirely as is. All installed apps, all settings tweaks, all files and data etc. I don't care how big the file is, I want the whole deal cloned 1 to 1. (A nice example would be firefox + the pluggins and UI tweaks included within the backup)

Main goal is total restore without having to reconfigure UI.

is that possible?

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caf4926
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by caf4926 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:48 am

Actually the use of the 'Desktop' as was traditional in windows is a poor choice and it's not one I would recommend
But you can use it as you describe

There is a backup tool in Mint, but I have no experience of it's use
My guess is it will be good or they wouldn't put it there.
Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon

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catweazel
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by catweazel » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:07 am

caf4926 wrote:There is a backup tool in Mint, but I have no experience of it's use
My guess is it will be good or they wouldn't put it there.
Wrong guess. Timeshift is the backup tool and it doesn't backup either personal files or settings.
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catweazel
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by catweazel » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:18 am

endusermint wrote:I would like to come up with a backup solution for my computer that backs it up exactly and entirely as is. All installed apps, all settings tweaks, all files and data etc.
Clonezilla, it's the bee's knee's for backing up partitions and entire drives.

Download the live, stable version here: http://clonezilla.org/downloads.php. You can burn it to CD.DVD or install it on a USB flash drive. It takes a little getting used to but once you know the steps it's easy.
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caf4926
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by caf4926 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:20 am

Personally I use 'dd'
But it's not for everyone
Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon

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AndyMH
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by AndyMH » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:06 am

For backup I think you need two solutions:
  • 1. Something that will take an image of your partitions - something to use every once in a while, maybe monthly.

    2. Something that is used on a frequent basis to backup individual files, folders, etc.
For the first - system images, I use REDO. Search and download the iso from the web and burn to CD. Boot off the CD, its got a GUI and easy to follow. I've installed REDO onto my USB backup HDD and boot from that - much quicker, but a bit more complicated to install.

For the second, I use two applications, both available in software manager = easy to install, Timeshift and BackinTime.
  • Timeshift is there to backup your system, i.e. not /home.

    Conversely, BackinTime is to backup your data, i.e. /home (although you can configure it to do full system backups as well).
Both are reasonably easy to set up, and once set up can be forgotten about - set them up to do periodic (I use daily) backups and they will do this in the background. Both work the same way, using rsync as a backend to do the file copying. They take snapshots of what you've specified for the backup - first time they will copy everything, thereafter only changes. They save space on the snapshots by using hard links, if a file hasn't changed a hard link is effectively a pointer to the copy of the file (=first backup). I've been impressed by the speed of backup on a USB3.0 HDD. They will also backup over a network, I've not tried this yet, but as I've got a synology NAS - next thing to try. One nice thing with BackinTime is that you can set up multiple profiles (=different backup sources). I've got virtualbox running win7 in a VM = +30GB. I've got one profile backing up everything in /home except the VMs (daily) and another for the VMs (weekly).

Why two sorts of backup, one images, the other files? If you completely bork your system so that it will no longer boot, use REDO to restore it. You then have a working system, but out of date. Then use Timeshift/Backintime to bring it up to date. If you mess up an individual file/folder, use Timeshift/Backtime to restore it - with a system image you have to restore the whole partition. I've had to use both approaches in anger, they are life-savers.

The above are my personal preferences, there are alternatives to all of them. Until I 'discovered' Timeshift and BackinTime I was doing the same, but had written my own scripts to run rsync - could have saved a lot of time if I'd found them first (they weren't bundled in with mint 17.3, only found them after the upgrade to 18).

As a PS to the previous post, personally I wouldn't go near dd, it's not for nothing that its alternative title is disk destroyer - one misplaced finger/command and .....
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JerryF
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Re: Desktop vs Home folder

Post by JerryF » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:25 am

endusermint wrote: ...
1) is my desktop a sub folder under home? (home is shown as my user name): would backing up that folder sufficiently back up the other directories I see?
Yes, your Desktop is a subfolder under /home/username.
If you backup Desktop and it has folders on it, then yes, those folders and anything within those would be backup up too.
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