I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.
There are many posts in this forum on this topic already, if you search for them.
I.) As with any computer system or any computer operating system, it is always a very good idea to backup your system to an external source like an external USB hard drive or large USB Flash Drive, using a hard drive imaging program, ex: like Clonezilla Live boot CD/DVD/USB, before
doing anything major, including any major Operating System Upgrades, hard drive partitioning, installing another operating System, installing a systemic application(s), or even adding or updating video drivers. This way, if something goes wrong, you can just restore from your backup.
"Clonezilla live" tutorial http://clonezilla.org/show-live-doc-content.php?topic=clonezilla-live/doc/01_Save_disk_image
II.) I use a program like the wonderful and easy to use "FreeFileSync" and or "LuckyBackup" to make daily backups (copies) to the external USB drive of things that change daily, like documents, data, updated passwords, multi-media files (music, video, pics), etc... After the first time running one of these sync applications, it is usually very fast. This has an advantage, in that you can easily & quickly access your files and data in an uncompressed format.
LuckyBackup is in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM).
"FreefileSync" is available from their website, click the Ubuntu 16.04 for Linux Mint 18.x, and you just right click and extract the archive file, and double click the "FreeFileSync" program within that folder. You can create a menu item or desktop shortcut launcher to this as well.https://www.freefilesync.org/download.php
Download "deb" file or quick "apt" install for Linux Mint 18 (Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial)https://www.ubuntuupdates.org/package/getdeb_apps/xenial/apps/getdeb/freefilesync
For Linux Mint 17.x there is a PPA
To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freefilesync/ffs
III.) And, I also use "Aptik" once a month, or more, depending on whether I install a lot of software applications (programs), to backup my Linux Mint settings, customizations, PPA's, software and applications, themes, etc... "Aptik" makes it simple to do a "fresh install" of Linux Mint, if you ever needed to, or want to.
To install "Aptik", download their easy installer ".deb" file, and double click that, or install their PPA below by Opening a console terminal prompt and type in each line one by one, or copy & paste each line, below:
Aptik website - their "homepage" has links to download the 32-bit or 64-bit easy installer Aptik ".deb" file.http://www.teejeetech.in/2014/01/introducing-aptik.html
Code: Select all
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
IV.) There are programs like "Back in time", "systemback", "Timeshift", and others that you might look into as well, these can do snapshots too. I found that running "SystemBack", or "TimeShift", takes as long or longer than running "Clonezilla Live" though and takes up a lot of space, unless you are using the "Btrfs" Linux file system and "Timeshift Btrfs" which is very quick and space conscience (does not use up a lot of space).
V.) You can also use Internet "Cloud" storage services, like Google Drive (15gb free), "pCloud" (10gb + free) , "Mega.nz" (50gb free), etc... to synchronize your files to and from your computer and the cloud. But, you are limited to however much space your cloud storage provider allows; you can of course pay for extra storage...
Hope this helps ...