Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

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SueS
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Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by SueS »

Hello,

I keep backups of my personal data on a USB or external drive, including alternates that are offsite. I manually make backups about once a week. In other words, I delete the old backup copy from the USB or external drive and make a fresh copy from my hard drive. I have a separate bootable USB with the version of LinuxMint that I'm running.

For 2023, I'm going to enter the modern age and start using backup program that will just update the folders and files with data that's changed since the last backup. Because I already have a bootable USB with the LinuxMint OS, I am not planning on backing up the OS and program files. I only add a few programs and tweaks to the LinuxMint OS, such as a VPN. It's no big deal for me to reinstall these. I would like to confirm my understanding of various backup tools (Timeshift and Backup Tool) that come preloaded with LinuxMint as well as another that I've read about in the Forum: FreeFileSync. As I understand it, Timeshift is a tool to backup the entire system - the operating system and program files whereas the Backup Tool is for backing up personal data. Does Timeshift backup personal data files as well? From what I can tell, FreeFileSync is an alternate to the Backup Tool for backing up personal data. Have I got the basic descriptions correct? If not, what am I missing? Also, any opinions about whether Backup Tool or FreeFileSync would be better suited for my backup methods/plans? Or it there's something better than Backup Tool and FreeFileSync...?

SueS
Lou77
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by Lou77 »

I use TimeShift, Deja Dup and the in-house Mint backup. I also have a cloned copy of the disk that I made with RescueZilla, I keep that clone on a SanDisk Extreme Pro USB SSD. Periodically I do a clone to have the latest on the SSD.

In TimeShift you have a User and Filters section where you can select All Files ( this includes hidden files ), add more directories, etc. You should be able to get a full system backup and more. I have a 500 gig internal SATA 6 gbs SSD drive I use for the backups with a folder for each tool. I do a automatic Daily backup with TimeShift ( there is plenty of space on the drive ) and save 50 of those, a TimeShift Boot backup is done at every boot and I save only 10 of those. I then do a Deja Dup and Mint Backup from time to time. One can never have too many backups. I periodically move the backups off the SATA SSD onto a couple of SanDisk Extreme Pro USB drives.

I would say to do a few practice backups with TimeShift using various options and then checking the backups to see that you have backed up everything you wanted. Some people do not like automatic backups, I see nothing wrong with them and millions of severs around the world do automatic backups every day...so, if you have the space, do a daily auto backup and have piece of mind. Those that do not like auto backups prefer to look at every thing they are backing up. I get it but if a person has that little trust in TimeShift or any tool then maybe they should use a different tool?
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RIH
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by RIH »

I am not planning on backing up the OS and program files
Then you don't need to use Timeshift. That is its' only purpose.

The Backup Tool is a useful program but is not really intended to back up personal data files, more personal system files like program settings.
Its' disadvantage is that it is not incremental so it is a new, start from scratch, output every time.
The Applications side of the Backup Tool is very useful to supply a small text list of all the Applications that you have installed on your system.
I use Backup Tool when I am planning to write a brand new Mint system to my PC. I can then use it to restore most of my current settings on the newly installed system.

Like many others, I keep all my personal data files on a completely separate disk to the operating system.
I back this up, daily, to another completely separate disk using FreeFileSync.
The daily run just backs up any additions that I have made to my personal data that day.
FreeFileSync is a pretty powerful program but is also easy to use from day one.
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SueS
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by SueS »

Really helpful, quick responses! Thanks very much for your help. I've changed my mind will likely use Timeshift and FreeFileSync.
mikeflan
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by mikeflan »

will likely use Timeshift and FreeFileSync.
Great choice. I recommend you create "ffs_batch" files to backup specific directories by double clicking a file. And preferably backup to another internal hard drive (if available), in addition to the external drive backups and offline backups you already do.

I do programming and after working 15 or 30 minutes of work I will double click the "ffs_batch" file to save a copy. Then work 30 minutes more and backup again. Someday I might move to RAID, but for now I make do with ffs batch files.
SueS
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by SueS »

Thanks also for the suggestion about making "ffs_batch" files. Is there somewhere that I can find more specifics about how to do this?
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all41
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by all41 »

Go overboard on backups of sensitive data.
If it's important and irreplaceable back it up multiply.
System backups take second seat
Everything is difficult before it gets easy.
mikeflan
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by mikeflan »

SueS wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 10:58 pm
Thanks also for the suggestion about making "ffs_batch" files. Is there somewhere that I can find more specifics about how to do this?
Youtube might be your best best.

These sites are not too good - use with caution:
https://studyinpng.com/2021/01/backup-f ... -software/
https://datatypes.net/open-a-6666735f6261746368-files

Here are 2 settings that I consider to be pretty important:
viewtopic.php?p=2252377#p2252377
SueS
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Re: Timeshift, Backup Tool or FreeFileSync

Post by SueS »

Your words to the wise noted. Thanks again.
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