Timeshift and required file systems?

Questions about applications and software
Forum rules
Before you post please read how to get help
User avatar
wutsinterweb
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:14 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by wutsinterweb » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:00 pm

So up until now I had never tried to use timeshift. The upgrade to Tara procedure from 18.3 to 19 requests one use timeshift. I didn't realize that timeshift was using my existing boot and home ssd, the other physical drives are all formatted with NTFS so that I can use them cross OS wise and because I've had their files stored for a decade and don't have resources for new drives.

I am aware that, for instance, BTRFS provides storage drive features that NTFS does not, though I don't know specifics. Are those the reason that timeshift requires a drive be ext format in order to store the backup? Would developers consider adding ntfs file system to timeshift, would it even be possible. Right now I cannot even USE timeshift because of this. I use Aptik. I know they are two different things, though I'm not aware how they are.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:16 pm

wutsinterweb wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:00 pm
Are those the reason that timeshift requires a drive be ext format in order to store the backup?
I think it has more to do with storing the permissions and attributes of files. If timeshift backs up to say an ext4 partition then it doesn't need to do any additional work to deal with permissions and attributes.
Would developers consider adding ntfs file system to timeshift, would it even be possible.
Taking your last statement first, yes, it's possible. There's nothing stopping timeshift recording the permissions if it encounters any non-linux partition, and later using that record to restore the permissions. However it means extra work for the developer, who was already pushed to make major changes to timeshift in order to get it into a default Mint install. It also means extra time is consumed restoring the permissions, and that requires a lot of disk I/O. With SSDs being more and more common, that can be detrimental.

Regarding the first statement, you would have to ask the developer.
Right now I cannot even USE timeshift because of this.
My opinion is that's a good thing. Timeshift is a very crude attempt to emulate the maker of major woes in Windwoes, System Restore. You're better off to take regular disk images using Clonezilla live. It takes a little getting used to but it's saved my bacon many times.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
slipstick
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Somewhere on the /LL0 scale

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by slipstick » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:28 pm

TimeShift works with BTRFS as well as EXT filesystems. I don't know how BTRFS works, but with EXT, TimeShift depends on hard links. The file data is stored in a data pool and the snapshot directory entries are hard links to the data files (actually they link to i-nodes which point to the data). This way, incremental backups can be made, but also, any snapshot, including the first one can be deleted without affecting the other snapshots.

I happen to like TimeShift - it has saved me a lot of trouble on a couple of occasions, and I've never had any problems with it.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they ain't.

User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:47 pm

Another user who enjoys Timeshift and has never, ever, had a problem with it.

Caveat: It will only "restore" the system that it was made on, not another computer with the same OS, and this is because of the "Hard Links" to where the files are.

Aptik: IMO, this is more Valuable than Timeshift.
.......... your HDD can crash beyond repair.
you do a new fresh install, and then apply Aptik to the new install, and everything is restored back exactly like you had it before, with a very few minor omissions..... ( DE wallpaper is one, forget the other 2 items I noticed )

A Plus for Aptik:
it can be used to clone your favorite DE onto any other PC as long as, it has the same OS version and DE.
I have a thread describing how I used an Aptik backup file, to clone that DE onto a Dell laptop.
it worked perfectly..... Aptik is so smart, that it noticed that the current version of the kernel in the ASUS laptop was different than what the Dell needed, and it downloaded, and installed the correct kernel for the Dell.

That's my 3 cents worth. YMMV, but Aptik is damn good. And, it can save a backup file in minutes compared to the amount of time it takes to make/restore a full Disk Image which is only good for the machine it was made from.

My thread on doing the above: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=267645

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:57 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:47 pm
Another user who enjoys Timeshift and has never, ever, had a problem with it.

A Plus for Aptik
As a former software developer of much disrepute, I can tell you that you're headed for trouble relying on both of those to keep your system backed up. The point is simple; the more software you use, the more chance you have of something borking. The safest method by far is a single application that's had a long history of reliability. Neither Aptik nor Timeshift has that advantage, and certainly not together either.
That's my 3 cents worth.
You've got my 2 cents worth. Keep the change. :lol:
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by AZgl1500 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:03 pm

Ah, but a full manual disk image is not likely to happen more than 2 or 3 times a year, dear sir...

whereas Timeshift can be hourly if you wish.
Aptik is also manual, but very fast, I makes copies every week or so.

I have a Google Calendar entry that reminds me to do full disk images quarterly.

User avatar
MintBean
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2955
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:54 am
Location: Blighty

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by MintBean » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Yes, Timeshift uses the snapshot feature of BTRFS or the hardlink feature of EXT4. Whilst it could be modified to use, say NTFS it would be a substantial amount of work due to the lack of either of those features.

User avatar
slipstick
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 774
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Somewhere on the /LL0 scale

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by slipstick » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:28 pm

catweazel wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:57 pm
The safest method by far is a single application that's had a long history of reliability. Neither Aptik nor Timeshift has that advantage, and certainly not together either.
The safest method is the one you'll actually use. I have used Clonezilla, and still use it once in a while, but not very often because it's a pain in the rear to shut down my system, boot into Clonezilla, make a backup, and reboot into Linux. I use TimeShift to make regular backups to my system files with no effort required on my part. For my personal data files, I use Back-in-Time, which requires a small amount of effort as I don't have those automated, but I don't have to shut down and reboot. The data files are backed up to an external USB drive and also to a hard drive on a completely different computer.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they ain't.

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:32 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:03 pm
Ah, but a full manual disk image is not likely to happen more than 2 or 3 times a year, dear sir...
I take an image as soon as I see major updates coming in. That's my reminder.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:39 pm

slipstick wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:28 pm
catweazel wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:57 pm
The safest method by far is a single application that's had a long history of reliability. Neither Aptik nor Timeshift has that advantage, and certainly not together either.
The safest method is the one you'll actually use.
To paraphrase myself, the safest method is the one that actually works when you need to restore.
I have used Clonezilla, and still use it once in a while, but not very often because it's a pain in the rear to shut down my system, boot into Clonezilla, make a backup, and reboot into Linux.
I guess the time put in to backing up comes down to the value of your treasured stuff. Or in my case, the value of my time put in to avoid faffing about with the vagaries of issues caused by unproven flakeyware. At the end of the day, it's personal preference so I'll shut up now.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
AndyMH
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by AndyMH » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:42 am

Ah, but a full manual disk image is not likely to happen more than 2 or 3 times a year, dear sir...

whereas Timeshift can be hourly if you wish.
Do BOTH, I use redo not clonezilla for image backups and this happens infrequently, I use timeshift and backintime daily (automated).
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

User avatar
bob466
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:23 am
Location: Australia

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by bob466 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:21 am

catweazel wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:16 pm
Timeshift is a very crude attempt to emulate the maker of major woes in Windwoes, System Restore. You're better off to take regular disk images using Clonezilla live. It takes a little getting used to but it's saved my bacon many times.
I totally agree with this statement.

Op,
You're much better off and safer creating a System Image every now and then (I use Macrium..saved me several times too.) which backs up everything on the HDD...because Timeshift doesn't and I don't trust it at all.

Those who think Timeshift is the best thing since sliced bread...try this test...

Create a Snapshot...open the Home Folder and delete the Documents Folder...restore the Snapshot...guess what...Documents Folder is gone...it wasn't restored. Open Timeshift and choose a Snapshot created one month ago...same result...Documents Folder is gone forever with all your files...what great software and Snapshots take up heaps of space too.
I did try Aptik once...it didn't restore Google Chrome or Opera and all my add-ons...not good. :shock:
Linux For Ever...Windoze Never

User avatar
AndyMH
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by AndyMH » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:11 am

Those who think Timeshift is the best thing since sliced bread...try this test...
By DEFAULT timeshift does NOT backup /home, as set up in mint its sole purpose is to backup your system not your data. You can change the default settings to include /home. One of the reasons that by itself it is not sufficient. Want to backup /home try backintime or any number of other backup utilities.

Less a test, more a failure to understand the purpose of timeshift!
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

User avatar
Sir Charles
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1832
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by Sir Charles » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:23 am

AndyMH wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:11 am
Those who think Timeshift is the best thing since sliced bread...try this test...
By DEFAULT timeshift does NOT backup /home, as set up in mint its sole purpose is to backup your system not your data. You can change the default settings to include /home. One of the reasons that by itself it is not sufficient. Want to backup /home try backintime or any number of other backup utilities.
It seems that you cannot put enough emphasis on this. Here is what the developer himself says:
TimeShift for Linux is an application that 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.
...

If you need a tool to backup your documents and files please take a look at the excellent BackInTime application which is more configurable and provides options for saving user files.

http://www.teejeetech.in/p/timeshift.html
I suppose that's one of the ironies of life, doing the wrong thing at the right moment -C.C.

User avatar
AZgl1500
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:20 am
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
Contact:

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by AZgl1500 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:42 am

Marziano wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:23 am
AndyMH wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:11 am
Those who think Timeshift is the best thing since sliced bread...try this test...
By DEFAULT timeshift does NOT backup /home, as set up in mint its sole purpose is to backup your system not your data. You can change the default settings to include /home. One of the reasons that by itself it is not sufficient. Want to backup /home try backintime or any number of other backup utilities.
It seems that you cannot put enough emphasis on this. Here is what the developer himself says:
TimeShift for Linux is an application that 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.
...

If you need a tool to backup your documents and files please take a look at the excellent BackInTime application which is more configurable and provides options for saving user files.

http://www.teejeetech.in/p/timeshift.html

And again, I am going to Chime in and say, that Timeshift is a great tool for the OS, it has never failed me in backing up to a previous version of my OS before I accepted a crappy kernel that destroyed my internet access........

That is my #1 complaint about accepting new Kernels. 100% of the time, it deletes my WiFi access on this laptop.
That is totally unacceptable.

Those who complain it does not backup /home anything are jerks, they did not read what TeeJee says and quoted above.

I have no heartache about those who insist on disk images, have at it, takes too damn much time, and can't be done w/o interrupting my day. and you sure aren't going to make incremental updates to a disk image.

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:35 pm

AZgl1500 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:42 am
Those who complain it does not backup /home anything are jerks
Keep it nice. There's no need for name calling.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
bob466
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 268
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:23 am
Location: Australia

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by bob466 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:25 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:11 am
Less a test, more a failure to understand the purpose of timeshift!
I know Timeshift Documentation says it doesn't back up personal files and that's a shame...that's why I conducted my tests...what's the point of having back-up software that doesn't back up everything. :roll: If Timeshift backed up everything on the HDD it would be a great tool...but it doesn't...so it's not.
Those who complain it does not backup /home anything are jerks
Some of us jerks have been backing up the OS since Windoze XP with either a Clone or System Image and have a good understanding of backing up than others.
Linux For Ever...Windoze Never

moretocome
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:13 am

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by moretocome » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:01 am

catweazel wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:35 pm

Keep it nice. There's no need for name calling.
There is also no need to keep repeating your negative opinion on software, when several people already have mentioned to you, you have misunderstood the general purpose and use case of the software.

And you keep recommending people to rely on system images, yet you fail to mention to them, that it will mean they will have no backup solution for neither their personal or their system files between the time of the image creating and the time of the eventual system crash. I don't think that is very nice either, not to the developer of the software nor to the people you are trying to guide.

User avatar
catweazel
Level 17
Level 17
Posts: 7113
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:44 pm
Location: Australian Antarctic Territory

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by catweazel » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:32 am

moretocome wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:01 am
catweazel wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:35 pm

Keep it nice. There's no need for name calling.
There is also no need to keep repeating your negative opinion on software, when several people already have mentioned to you, you have misunderstood the general purpose and use case of the software.

And you keep recommending people to rely on system images, yet you fail to mention to them, that it will mean they will have no backup solution for neither their personal or their system files between the time of the image creating and the time of the eventual system crash. I don't think that is very nice either, not to the developer of the software nor to the people you are trying to guide.
You are drawing a very long and non-existent connection between opinion and name calling. We are all entitled to state our opinions on software. We are not entitled to attack people.

It may be helpful to you if you understood that Timeshift doesn't back up personal files, and system files don't need to be backed up so often. So your point is void.
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

User avatar
wutsinterweb
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:14 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: Timeshift and required file systems?

Post by wutsinterweb » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:53 am

catweisel, what methods of backup do you recommend? How often? On what type of backup system? I have no budget, FWIW. So far, I've only used Aptik, but my installs aren't so important, my important files are on storage drives which themselves have duplicates of.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.

Post Reply

Return to “Software & Applications”