Timeshift: I have disabled it

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LateJunction
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Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by LateJunction » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:52 am

Out of all the people I meet who use their computer (irrespective of OS) to create 'things' of some value or importance, there is nobody who is as insistent on backups as myself. Yet, having now been really frustrated by the discovery that my computer (running Mint 19,1) is, in practice, unusable for about 15 minutes every morning at about the same time, I have disabled Timeshift. It was the culprit.

This important function needs someone to take a serious look at its design and performance. A quick browse around this morning showed that the 2 snapshots that I specified to be kept comprised of almost 850 THOUSAND files and occupied 15% of the free space on my disk. The total number of files I have in my Home folder is just 30 thousand (after excluding 60 thousand cache and other log files) - and I keep an unusual amount of backups/logs and similar files for tax purposes and for students whom I support. I also have an extensive music and photo collection on my system.So Timeshift is saving about 15 times as many files as I have at every snapshot. No wonder my system 'drowns' every time it starts. This is overkill.

So, as I said, I think the design needs a thorough review and reworking. In the meantime I have disabled it. All my own files are backed up regularly to off-line and off-site storage which takes just a few minutes. By the way, for other reasons, I did a complete rebuild of my system when I moved to 19.1. It took about 40 minutes. I expect to do this about once a year.

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Moem
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by Moem » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:58 am

There is a lot of confusion on what Timeshift is and isn't (and I think that the documentation and explanations given need to be improved to help fix that). Timeshift is not a backup utility and it is not recommended to use it as such. It's meant to create restore points for your system, not backups of files.

I think there is not much wrong with its design and performance. But the interface and the default settings need some serious work.
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by gm10 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:02 am

Unfortunately you entirely misunderstood the concept. Timeshift doesn't perform backups of your data at all. As it says in the description of the menu entry already, Timeshift is a "System Restore Utility". All it does is create snapshots of your operating system, nothing more, nothing less.

It's up to you to decide whether you configure boot time snapshots (which are what's slowing you down after boot). Personally I'm fine with weekly snapshots only.

For backing up your personal data you can find suitable tools in Software Manager. Pre-installed there's mintbackup but I wouldn't recommend it.

LateJunction
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by LateJunction » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:39 am

Ah, I take your point entirely - thank you for the insight. I will now only use Timeshift to create a 'restore point' on demand - although there is no clear pointer as to how to do this in the app - just as you implied about its usability.

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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by gm10 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:46 am

LateJunction wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:39 am
I will now only use Timeshift to create a 'restore point' on demand - although there is no clear pointer as to how to do this in the app - just as you implied about its usability.
I think all but the author probably agree on the usability. ;)

To create a snapshot on demand, open the app and click the Create button in the top left.

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AndyMH
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by AndyMH » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:35 am

I have no problem with timeshift, it automatically backs up daily and seems to be around 6pm (probably the time when I first set it up). It backups up to a SATA3 HDD, so quick, and given that it only backs up that which is changed, doesn't interfere with my use of the system at all. I am not trying to use it to backup /home, it's not what it's for.
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philotux
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by philotux » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:55 am

My latest attempt at restoring my LM 19.0 system using several snapshots made by Timeshift proved to be "disastrous". After each attempt, the restored system won't accept my login credential, thus locking me out of my system. I had to reinstall LM.

So, even though I formerly had positive experience from using Timeshift to restore my system, I wouldn't rely upon it as the only tool for system backup. I have started making images of my root partition at regular intervals as complement to Timeshift's snapshots.

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AZgl1500
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by AZgl1500 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:18 am

LateJunction wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:52 am
Out of all the people I meet who use their computer (irrespective of OS) to create 'things' of some value or importance, there is nobody who is as insistent on backups as myself. Yet, having now been really frustrated by the discovery that my computer (running Mint 19,1) is, in practice, unusable for about 15 minutes every morning at about the same time, I have disabled Timeshift. It was the culprit.

This important function needs someone to take a serious look at its design and performance. A quick browse around this morning showed that the 2 snapshots that I specified to be kept comprised of almost 850 THOUSAND files and occupied 15% of the free space on my disk. The total number of files I have in my Home folder is just 30 thousand (after excluding 60 thousand cache and other log files) - and I keep an unusual amount of backups/logs and similar files for tax purposes and for students whom I support. I also have an extensive music and photo collection on my system.So Timeshift is saving about 15 times as many files as I have at every snapshot. No wonder my system 'drowns' every time it starts. This is overkill.

So, as I said, I think the design needs a thorough review and reworking. In the meantime I have disabled it. All my own files are backed up regularly to off-line and off-site storage which takes just a few minutes. By the way, for other reasons, I did a complete rebuild of my system when I moved to 19.1. It took about 40 minutes. I expect to do this about once a year.
There is Zilch wrong with Timeshift..........
What is wrong, is your understanding of what it was designed for....
Simply to take a snapshot of the OS, and nothing more.

it should never, ever, be asked to back up DATA e.g., /HOME is an ill conceived thing to ask it to do. It only takes 60 seconds for Timeshift to create an updated Snapshot of my laptop.
I have it configured to run Daily , and I am never aware that it has occurred. it does not stop the PC from working, it runs in the background.

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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by MrGrimm » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:40 am

"There is Zilch wrong with Timeshift.........."

actually there are issues with timeshift, and i'm not the only one to run into it. back in september i decide to give linux another go after not testing distros for several years. in october i landed on mint cinnamon and was extremely happy with how far linux and in particular mint had come. so much so i decide to keep mint and slowly get away from windows. well with mint by mid november i felt i no longer needed windows as a crutchm and saved the few things form both os's, reset the ssd, installed mint using it partition recommendation. once on the desktop ran the update commands in terminal, launched timeshift to take a smapshot and was told would work with my partition scheme. it wanted the newer b??? partition not the ext4. wasn't enough to get me to switch distros though. loved and loving mint way too much for something like timeshift not working properly to get me to switch.

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AndyMH
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by AndyMH » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:00 am

it wanted the newer b??? partition not the ext4.
Did you get this sorted? I've no problems with ext4, might or might not be relevant - put in a new HDD a few months back for backup, used gparted to create an ext4 partition, timeshift refused to see it. Took me a while to figure it out, but duh!, I'd forgotten to create a partition table. I run all my stuff in legacy.

Also had no problems with restore which I've used a lot recently upgrading and downgrading between LM19.0 and LM19.1 as I tried to figure out the problems I was having with VB. Apart from setting up automatic snapshots haven't changed any of the defaults.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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trytip
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Re: Timeshift: I have disabled it

Post by trytip » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:05 am

timeshift has it's issues, like sometimes hanging or crashing. once the restore process starts and you get the fullscreen terminal output things are smooth.
so you learned that your system is bad with resources because timeshift uses your drive to write your root partition to a backup folder 5 times a day? personally i never use any scheduled tasks. if my computer was enhanced with artificial intelligence i would let it roam free, but since timeshift is just a program made by a human i'll controll what it does and when it does it.
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