Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

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rpmckinley
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by rpmckinley » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:53 pm

My, Very limited, understanding of Timeshift is that you could take a Snap-shot of your current state of updates and possibly some of your data files.
That sounds to me as though Timeshift Snap-shot would be a good application to run just before running any updates to the system. That way if an update fails or if it installs files or code that conflicts with other existing packages you would have a "Back-up" path to recovery. If ONLY the system Kernal files are included the that might be a good option. But I run a small Real Estate investment business. I have hundreds of files, and many of those files are updated and/or edited on a daily basis. I run a Budget-Sheet on every piece of property and on every project I have. I would have to have a separate Snap-shot of every files on a daily or weekly basis at the minimum. If I had to restore two weeks worth of Snap-shots on a hundred different files, and then try to figure out what data or revisions were deleted I'd be in worse condition than I was in wiping out my entire system and then depending on what I had from xfburn and other simple copy-to methods.
Timeshift might work for some people and in some cases but I don't believe that could be called a good reliable Backup solution.

And speaking of Backup(s), I should be doing one now while I have my system restored and working like it should.

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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by Petermint » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:07 pm

Good? Timeshift is designed for one use. Backintime does almost exactly the same work but Backintime lets you create different profiles. Using Backintime, you could have one profile that is a copy of the Timeshift profile and a different profile for your home directory. The problem with the system profile is maintaining it. The Linux Mint team do all that work. Use their Timeshift for what they recommend. Use Backintime for the rest of your data.

Reliable? Backup safety requires backups to multiple external disks and some planning about when you run the backup. If your backup is not external, it will fail when the disk fails. If you have one external backup, the first time you need to restore, you will find your dog chewing the external disk.

Most of the backup options you look at in Linux are running rsync in the background. The results are similar. A backup to NTFS or FAT requires every file repeated in every backup. A backup to Ext4 lets the file system save space by storing identical files as links instead of taking up a whole new lump of space.

Adding things like encryption improve your privacy and make a restore dangerous if you cannot create the right decryption. Think about a dead computer. You get a replacement. Can you run the backup software on the new computer to decrypt your backup? This problem occurs when you use a freeware backup on Windows and find you cannot run the same software on Linux. BIOS based encryption creates the same problem.

For added safety, you can use more than one backup. Buy lots of spare disks. Add some Clonezilla backups to your Timeshift+Backintime combination.

Replace your dog with a goldfish. :shock:

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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by JerryF » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:43 pm

pbear wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:44 pm
JerryF wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:09 am
If you're going to use another disk to store the backups, I'd use Timeshift. Contrary to what others have implied, you can backup everything with it.
Reading back through the thread, I notice this and would appreciate your thoughts on what I think is the main problem with this strategy.

Suppose it takes a week (or a month) to realize you need/want to restore the system to a prior state. Say, for example, you didn't notice right away that an update was causing a problem. Generally, the only "cost" of restoring a Timeshift snapshot is that you have to run Update Manager again and maybe reinstall an app or two. Not so if your data files are included. Now those will be restored to the prior state also (new files lost, edits to old files lost) with no way to get them back. If you have a really good memory, I guess you could pick through the subsequent snapshots (not yet deleted) to locate the lost files, then restore them manually by copy and paste, but not something I'd want to do.
With Aptik, you have the option of restoring everything or you can pick and choose certain portions. So if you need to restore to a week or month ago, you can uncheck the Home selection so as not to touch any user files.
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by pbear » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:45 pm

JerryF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:43 pm
With Aptik, you have the option of restoring everything or you can pick and choose certain portions.
I'll take your word for it. We're talking about Timeshift, though, not Aptik. :D

Importantly, Aptik isn't part of the standard install. Nor is it in repo. It's not even free anymore.
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by smurphos » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:54 am

pbear wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:45 pm
Importantly, Aptik isn't part of the standard install. Nor is it in repo. It's not even free anymore.
Still one of the the most comprehensive Backup utilities there is though, albeit with the specific aim of facilitating quick set-up after a reinstall. The last non-donate version is still freely available via PPA - https://launchpad.net/~teejee2008/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by JerryF » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:20 am

pbear wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:45 pm
JerryF wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:43 pm
With Aptik, you have the option of restoring everything or you can pick and choose certain portions.
I'll take your word for it. We're talking about Timeshift, though, not Aptik. :D

Importantly, Aptik isn't part of the standard install. Nor is it in repo. It's not even free anymore.
Sorry, I got the both of them mixed up. Yes, with Aptik you can pick and choose. Timeshift---no.

Thanks for catching that pbear.
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by pbear » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:32 pm

smurphos wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:54 am
The last non-donate version is still freely available via PPA - https://launchpad.net/~teejee2008/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
Reports on the Forum about that version were mixed and it didn't work for me.

Gave a whirl when I upgraded from 18.3 to 19.1 by reinstall. Borked the new system so badly the desktop would only load one-third of the way. In fairness, upgrade is a more difficult task than straight backup. Also, it may be I could have figured out how to make it work with more effort. OTOH, I reviewed my steps carefully and couldn't find an error, so that's when I stopped recommending Aptik on the Forum. Instead, I did a conventional reinstall, which happens to be easy for me as I have comprehensive notes and robust data file backups.

Notably, reports about the current (paid) version of Aptik have been uniformly favorable (so far), but I've not tested it myself.
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by smurphos » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:51 pm

pbear wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:32 pm
smurphos wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:54 am
The last non-donate version is still freely available via PPA - https://launchpad.net/~teejee2008/+archive/ubuntu/ppa
Reports on the Forum about that version were mixed and it didn't work for me.
It's not 100% newbie friendly and depending on what you are backing up from and restoring too you need to be a bit picky about what you let it handle. The dconf backup and restore feature is likely the most problematic if you are restoring to a different OS version, but it's wonderful for re-installs of the same version. BTW there's a hint here that Mint might start shipping Aptik in favour of mintbackup - https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap#linux-mint-193 - presumably, if they do decide to do it it will be the paid version as Mint already donate to Tony for Timeshift. Bit annoying as I paid my lifetime subscription only about 3 months ago but hey ho..
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by NChewie » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:45 pm

And finally... no matter what type of backup strategy you use, you have to test it :!:

No point in finding out it didn't work after a disaster.
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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by CeeVee777 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:21 pm

Nobody is giving BTRFS and snapshots any love here.
It's what I use together with btrbk run via crontab as my backup tool.
It's easy to configure btrbk to create a snapshot as often as you want and to keep as many snapshots as you like.
I run it once a day and write snapshots to a separate disk and to another disk on my local network.
As it's btrfs each snapshot looks like a complete filesystem and copying a single file, multiple files or the whole shebang is done via file manager.
I realise that changing to btrfs is perhaps outside your particular use-case but it's well worth reading up on it for future consideration.

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Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Post by pbear » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:16 am

This isn't the time or place for a debate about btrfs, but anyone considering it should do their research.

A few posts by Mint guru xenopeek will get you started: 2018, 2017, 2016.
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