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Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:30 pm
by rpmckinley
OK, Now that I have totally screwed up my system and nearly lost everything, (NOTE - NEARLY); I'm now running a new installation of Mint 19.2.
Now I would like to know what is the best single-user backup utility for Mint 19.2.
I know I'll probably get six different answers but that will at least give me six applications to check out.
Most of the applications I've read about so far seem to be aimed at an enterprise server type of system. Mine is NOT a network server, it's a stand-along office PC.
I have several disks and several partitions, and I (may) also reload a MS-Windows on one partition. (YUK)
I would like to backup to a dc/dvd drive if possible, but I can live with a flash drive and then burn to dvd.
So does anyone have any good suggestions out there???

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:56 pm
by tdockery97
For backing up Mint only I've heard the snapshot tool is good. If there are multiple OS's on one drive I've found Clonezilla to work reliably even though it takes a while to do it.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:01 pm
by frostymusic
Hi,

I have been in your shoes before. I use Timeshift. If my Mint 19.2 goes south, I have a backup stored on a separate SSD. I reload Mint from the LiveCD then activate Timeshift and restore it back to where I was before things went south.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:33 pm
by AndyMH
Backing up to dvd is going to be really slow, you will be much better off with a USB stick or better still a USB HDD.

For file level backup I use timeshift for system snapshots and backintime for /home. For image backups I use redo.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:13 pm
by rpmckinley
So if I'm reading all this correctly it sounds like Timeshift backed up onto an USB Flash drive and backintime for file level backup and restore, Probably AFTER I've reloaded the OP system from the cd.
I would like to get a backup soon now that this installation is fresh and doesn't have 4+ years of garbage loaded into it.

Thanks guys, much appreciated.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:23 pm
by catweazel
rpmckinley wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:13 pm
So if I'm reading all this correctly it sounds like Timeshift backed up onto an USB Flash drive ...
You are reading it correctly but you're not being told correctly. You need to be aware that some of the opinions above about timeshift are very much misleading and need to be read with a good dose of salt. Timeshift is not a backup program, It's a system snapshot tool and it cannot nor does not replace disk imaging. To do backups properly, use clonezilla and a second HDD.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:07 pm
by rjsrjs
I use Timeshift to put the system files snapshots on an external USB HDD. It has to be formatted as Linux EXT4,3,or 2 format to work. I try to keep Timeshift off of my internal SSD (180GB) so it doesn't fill up with snapshots and take up disk space.
To back up the /Home directory, I use Grsync or Luckybackup, they both are a front end GUI's for the Rsync command and can both be put on a Fat32, NTFS or EXT4 partitioned HDD. I also use Mint Backup Tool that puts my /Home directory in a .Tar(meaning tape archive) file on to a USB external HDD. If needed I can restore my whole /Home directory back on to my SSD using Mint Backup Tool. If I just need to recover single(s) file I'll use Grsync or Luckybackup or go straight to the folder where it's backed up and get them there.

For important Directories I use Fast file sync to sync Directory A to B to an external HDD when ever changes are made to Directory A.

So far everything has worked out well for me.
Good Luck:

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:30 pm
by Dot_mdb
I think keeping your system safe involves a number of steps starting from when it is first set up. I am from the old school so I like to have my data on a separate physical drive. Each night I back up the data to an external drive by compressing it into an archive (tar.gz) located on an external drive. I use two external drives and alternate drives each night. Those drives are not connected either to power or USB ports when not in use. Once a week I copy the latest archive to another external drive that is stored off site. Once every two months I create an image using Clonezilla and that is also stored off site. The image is encrypted and so is the off site archive. I also use Timeshift and those files are stored on a partition on my data drive. They are not backed up and I consider Timeshift to be the least critical part of my back up plan.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:24 am
by pbear
rpmckinley wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:30 pm
I would like to backup to a dc/dvd drive if possible, but I can live with a flash drive and then burn to dvd.
Congratulations! You may be the first person I've seen for whom Mint's built-in Backup Tool might be a good choice. Creates a compressed tar.gz file of your home directory (folder). Initially placed (by default) on the internal hard drive, but easily copied from there to DVD (then delete the original). Mind, I don't use this sort of backup strategy, as I don't fancy copying over and over (each time I make a backup) a bunch of files which haven't changed. If you're burning the archive to DVD, though, that's pretty much unavoidable. Note: If the archive won't fit on one DVD, this might not work. It's a compressed archive, though, so don't go by just the aggregate directory size. You'll find Backup Tool on Menu.

Other alternatives? I like rsync, which I assume is the app you're talking about in the OP. Works well for a stand alone PC, but it's command line. Let me know if you're interested in learning how to use. Likely you'll prefer Grsync, though, which is the GUI version. Back in Time (which AndyMH mentions) is a snapshot app like Timeshift, but designed for data files rather than system files. (And, really, don't use Timeshift for data files.) Another option is Lucky Backup. All three apps are available in the Mint repo, by the way, so easy to install. rsync you already have.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:14 am
by HaveaMint
I use Timeshift for the system snapshot as it was intended and grsync for my personal files. Grsync takes a little time to set it like you want it but has worked for me. Grsync I use a usb hdd and select all directories I wish to backup to a directory on the usb drive including the hidden .grsync folder which has my config file for grsync. Once it is like I want it I create a session in grsync and select everything I have setup in it. It then does its thing very quick from there once I manually start it.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:01 am
by cliffcoggin
I'm with Haveamint on this: Timeshift for system snapshots stored in home, and Grsync for data stored in a memory stick.
My preference for data backup is clear readable files, rather than any form of encoded, compressed or encrypted files, so that I can take that data to any other computer without needing or knowing an application to uncompress them.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:56 pm
by rpmckinley
I knew, and was hoping, to get six answers to this one. With the number of users/followers the Linux system has now I knew there would be several different ways to do anything. Here's what I've got right now:
I have a new installation of Mint 19.2 on a 33GB partition. I have a 1-trabyte drive and a 50Gb drive, and also another 30 GB drive.
One partition is set aside as my Files-Volume, That's obviously where I keep all my documents and files.
Then I have a small partition set aside for MS-Windows 7. That's where my Accounting system goes.
I do a daily backup from the accounting system onto a USB thumb drive and then save that to a laptop pc.
OK, So now I've done a snap-shot with Timeshift. That should give me a point where things can be brought back too before any system failure.
It sounds like the simple Mint backup-tool or Clonezilla would be a reasonable backup tool, (I don't really like the Backup-tool installed by Mint installations but it does work if nothing else is available. I'll burn that backup to a DVD.
Somehow I managed to get lucky when the Mint 17 went down. (It was really my own fault). But somehow I managed to recover nearly all my files
SO,Timeshift to get back to where I am once a new installation is completed if necessary, Clonezilla for system back up, and GRsync for personal files.
I still have to reinstall that darn Windows-7 and the accounting package. But I'm backing up this system first.
Thanks guys, great input here. It IS greatly appreciated.
I'll let you all know how I make out.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:36 am
by AndyMH
I still have to reinstall that darn Windows-7 and the accounting package. But I'm backing up this system first.
Mount win7 in /home via your fstab and then Grsync can take care of that as well. It's what I do on my dual boot desktop so that backintime takes care of my win10 file level backups.

As a 'future project' have a look at virtualbox and running win7 as a VM so that you can run your accounting software from that rather than having to dual boot.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:49 pm
by rjsrjs
pbear wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:24 am
rpmckinley wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:30 pm
I would like to backup to a dc/dvd drive if possible, but I can live with a flash drive and then burn to dvd.
Congratulations! You may be the first person I've seen for whom Mint's built-in Backup Tool might be a good choice. Creates a compressed tar.gz file of your home directory (folder). Initially placed (by default) on the internal hard drive, but easily copied from there to DVD (then delete the original). Mind, I don't use this sort of backup strategy, as I don't fancy copying over and over (each time I make a backup) a bunch of files which haven't changed. If you're burning the archive to DVD, though, that's pretty much unavoidable. Note: If the archive won't fit on one DVD, this might not work. It's a compressed archive, though, so don't go by just the aggregate directory size. You'll find Backup Tool on Menu.

Other alternatives? I like rsync, which I assume is the app you're talking about in the OP. Works well for a stand alone PC, but it's command line. Let me know if you're interested in learning how to use. Likely you'll prefer Grsync, though, which is the GUI version. Back in Time (which AndyMH mentions) is a snapshot app like Timeshift, but designed for data files rather than system files. (And, really, don't use Timeshift for data files.) Another option is Lucky Backup. All three apps are available in the Mint repo, by the way, so easy to install. rsync you already have.
The Mint Backup Tool on my Linux Mint 19.1 OS only makes A .TAR file I don't think it's compressed there is no .TAR.gz file only .TAR when it's finished backing up.
Good Luck

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:40 pm
by pbear
rjsrjs wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:49 pm
The Mint Backup Tool on my Linux Mint 19.1 OS only makes A .TAR file I don't think it's compressed there is no .TAR.gz file only .TAR when it's finished backing up.
I'll be darned. Thanks for jumping in. I've always understood Mint Backup to compress. As it doesn't (confirmed), it's even more useless than I thought.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:19 pm
by rpmckinley
"As a 'future project' have a look at virtualbox and running win7 as a VM so that you can run your accounting software from that rather than having to dual boot."
A VM rather than a dual boot !! ??? Now you're talking. I've got several 32GB USB Flash-disks and I "Think" I could use one of those to create a VM.
YA, I know - It's probably going to be slow, but I only use that MS-Windows for my accounting package about once a week, for ten minutes.
Now I have to go find instructions on how to create a VM .....

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:49 pm
by AndyMH
Now I have to go find instructions on how to create a VM .....
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=303102
But I'd be tempted to put it on your SSD/HDD. By default virtual box keeps its VMs in /home/you/VirtualBox VMs but you can keep them anywhere you want.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:42 am
by rjsrjs
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:49 pm
Now I have to go find instructions on how to create a VM .....
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=303102
But I'd be tempted to put it on your SSD/HDD. By default virtual box keeps its VMs in /home/you/VirtualBox VMs but you can keep them anywhere you want.
If Virtualbox is not to your liking give Gnome-boxes a try which is a VM for Linux. Do some research on it though cause it may be confusing to noobies. I haven't tried it yet but I may give it try soon. There are some pretty good youtube videos on it. Some say you should install QEMU-KVM along with Gnome-boxes but I'm not certain if doing this is necessary.
Maybe some one on this thread can verify that.
Goos Luck:

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:13 pm
by Petermint
Partition backups are always slow because they backup everything every time. Rsync backups overwrite old files which creates a problem when you want an older version of a file but have not added a version number to the file name. Snapshot style backups use a special feature of Ext4 to store complete backups without duplication. This is the best approach when you have many files.

Timeshift creates snapshots of Linux Mint and Backintime creates snapshots of your home directory. The first backup is slow because every file is backed up. The next backups are fast because only changed files are copied.

When you look at a snapshot, you see every file because the unchanged files are references to the original copy of the file. A snapshot looks like a full backup but uses space for just the changes. You can delete any old snapshot without deleting an original file because Ext4 will keep the file until the last reference to the file is deleted.

Backintime can be set up for multiple snapshots. On one computer, I have two disks storing my user data and have a snapshot for each disk. One snapshot backs up everything in subdirectory ~/x and the other backup backs up everything in my home directory except for x.

Re: Best backup utility for Mint 19.2?

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:08 am
by rpmckinley
Sunday Oct 13, 2019; Well I've downloaded and installed Oracle's Virtualbox 6.xx. Installation went pretty easy.
Except that it demands to be loaded in my /home/user-name folder.
Any VM machines created are restricted to only the / (root) or to the /home/user-name directory or folder.
No options are available to put a VM box into any other space or onto some other partition.
Documentation is massive, over 300 pages, Confusing if you're not familiar with the terminology of VM's.
A VM OS installation is called a "Guest" , and there's not a lot of information on where or how to get the ISO for any operating system.
Searching the Internet I can find a few places where the ISO for Win-7 is available but once again no documentation on how to get that installed into the proper VM folder. Virtualbox does NOT show any of the other drive partitions, so I think I will have to download a ISO and the move it to the VM for extraction.

At this point I'm reminded of what Einstein said was the definition of insanity. Keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
This Windows thing has reached that point. Starting to wonder if and why I need it, and is it really worth it.