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Timeshift: strange behavior after deleting all backups

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:43 pm
by Netherprovinc3
Apparently, I did not have Timeshift running for a while. This was mostly accidental.
I think that I have 2 USB thumb drives that I backup to. Each is 32 GB and I'm pretty sure USB 2.0. I plan is to alternate the 2 drives every couple of weeks. I admit that the size is a little small. I will have to do something about that soon if I want to have any meaningful system file backups.

So I had 8.xx GB available on one of the drives, with about 5 existing backups (ranging from Oct 2019 - Dec 2019). When I ran Timeshift to create another backup, it ran for about 3 hours. A fair bit of that time was after it "finished." But it still needed to do some final steps. I don't remember the technicalities.

After the 3 or so hours, the software concludes that it does not have enough disk space. I am surprised by this but I guess it's not a total surprise.

Note that I was not backing up the user files.

My next plan was to delete all of the backups and then just create one snapshot. However, after taking about 1.5 hours for Timeshift to delete the 5 backups, the disk still is over half used. lol!! Maybe some sort of versioning data taking up space? According to gparted, 17.21 GB used, 11.70 unused.

Should I just format the drive? I still want to keep it as ext 4.

Re: Timeshift: strange behavior after deleting all backups

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:20 pm
by HaveaMint
Formatting them would be faster, in your situation using the two drives make a snapshot once a month. First month on one drive second month on the second drive. On your third month format the first month drive ext4 and use it.

Re: Timeshift: strange behavior after deleting all backups

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:05 pm
by pbear
A few thoughts. First, old Timeshift snapshots have almost no value. If you want a restore image, do that. Foxclone (from forum member AndyMH) is suitable and a good deal easier than Clonezila. Second, if space is an issue, pick a number of snapshots to keep (say, three), then delete the oldest before making a new one. This is how I manage snapshots in my test boxes (e.g., in VBox). I coordinate the Timeshift update with each kernel update, after having deleted the oldest of those also (keeping only the current kernel and two backups). Third, the progress bar is deceptive because it doesn't include the kernel modules in the calculation. That is what's being processed after the bar goes to 100%.

Re: Timeshift: strange behavior after deleting all backups

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:05 pm
by Netherprovinc3
pbear wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 3:05 pm
I coordinate the Timeshift update with each kernel update, after having deleted the oldest of those also (keeping only the current kernel and two backups).
Do you make the Timeshift backup right before the Kernel update?

Re: Timeshift: strange behavior after deleting all backups

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:35 pm
by pbear
Netherprovinc3 wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:05 pm
Do you make the Timeshift backup right before the Kernel update?
No, right after. The prior snapshot is the fallback position, and then there's one more behind that.

Also, the kernel itself is the easiest thing to revert, as upgrade doesn't remove the current one. I only use the kernel as the timing mechanism because it's easy to keep track of (you get a prompt for the extra packages) and happens at about the right interval for manual backup.