Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

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Linuz
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Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

Hello all,

I have a nearly fresh install of Linux mint 19.1 that I am trying to restore a previous timeshift snapshot to.

The current OS I am using is Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon.

My system info can be found here:

https://termbin.com/xwd4

The timeshift snapshot (rsync) that I want to restore from is a newer OS (Linux Mint 19.3, I believe).

Should I continue to let this restore run its course or will I need to cancel and try something else?

The restore feature has been running for several hours already. It has a spinning indicator and a progress bar that's empty:

Comparing Files (Dry Run)...

Building file list.. 20282:53:24 (That means it needs over 20,000 hours?!

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

I assume you cancelled by now. If still in the dry run phase, that shouldn't have hurt anything. Terminating a restore in progress ... that I'd be very reluctant to do unless I was prepared to reinstall or restore from a separate backup.

Anyhoo, pray tell, why are you restoring a 19.3 snapshot to a 19.1 system?

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 10:58 pm
I assume you cancelled by now. If still in the dry run phase, that shouldn't have hurt anything. Terminating a restore in progress ... that I'd be very reluctant to do unless I was prepared to reinstall or restore from a separate backup.

Anyhoo, pray tell, why are you restoring a 19.3 snapshot to a 19.1 system?
Yup, I cancelled it. Timeshift has normally worked fine for me in the past, but the program can be a little frustrating. Noticed it requires A LOT of patience :mrgreen:

My live USB had Linux mint 19.1 on it. I was too lazy to upgrade that. I have now done that. My primary SSD that had linux mint was FUBAR [F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition] because issues. So I wiped the SSD completely and reformatted it.

Just had some luck today installing a clean version of 19.1 on the SSD, booting into the 19.1 live USB, mounting both my SSD with linux mint and my 2TB SSD plugged into the SATA ports that I use to store live snapshots. After I tried my latest restore, it did work successfully and get past the dry run, but with errors it said. Last time I tried to boot again from the SSD, it couldn't.

Here's what I did just now while I wait:

1. Wipe SSD again. Install Linux mint 19.3 from live USB. Mount SSD along with HDD, which contains snapshots.

2. Open timeshift and for the snapshot settings specify that I want rsync backups, point to the 2TB HDD for existing snapshots.

3. Try to restore latest snapshot that's one date older than the most recent one.

If Timeshift still reports that the snapshot restored with errors, do I just keep repeating the process using one snapshot older until it restores without errors?

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

Linuz wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:06 pm
If Timeshift still reports that the snapshot restored with errors, do I just keep repeating the process using one snapshot older until it restores without errors?
We don't have a lot of data points, but there have been a few reported failures to restore. When that happens, it seems to be a problem with the snapshots. You don't change that much by restoring a different one, as the lion's share of files are shared among them (in effect, not literally).

Bear in mind, you're using the app outside it's designed purpose. You're allowed to do that, but shouldn't be too surprised if it comes up short.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:43 am
Linuz wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:06 pm
If Timeshift still reports that the snapshot restored with errors, do I just keep repeating the process using one snapshot older until it restores without errors?
We don't have a lot of data points, but there have been a few reported failures to restore. When that happens, it seems to be a problem with the snapshots. You don't change that much by restoring a different one, as the lion's share of files are shared among them (in effect, not literally).

Bear in mind, you're using the app outside it's designed purpose. You're allowed to do that, but shouldn't be too surprised if it comes up short.
How am I using timeshift outside of its designed purpose exactly?

Here's what I did yesterday when Timeshift restored my latest snapshot with errors:

1. Wipe the SSD.

2. Turn off PC. Unplug 2TB HDD containing snapshots from SATA port on desktop (don't want live USB linux mint 19.3 to wipe both drives, just the SSD).

3. Reboot to live USB of Linux Mint 19.3 and reinstall a fresh copy of Linux mint 19.3 on the SSD.

4. Shutdown computer, plug 2TB HDD with Timeshift Rsync snapshots back into SATA port.

5. Boot from Live usb of linux mint 19.3, open timeshift and try to restore the 2nd latest snapshot.

That got me back to the "comparing files (dry run)" part at the beginning where it keeps running forever yesterday and this morning after going through steps 1-5 a second time.

What are my options here? Should I actually boot from the fresh install of Linux Mint 19.3 and let the update manager update the system before booting back into the Live USB and running a Timeshift restore? Could other system snapshot programs restore my system using the rsync snapshots that Timeshift created?

Why has Timeshift worked so well in the past only to see if getting stuck or restoring with errors now? Very frustrating. Would be willing to pay for open source software that works 100% of the time.

P.S. I back up my home folder using the GUI application "Back in Time". Timeshift is only for creating snapshots of my system settings not the /home or /root folders as the author of Timeshift recommends.

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

Look, I'm not going to debate. As for the rest, it's a computer. Nothing is 100%, even if you pay for it. Linux is "as is." Surely you know that.

If anyone has something to suggest, please feel free to jump in.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:16 pm
Look, I'm not going to debate. As for the rest, it's a computer. Nothing is 100%, even if you pay for it. Linux is "as is." Surely you know that.

If anyone has something to suggest, please feel free to jump in.
And this is why people are too scared to venture outside of the walled gardens of Apple or Microsoft.... They don't want to deal with crap breaking.

I am using the suggested snapshot program that is bundled with the distro by the Linux Mint developers. Now I suddenly find it is not working like it should. It had been working wonderfully for months before the issues I started having a week ago.

I was going to file a bug request on github for the developer, but he says on there that he doesn't check github except once per month and that I should go to linux mint forums instead. So here I am trying to ask for help explaining the basics of my issue. I am happy to provide more details to you and others if there is something I can do to get things working again.

Again, I have a bunch of Rsync snapshots on a secondary HDD.

If Timeshift is unable to compare the files and gets stuck in an infinite loop, or it's going to just have errors after restoring the snapshot, is there anything I can do with command line or another Rsync snapshot program to get my OS restored to its previous state?

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

Night-before-last, Windows update blew up my landlord's computer so badly I couldn't fix it. Stuff happens.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:20 pm
Night-before-last, Windows update blew up my landlord's computer so badly I couldn't fix it. Stuff happens.
Yes, but that's why I made snapshots with Timeshift in the first place... In case something screws up, I should be able to rely on my backups.

I have an external HDD that I use for offline backups (in case of ransomware). The backup is several months old, but I could also try that.

Are there any linux experts here that have any command-line suggestions for massaging my timeshift backup to fix it? What if I use a different snapshot program to restore my system using the Timeshift snapshots I already made? Isn't rsync a pretty common way to make backups in Linux? This way modularity will save me.
Last edited by Linuz on Wed May 27, 2020 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

You're trying to pretend Timeshift is a backup app. It isn't. Says so, right on the website.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:33 pm
You're trying to pretend Timeshift is a backup app. It isn't. Says so, right on the website.
Again, I use the term "backup" interchangeably with "snapshot". I "backed up" or made a snapshot of my system settings with Timeshift.

I use a separate program, Back in Time, for backing up my home directory, just like the author of Timeshift recommends.
Did you read my what I have written before in this thread? I am using Timeshift for exactly what it is designed to do.

This way I restore system settings separately from my personal files. Modularity in action

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

"Timeshift is designed to protect system files and settings. It is NOT a backup tool ."

Moreover, I'm very good with rsync (example). It is, in fact, what I use for system backup (try finding comprehensive restore instructions for that some time). I don't think I could do what you have in mind. So, good luck and au revoir. I'm moving on now.

Oh, and read the developer's disclaimer (again). No warranties, standard in Linux. Stuff happens.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

pbear wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:44 pm
"Timeshift is designed to protect system files and settings. It is NOT a backup tool ."

Moreover, I'm very good with rsync (example). It is, in fact, what I use for system backup (try finding comprehensive restore instructions for that some time). I don't think I could do what you have in mind. So, good luck and au revoir. I'm moving on now.

Oh, and read the developer's disclaimer (again). No warranties, standard in Linux. Stuff happens.
If you have no advice to offer that's fine, but don't act like I am the one doing anything wrong. I used the software for backing up my system settings so it could be restored later in case something gets borked, which it did.

If ANYONE ELSE has any advice to offer, I'd sure appreciate it!

HaveaMint
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by HaveaMint »

You requested an explanation of UUID's on your other thread posted on here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal ... identifier
There are several people on this forum that have a lot more experience than I could ever hope to have and pbear is one of them. They volunteer their time to help people. It helps them help someone if they can gather as much information as possible to find out what has happened or was done to create the problem. Once this is gathered they can then help. When someone is on the defensive or ranting most people that volunteer their time don't want to get in a contest with someone in order to help them. I am not accusing anyone here and only stating what I have seen in the past.
What isn't totally clear in your post is what version of linux was the snapshot created from meaning version 18-19 ect. You did say you had a fresh install of 19.3 and I assume you were trying to restore a snapshot from 19.1 I think. NOT a good idea. Why the snapshot went into a endless loop I can't answer. My solution to you since you have a fresh install get rid of all your old snapshots and create a new one from your fresh install of 19.3 ; then just reinstall the apps you want and get everything like you want it. Then create a snapshot of that. Keep those 2 snapshots to fall back on as you learn more about linux. If you experiment or tinker with the OS you WILL mess it up again and you can fix it with these snapshots. With time you will learn to fix a lot of things without using restore snapshot. If you tinker then only work on one thing at a time and if it borks the OS you know what you did.
Good luck in your adventures and I do hope this helped you. Here is a link on Timeshift help.
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=272993
"Tune for maximum Smoke and then read the Instructions".

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

HaveaMint wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:20 pm
Why the snapshot went into a endless loop I can't answer.
As mentioned above, it's probably a problem with the snapshots themselves. That's why I keep a set of shadow snapshots created independently, not dupes of the main ones. It's also why I maintain a separate system backup with rsync. Other backup options include Clonezilla and FoxClone. For that matter, I assume Back in Time, Grsync, etc. can be used for system backup, as well as data files.

ETA: The reason file-based system backup is tricky (rsync, etc.) is that it can't by itself take care of partitions and the boot loader. Also, either the partition UUID's of the new partition have to be conformed to the old ones or several files have to be edited to reflect the change.
Last edited by pbear on Thu May 28, 2020 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cliffcoggin
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by cliffcoggin »

Linuz.

Your problem as I understand it is that you are trying to restore a 19.3 snapshot onto a new 19.1 installation, which just is not possible. Remember that restore means "to put back into an earlier state" but a new installation has never had an earlier state.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 19.2 Cinnamon

pbear
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by pbear »

cliffcoggin wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:10 pm
... a new installation has never had an earlier state.
I realize that seems intuitively obvious, but it's not correct. Timeshift can restore to a new install. I've done it. Would expect It to work even if restoring to a different version. Behind the scenes, rsync simply compares file lists, copies in anything missing and deletes anything not on source.

Linuz
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Re: Timeshift restore snapshot appears stuck

Post by Linuz »

Ok, I explain everything and how I got where I am, so I'll try again.

Had Linux Mint 19.3 installed on an SSD in my desktop connected via SATA. Also use a 2TB HDD with SATA that's always on to run daily Timeshift snapshots. I keep up to 31 at a time.

One day I started getting weird errors with my computer. Couldn't open any applications by typing in the start menu. So I rebooted.

Upon boot, I am greeted with a black error screen telling me I have two MMIO read errors using the Nouveau driver for my NVIDIA GTX 750 graphics card. After I logged back into the desktop, the computer still was being somewhat unresponsive.(Linux Mint IRC volunteer found a bug report for Linux kernel in 2019 or 2020 reporting the exact same errors I had.)

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=202731

Rather than wanting to deal with whatever driver issue I had, I decided to boot from the old live USB of Linux Mint 19.1 that I originally installed Linux Mint with onto my SSD.

When I tried to restore the most recent snapshot from May 17, 2020, in live USB mode from my 2TB HDD, Timeshift told me the restore was successful, but with errors. After I restarted the computer and booted into the SSD, I got stuck in some other black screen command-line menu. Not sure if it was that of BIOS or operating system itself.

So I decided to reformat the drive multiple times. Ran into some problems using disks or Gparted to reformat the SSD from scratch. So I contacted the manufacturer or my drive trying to figure out if the SSD was now broken too. They told me to run GSmartcontrol. I did a short and long check of the SSD. Everything was fine. Disks application had no problem reformatting the drive in Live USB mode anymore.

So I decided to reinstall Linux Mint 19.1 to the drive, then use Timeshift to do a restore of 19.3 onto it. Like you all said, that would probably cause more headaches than it is worth.

So my live USB has Linux Mint 19.3 on it now.

Here's what I did yesterday:

Just last night I reformatted the SSD to ext4 like always. Used live USB to install a fresh copy of Linux Mint 19.3 to SSD.

Then I booted into the SSD with a clean copy of Linux Mint 19.3. Opened timeshift to restore older snapshot from Jan 4, 2020.

The process took a while, but never got stuck. In fact, when I came back to the computer in the morning, Timeshift greeted me to say which things it would change, it then went into the grey screen where it says not to interrupt the process.

I left it alone for 10-20 minutes, but the grey screen wasn't doing anything. Normally this process is the fastest part of restoring snapshots with TimeShift. Think it would have been stuck there forever. So I manually powered off my desktop and rebooted back into the SSD successfully.

Not sure if I will be able to restore from any of my snapshots now. If I won't be able to resintall any snapshots, I'll just have to install my old applications manually.
pbear wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 3:40 pm
cliffcoggin wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:10 pm
... a new installation has never had an earlier state.
I realize that seems intuitively obvious, but it's not correct. Timeshift can restore to a new install. I've done it. Would expect It to work even if restoring to a different version. Behind the scenes, rsync simply compares file lists, copies in anything missing and deletes anything not on source.
Yup, I have been able to do that before. That way Timeshift combined with BackInTime is like using Mac OSX Time Machine, which I am used to using and rely on for my macintosh computers.

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