Timeshift and System Updates

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jtamark
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Timeshift and System Updates

Post by jtamark »

Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?

Yesterday I spend 2+ hrs getting my system right. Not sure how it got wrong. Perhaps a bad update, but that's just a guess.

So...should I be saving my system before every update? That seems like a lot. Really.

I'm running MATE 1.22.2 19.3 Tricia, after first trying Cinnamon, and finding that it wasn't compatible w my system.

Joe
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JerryF
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by JerryF »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:20 pm
Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?

Yesterday I spend 2+ hrs getting my system right. Not sure how it got wrong. Perhaps a bad update, but that's just a guess.

So...should I be saving my system before every update? That seems like a lot. Really.

I'm running MATE 1.22.2 19.3 Tricia, after first trying Cinnamon, and finding that it wasn't compatible w my system.

Joe
It depends on how much room you have on your disk for Timeshift snapshots. I have a separate disk for backups, snapshots, etc. so space isn't a problem.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Pjotr »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:20 pm
Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?
No. You only need to have one single Timeshift snapshot. You can always, after restoration, update your system in practically no time at all, no matter how old the restored snapshot is.

If you want a bit more (and have the space to spare), I recommend a monthly automated snapshot, with a retention of two. No more. The setup that JerryF describes is optimal, because it's best to save the snapshots on a separate disk (or, failing that, on a separate dedicated partition on your single disk).
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by CtrlAltDel »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:20 pm
Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?

Yesterday I spend 2+ hrs getting my system right. Not sure how it got wrong. Perhaps a bad update, but that's just a guess.

So...should I be saving my system before every update? That seems like a lot. Really.

I'm running MATE 1.22.2 19.3 Tricia, after first trying Cinnamon, and finding that it wasn't compatible w my system.

Joe
Don't look at it as saving things before an update or before major system changes or before installation of a program. View it as saving and backing things up after a change or after an update or after a major system change.

The endless updates aren't really that important, in my view. I don't run to Timeshift after every update in order to preserve the updates. The updates will always be there as long as you have an Internet connection.

The only time I make a Timeshift snapshot of the system is after I've made some personal modifications that I don't want to lose or after adding a program that wasn't previously installed or maybe I change a bunch of settings within programs that would be tedious to do again or even hard to remember.

For instance, after installing Plank and doing the tedious and time consuming task of adding about 30 links to programs on 3 different Plank docks, I created a snapshot. I only use Libre Writer and don't need Libre Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base. After using Synaptic to remove all of these and only leaving Writer, a snapshot is made. That took a little bit of time to do that and doing it again would be irritating so, make a snapshot after the task is done.

After using several different methods to remove all the useless fonts included in Mint, make a snapshot. This takes a little bit of time and is aggravating to do and you don't want to have to do it again so, make a snapshot.

And the list goes on and on. I, personally, am always changing something or modifying something that I want to keep that way or have this way. That's just my opinion on how to do it though; I'm not an expert on giving advice by any means.
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jtamark
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by jtamark »

Thank you all for responding.

I think I'll split the difference; only save a snapshot when there's a kernel change update. I'll save a couple of snapshots. They give me peace of mind.

I don't know how the system got wonky, and I was using that way for over a week before I realized the problem.

Thank you all again; CtlAltDel, Pjotr, and JerrF. Your guidance makes Linux possible for us new folk.

Joe
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by CtrlAltDel »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:40 pm
Thank you all for responding.

I think I'll split the difference; only save a snapshot when there's a kernel change update. I'll save a couple of snapshots. They give me peace of mind.

I don't know how the system got wonky, and I was using that way for over a week before I realized the problem.

Thank you all again; CtlAltDel, Pjotr, and JerrF. Your guidance makes Linux possible for us new folk.

Joe
Good luck, jtamark, with getting it to where you are comfortable with it. I agree with Pjotr's advice about having no more than two. I have a separate, almost empty hard-drive that I could load up with probably five hundred or more snapshots but, there is no reason to do that.

If you have two, you will always have that first one where things were good and you can go back to it. So, always have a rock solid Timeshift image as a fallback in case of issues. Setting a schedule is your preference but, not really necessary. Manually creating one whenever needed is sufficient.

After you create a new one, delete one.
Last edited by CtrlAltDel on Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by motoryzen »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:40 pm
Thank you all for responding.

I think I'll split the difference; only save a snapshot when there's a kernel change update. I'll save a couple of snapshots. They give me peace of mind.

Joe
- I think that is a reasonable and wise choice. For me, again for me..personally, I make a timeshift snapshot on both kernel updates and grub updates ( since before LM 20...it seemed like every grub update to grub 2 would make my system for some unknown reason unbootable and I'd end up right back in Windows out of dead -end frustration). Thankfully so far the grub updates since LM 20 have caused no problems for me. --
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Pjotr »

As an addition, for the record, because there are often misunderstandings about this: there's no need to worry about which Timeshift snapshots you delete or in what order. Not even the very first snapshot needs to be kept; removing it won't affect the remaining snapshots.

You can find the full technical explanation here:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... t.html#ID7
(item 7)
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Yamelesswrench »

I currently have time shift set to automatically make a daily, a weekly, and a monthly backup, with a retention of one each.

And so far (knock on wood) that has covered every possible need.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Pjotr »

Yamelesswrench wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:58 am
I currently have time shift set to automatically make a daily, a weekly, and a monthly backup, with a retention of one each.

And so far (knock on wood) that has covered every possible need.
Good for you, but why so often? After all, it's only for system recovery.... :wink:
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Yamelesswrench »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:03 am
Yamelesswrench wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 6:58 am
I currently have time shift set to automatically make a daily, a weekly, and a monthly backup, with a retention of one each.

And so far (knock on wood) that has covered every possible need.
Good for you, but why so often? After all, it's only for system recovery.... :wink:
Well I am newish, and I like muck around in config files and customize things, dangerous combo, usually this lets me learn how things work and there are ready guides on the net, but sometimes the instructions are out of date, wrong or I execute them incorrectly, its nice to have the timeshift safety net to land on. and breaking things seams to teach me the most. usually the daily is all I need for "undo" sometimes I find out I have been going the wrong direction for a while and want to start over. (weekly) I haven't needed the monthly yet but it a back stop to keep me from pulling out the mint ISO and starting all over again.

I also manually back up original and modified config files on my NAS so I can get back to where I am at if I ever do need to use that ISO
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I manually make a snapshot every Monday. I keep only up to as many that will fit on the default sized window, then I "thin the herd". I also make one just prior to kernel updates and before doing something I'm not confident I will do correctly. I prefer manual snapshots to scheduled ones on the odd chance a scheduled one would interfere with another process or vice versa, possibly mucking up the works. Taking a snapshot takes only a few seconds to start, then I just let it run while I do something else; even that hardly takes any time at all.

Every once in a blue moon, I will muck up something and Timeshift will bail out my ample asset. I consider it cheap insurance. Any updates that get "rolled back" after doing a restore will be reoffered. Doing a weekly snapshot reduces the number of updates that have to be redone after a restore to a much more manageable number.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by AZgl1500 »

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:31 pm
jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:20 pm
Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?
No. You only need to have one single Timeshift snapshot. You can always, after restoration, update your system in practically no time at all, no matter how old the restored snapshot is.

If you want a bit more (and have the space to spare), I recommend a monthly automated snapshot, with a retention of two. No more. The setup that JerryF describes is optimal, because it's best to save the snapshots on a separate disk (or, failing that, on a separate dedicated partition on your single disk).
I have to beg to differ here.
the Basic Install is totally sparse of additional applications that have been installed.
It takes me many hours longer to install the extras, and fine tune the unique features that I demand on my PC, than it does to do the initial install.

To ignore not making a Timeshift backup, prior to installing an unknown quanity, or a risky application, is idiocy IMO.

for me, having a very fast PC, 16gB RAM, and a dedicated Partition for /Backup, it takes less than one minute to create a Timeshift backup.

I keep a few On Demand backups, and let 5 daily backups take care of the rest.

.

to make a point here.
I just finished making a spare laptop ready for a good friend. It is a 10 year old Acer Aspire-5253 that now has 19.3 Cinnamon on it. It is low on memory with only 2gB RAM, but I wanted it to be extremely useful for my friend who has zero IT experience with PCs.

that effort consumed most of a full day. Installing a SSD in lieu of the old slow spinning platter,
the initial OS install,
adding all of the applications that will make life easy for her...

a Bare one time only Timeshift backup, is totally irresponsible IMO....
I just finished up making a total image of the SSD that includes the small backup partition that I installed on it.
I setup Update Manager to run Automatically so she does not have to be involved in keeping it updated.

I have been using Update Manager now for over two years on Automatic, with no issues at all, but I also have Timeshift backing me up on that, but never needed it.

for my own PCs, I keep an Aptik backup also.
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jtamark
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by jtamark »

I save a snapshot once a month or two. Sadly, my last shot didn't work out, as the system wasn't operating well. So after trying that snapshot out, I had to go back to the one before it, which worked great.

For some reason I lost a bunch of back ups, which caused me to rely on only those two. I know I had to switch from Cinnamon to Mate a few months ago, but it thought it was longer than that.

I should start taking notes,
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by sanmig »

jtamark wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:19 pm
For some reason I lost a bunch of back ups, ...
I’d be very careful with using automated TS snapshots, but especially with daily ones.
A Mac user (Time Machine), I thought that’s OK: Extra HDD drive, 60 GB partition, keep 2 daily, 2 weekly, 2 monthly.
Every day (when Mint-PC was running) I heard the trr-trr-trr for about one minute, good.
From time to time I briefly visited the TS app, all green, OK.
Then by chance I saw a strange messages re TS in syslog, the TS app was still green - OK, but the last daily was weeks old, so was the weekly. No warning, no notification, nada.
GREEN GUI!

- And this happened twice within one year!

The second time I took a full system backup (FoxClone) and for fun tried to restore the latest daily from TS: Failed!
+ Didn’t boot anymore.
I’ve tried going back and found one weekly that would successfully restore …

It seems by small increments TS very slowly reaches the storage limit / safety margin during backup (trr-trr-trr), discards it silently (!) and tries again the other day.
No message, completely mum, only syslog. Cr… :evil:

I’m done with automated TS snapshots.
Manually OK, beautiful fast restore, OK - But watch each backup result!

(and from time to time use a second drive!)
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by bob466 »

jtamark wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:20 pm
Should I be saving my system via Timeshift every time I install a system update?

Yesterday I spend 2+ hrs getting my system right. Not sure how it got wrong. Perhaps a bad update, but that's just a guess.

So...should I be saving my system before every update? That seems like a lot. Really.

I'm running MATE 1.22.2 19.3 Tricia, after first trying Cinnamon, and finding that it wasn't compatible w my system.

Joe
When I do a clean install of Cinnamon and all my Settings...Software etc...I'll create an Image with Macrium...viewtopic.php?p=1434480#p1434480 or Foxclone...by doing this should anything happen...I don't have to Re-Install everything again. Image

At the end of the month I'll create an Image to cover any changes made during that time...works just fine. Image
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by Petermint »

Some devices, printers, etc, are plugged into my computers only a few times a year. I keep snapshots after each major update because they use only a tiny fraction of my backup disk. The snapshots go back to the last time I used each device. I also create a snapshot before and after things like installing a new driver. Recovery is easier that way. You can also run a compare across two snapshots to see what changed.

The timeshift backup disk is a good way to use an old disk that is too small for your Backintime backup.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by AZgl1500 »

sanmig wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:26 pm
jtamark wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:19 pm
For some reason I lost a bunch of back ups, ...
I’d be very careful with using automated TS snapshots, but especially with daily ones.
A Mac user (Time Machine), I thought that’s OK: Extra HDD drive, 60 GB partition, keep 2 daily, 2 weekly, 2 monthly.
Every day (when Mint-PC was running) I heard the trr-trr-trr for about one minute, good.
From time to time I briefly visited the TS app, all green, OK.
Then by chance I saw a strange messages re TS in syslog, the TS app was still green - OK, but the last daily was weeks old, so was the weekly. No warning, no notification, nada.
GREEN GUI!

- And this happened twice within one year!

The second time I took a full system backup (FoxClone) and for fun tried to restore the latest daily from TS: Failed!
+ Didn’t boot anymore.
I’ve tried going back and found one weekly that would successfully restore …

It seems by small increments TS very slowly reaches the storage limit / safety margin during backup (trr-trr-trr), discards it silently (!) and tries again the other day.
No message, completely mum, only syslog. Cr… :evil:

I’m done with automated TS snapshots.
Manually OK, beautiful fast restore, OK - But watch each backup result!

(and from time to time use a second drive!)
I always divide my SSDs into 2 separate Partitions.

I occasionally take a look at the backup partition to see how it is doing space wise.

so far, for the last two years, and two versions of Mint; 18.3 and 19.3 this method has worked perfectly.
I do an occasionally Manual backup and type in a Description of what the facts are:
then 5 dailys do the rest until the next major change.

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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by mikeflan »

Timeshift is an excellent program and very, very necessary.
You want it to take a snapshot daily - for sure - automatically.
If you are a minimalist trying to run Mint on a 125GB OS drive, then move the TS save location to another drive.

I only restore a TS backup about 6 times a year - maybe less.
But it is critical to be able to restore with TS at times.
It has never failed me.
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Re: Timeshift and System Updates

Post by cliffcoggin »

How many snapshots to save depends on how much space you can allocate to them, how often you change system settings, how often you add or remove software. There is no hard and fast rule.

My preference is 1 monthly, 2 weekly and 3 daily because I have devices attached to the computer that I may not use from one week to the next so I would not immediately notice one of them failing after an update. Timeshift is the quickest way for me to restore full operation after a fault.
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