Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by rene » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:25 pm

ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:35 pm
Does it really matter where the restore data is kept, other than the issues (and these are real, by the way) of disk space?
Certainly does when one doesn't store one's data on a "device" such as a partition but on say an NFS-share. I.e., one can not.

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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ajgringo619 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:27 pm

rene wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:25 pm
ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:35 pm
Does it really matter where the restore data is kept, other than the issues (and these are real, by the way) of disk space?
Certainly does when one doesn't store one's data on a "device" such as a partition but on say an NFS-share. I.e., one can not.
Hmmm...didn't think that Timeshift could use an NFS share.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by rene » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:32 pm

That's what I'm saying: it can not. And yes, to me that is ultimately relevant. With rsync-based snapshotting it should not be a problem.

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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ajgringo619 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:38 pm

Not sure if there's a way around that because of the hard-link requirements; another reason why I switched to BTRFS. Although I like (and have never been let down by) Timeshift, maybe it would be wise for Clem to look into other solutions or work more closely with Tony on making the out-of-the-box experience more user-friendly.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by rene » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:43 pm

ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:38 pm
Not sure if there's a way around that because of the hard-link requirements
They are not involved. Hard-links need to be intra-fs but one NFS is certainly one fs.

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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:45 pm

ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:35 pm
I personally wish that Mint would default to BTRFS for the / filesystem, then this conversation would be moot.
Would it though? I don't see the average Mint user easily create a subvolume on another device for snapshots. At least not without some solid GUI tools to do it for them.

The problem is people following outdates guides and creating tiny partitions. Mint defaults to a single large partition, hence no problem by default.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ajgringo619 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:58 pm

gm10 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:45 pm
ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:35 pm
I personally wish that Mint would default to BTRFS for the / filesystem, then this conversation would be moot.
Would it though? I don't see the average Mint user easily create a subvolume on another device for snapshots. At least not without some solid GUI tools to do it for them.
Timeshift won't use another device for its subvolume snapshots, at least that's my understanding although I've never tried it. When I reinstalled Mint w/BTRFS for /, the subvolumes were created as needed and Timeshift is using them.

As I've stated elsewhere, I don't care about the restore data being on the same device; if I need to completely rebuild a system (due to hardware failure, for example), I've got my Clonezilla backups ready to go. Now, I do agree that storing snapshots on non-system drives should be the norm; how many threads have we seen about Timeshift eating an entire drive?
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by catweazel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:59 pm

gm10 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:45 pm
The problem is people following outdates guides...
The bane of everyone who offers help here.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ColdBootII » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:20 am

Portreve wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:57 pm
I'm sorry if that offended anyone.
Portreve, and I'm sincerely sorry if I offended you... If I could take it back now, I would. I liked the "Your Dictatorship", from your other post, just forgot to put a giggling smile after it.

Cheers :D

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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:54 am

ajgringo619 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:58 pm
Timeshift won't use another device for its subvolume snapshots, at least that's my understanding although I've never tried it.
[...]
As I've stated elsewhere, I don't care about the restore data being on the same device;
No, that was actually my understanding as well but I was giving you the benefit of the doubt since I thought you were talking about that specific "problem" being solved by it (not sure what other problem we're discussing actually).

Frankly that whole Timeshift issue would go away with just a simple remaining disk space check and a configurable threshold. But Timeshift isn't exactly under the most active development.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:23 am

gm10 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:54 am
Frankly that whole Timeshift issue would go away with just a simple remaining disk space check and a configurable threshold. But Timeshift isn't exactly under the most active development.
Well, the latest Timeshift release was in August this year, which is of course pretty recent. And when I submitted a new Dutch translation for Timeshift on GitHub earlier this week, it was merged within 24 hours.

The improvements you suggest obviously would help a lot. I'll try to contact the Timeshift developer about it.

--Edit: Submitted a feature request:
https://github.com/teejee2008/timeshift/issues/516
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:40 am

Pjotr wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:23 am
Well, the latest Timeshift release was in August this year, which is of course pretty recent. And when I submitted a new Dutch translation for Timeshift on GitHub earlier this week, it was merged within 24 hours.

The improvements you suggest obviously would help a lot. I'll try to contact the Timeshift developer about it.
Sure, but it's mostly translations and some small adjustments, and the last release before that was in January. Also non-translation PRs take a bit longer to merge, including one of mine to fix ZFS support (I've got a fixed version on a PPA if anybody needs).

Good luck with the feature request - there's a bunch of disk space/full disk related issues already without any or any substantive replies already unfortunately.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:16 am

gm10 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:40 am
ZFS support (I've got a fixed version on a PPA if anybody needs).
Not my cup of tea, thanks. But if you would happen to have a fixed version around with a remaining disk size check and a configurable disk size limit.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:34 am

Pjotr wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:16 am
But if you would happen to have a fixed version around with a remaining disk size check and a configurable disk size limit.... :mrgreen:
Heh, no, the ZFS fix was just something I quickly did for another forum member, but I'm currently not planning on developing Timeshift. It's not exactly hard to do though, you could even provide it through a wrapper script that checks the disk space after timeshift is done. But all the desktop environments have low disk space warning popups already and the users ignore them, so it might not make a difference at the end of the day. I know I never yet filled up my root drive...
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:39 am

Anyway, to all who read this thread: feel free to endorse my feature request for Timeshift on GitHub:
https://github.com/teejee2008/timeshift/issues/516

Adding a comment that boils down to the likes of "Good idea!" will probably help. 8)
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Portreve » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am

I'm flagging Pjotr in this post just so he sees my comment about Timeshift defaulting to the system drive as a location for backing up data.
Pjotr wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:39 am
Anyway, to all who read this thread: feel free to endorse my feature request for Timeshift on GitHub:
https://github.com/teejee2008/timeshift/issues/516
Is there any particular rationale behind letting Timeshift save backup data to the system drive? I can't check it now because it's already set up and I'm not going to disrupt what I've got just for this post, but I think the default partition on the system drive may even be the /boot partition, though anyone here feel free to correct me on that point if I'm wrong.

There's honestly only three things I would change about Timeshift, if I could.

1. When setting up a backup (whether initially or subsequent to having set up a backup) there should be a blurb (which I would be happy to write the text for, fwiw) stating one needs to attach a secondary storage device as the target for doing system and/or user data backups.

2. Timeshift should never allow the user to use the system drive as the backup drive.

3. Timeshift should provide the means (even if this would be subbing out the operation to something like Gparted) for the user to do a one-stop-shop choosing and initial setup of the drive that they are then subsequently going to use as their Timeshift backup. My vision of this is it should be something along the lines of a distro installer, which lets you nuke-n-pave the drive you're going to set up as the system drive without making the user independently resort to having to first summon some other utility.

4. (Yes, I know I only said three above...) Is there any chance they could also pick a suitable image, probably one they already have, and stick that on the drive as a custom icon? That way, in looking at one's desktop with your mounted storage or in the side panel where you see all your storage devices) you can see the volume label as "Timeshift" and the custom icon?

Anyhow, that's all I've got, because other than that, I like Timeshift and how it is otherwise utterly unobtrusive.

ColdBootII wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:20 am
Portreve, and I'm sincerely sorry if I offended you... If I could take it back now, I would. I liked the "Your Dictatorship", from your other post, just forgot to put a giggling smile after it.

Cheers :D
Well, you're extremely fortunate that my Dictatorship is mostly¹ benevolent. :lol:

I mentioned previously that I did up a custom icon for my Timeshift drive. To be honest, I'm not 100% satisfied with how it turned out, so I'm going to do some more re-work. It's funny because, both in Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X, I used to love to use custom icons, but I haven't delved into any of that in years, so I'm now remembering how much fun it was.

What triggered this is I just recently started a long-time friend on a path to converting from using Mac OS X 10.6 (he never upgraded it and now it's really coming back to bite him in the ass because every time he turns around, things won't work because he doesn't have a new enough version of Mac OS X to run a new enough version of whatever, like say a web browser or an email client, to be able to use this, that, or the other kind of thing. Once I showed him what it was like to use Linux Mint Cinnamon, and that he could mostly port his user-land knowledge from his prior experiences directly to using LM/Cinnamon, he just jumped into it practically feet first, and for a guy at now age 85, that's a good sign. Anyhow, in setting up his system (he makes far more extensive use of custom icons than I ever did) I wanted to try and reconstruct that as much as possible, and in so doing learned how to make it work well in LM, and that made me realize I used to like doing this myself, so I started doing it. Then came Timeshift, and I was like, "Oh, I am all over this s***." :lol:

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Last edited by Portreve on Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:18 am

Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
Is there any particular rationale behind letting Timeshift save backup data to the system drive root partition?
Well, yes, because it's not a backup tool but a system restore tool. :mrgreen:

The only reason why we (well, at least I) have trouble with storage in the root partition, is because of its uncontrolled space usage. If the user could set a maximum disk usage for Timeshift, like one can apparently set in Windows for its system restore points, the problems would be over. Root partition or elsewhere, that wouldn't matter anymore.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Portreve » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:35 am

Pjotr wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:18 am
Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
Is there any particular rationale behind letting Timeshift save backup data to the system drive root partition?
Well, yes, because it's not a backup tool but a system restore tool. :mrgreen:

The only reason why we (well, at least I) have trouble with storage in the root partition, is because of its uncontrolled space usage. If the user could set a maximum disk usage for Timeshift, like one can apparently set in Windows for its system restore points, the problems would be over. Root partition or elsewhere, that wouldn't matter anymore.
I wasn't really aware that System Restore in Windows did any more than (by some means I don't honestly know the mechanics behind) set backups of the Windows Registry. That's not the same thing as what Timeshift does in making Apple Time Machine-like backups of all system-level files.

Perhaps I'm having a problem being able to set the line (and make the differentiation) between system restoration creation (à la Windows) and system backup.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:44 am

Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
Is there any particular rationale behind letting Timeshift save backup data to the system drive? I can't check it now because it's already set up and I'm not going to disrupt what I've got just for this post, but I think the default partition on the system drive may even be the /boot partition, though anyone here feel free to correct me on that point if I'm wrong.
A default, unencrypted Mint install has a single partition only. So you're wrong based on that alone. ;)

Besides, Timeshift doesn't default to anything, you need to specifically select the partition you want to store, before you don't do that Timeshift won't do a thing. It'll even be checked for available space at that time. So you're unlikely to ever be able to configure this for a /boot partition, even should you have one.
Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
4. (Yes, I know I only said three above...) Is there any chance they could also pick a suitable image, probably one they already have, and stick that on the drive as a custom icon? That way, in looking at one's desktop with your mounted storage or in the side panel where you see all your storage devices) you can see the volume label as "Timeshift" and the custom icon?
You could do that yourself (right click > properties > click on the icon does it in most file managers) but as a feature it would be bad because you cannot assume people have a separate partition for timeshift snapshots (I certainly do not).
Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:35 am
I wasn't really aware that System Restore in Windows did any more than (by some means I don't honestly know the mechanics behind) set backups of the Windows Registry. That's not the same thing as what Timeshift does in making Apple Time Machine-like backups of all system-level files.
No, it's basically like Timeshift in that it restores your old files as well, and removes new files. Unlike Timeshift it is monitoring all file systems but based on file extensions, even if those files are found in the user's private directory: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... extensions. As you mentioned, it also includes the registry and some other system databases.

In operation it's similar to my Update Manager fork in that it can automatically create a restore point before updates. Look, I'm turning us into Windows. ;)
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by rene » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:48 am

Portreve wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
[ ... ] but I think the default partition on the system drive may even be the /boot partition
When I checked an up to that point not setup copy of Timeshift earlier it in fact pre-selected my local data-storage partition as the choice, which is on /dev/sda whereas my system is on /dev/sdb, so it probably just "defaults" to the first partition it deems possible from a standard sorted list. Put differently, does not "default" to anything at all in a real sense; only pre-selects the root partition from among the available choices if said root partition is the first one from said list.

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