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

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

Post by Portreve »

ricardogroetaers wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:32 pm
Unfortunately, a software designer cannot predict that the user has a free disk partition or media to direct his backup files to.

The user must configure this.

I recognize that the help of "Timeshift" is confusing.
So you're saying the software designer(s) behind Timeshift were too stupid to design it so it couldn't back up the system disk to the system disk? Because it doesn't seem to me like it's the sort of thing which requires that much intelligence or foresight.

As an example, take a look at USB Image Writer. If you don't have a flash drive attached, it won't provide you with a list of targets to write the ISO data to. In theory, one could choose to write ISO data to one's system drive, but that program's author(s) weren't stupid enough to just let you do that by not bothering to restrict candidate storage mediums.
Last edited by Portreve on Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by gm10 »

Portreve wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 am
ricardogroetaers wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:32 pm
Unfortunately, a software designer cannot predict that the user has a free disk partition or media to direct his backup files to.

The user must configure this.

I recognize that the help of "Timeshift" is confusing.
So you're saying the software designer(s) behind Timeshift were too stupid to design it so it couldn't back up the system disk to the system disk? Because it doesn't seem to me like it's the sort of thing which requires that much intelligence or foresight.
What are you even talking about? Timeshift is not meant to be a backup tool. It creates system snapshots so you can recover your system state. It's perfectly normal to store these on the system partition - which, by default, is the only available partition existing on a Mint/Ubuntu system - and not even a matter of choice in BTRFS mode.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ricardogroetaers »

Portreve,

When I used the term "backup", I did it in a generic sense.
I was referring to a "system snapshot", similar to "Microsoft Windows system restore".
The term "backup" should not be interpreted exactly, literally.

Note:
I have observed that for some time now the Google translator is generating texts with very different meaning from the original.

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

Post by jaken+15 »

My Macrium Reflect Recovery USB media made a very usable image of my Mint Windows 7 dual boot Drive. I've been using Macrium Reflect for a long time and was glad to see this work..

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

Post by ColdBootII »

Portreve wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:22 am

So you're saying the software designer(s) behind Timeshift were too stupid to design it so it couldn't back up the system disk to the system disk? Because it doesn't seem to me like it's the sort of thing which requires that much intelligence or foresight.

As an example, take a look at USB Image Writer. If you don't have a flash drive attached, it won't provide you with a list of targets to write the ISO data to. In theory, one could choose to write ISO data to one's system drive, but that program's author(s) weren't stupid enough to just let you do that by not bothering to restrict candidate storage mediums.
Portreve, Timeshift is a beginner friendly GUI frontend (and as such dumbed down) for rsync which you can use to do the same to any medium/disk you see fit, or over network easily (and it's not that much typing, btw), since you're not a beginner.

I also feel that once or twice a month worth of system backups, is enough to keep, at least when speaking of Mint/Ubuntu since breakages (in my experience) happen very rarely and are correctable even if none of these tools is in use.

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

Post by Portreve »

ColdBootII wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:48 pm
Portreve, Timeshift is a beginner friendly GUI frontend (and as such dumbed down) for rsync which you can use to do the same to any medium/disk you see fit, or over network easily (and it's not that much typing, btw), since you're not a beginner.
Yes, and? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how that had anything to do with what I said.
I also feel that once or twice a month worth of system backups, is enough to keep, at least when speaking of Mint/Ubuntu since breakages (in my experience) happen very rarely and are correctable even if none of these tools is in use.
I have mine configured to generate a significantly greater number of backup instances than that. It doesn't keep the minor ones forever, of course, but I do like having a fairly fine-grained backup schedule just in case. And why not? It's got a whole terabyte of disk to write to, which there's not a chance it will ever come close to filling.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ColdBootII »

Portreve wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:55 pm
Yes, and? Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how that had anything to do with what I said.
I mean, obviously, you don't need the tool. I thought, its main purpose was to make life easy for the so called "non-technical" minded falks, so it is good as it is because, they can't tell the difference anyway or realize why Your Dictatorship is annoyed with it. I also use it once a month, but just because I'm super lazy and nothing unexpected happens to make me consider anything more elaborate.

Edit: the level of criticism you've used to describe where it's lacking, could lead someone with far less experience to think it's a worthless tool when you know, it is not. It can be a huge difference and a time-saver in the process of learning about Linux. I have read many times novices grumbling about absence of any GUI tool resembling System Restore and now when there is one preloaded in Mint, don't spoil it for them. Perhaps, the only thing they can be warned about in advance is, not to make too many of them too often. Even if terabytes are available, it can still cause high I/O precisely when you least need it.

But you, you don't need it.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by Portreve »

Whoa. :shock:

Ok, I'm going to do the adult thing here and bow out of this discussion.

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

Post by ColdBootII »

Portreve wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:21 pm
Whoa. :shock:

Ok, I'm going to do the adult thing here and bow out of this discussion.

Goodbye.
Shocked? But why? Can you imagine what the Timeshift dev would feel reading that his design is "stupid"?

Cheer up, I didn't mean to insult you, sorry...

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

Post by rene »

Portreve wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:21 pm
Ok, I'm going to do the adult thing here and bow out of this discussion.
Waah, sissy...

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

Post by all41 »

Portreve wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:13 am
I've never understood why Timeshift would want to use the system drive to do a backup of the system. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
fwiw: same thoughts here, and even when not defining these files as backups, why would they be considered safe on the same partition?

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

Post by majpooper »

all41 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:22 pm
Portreve wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:13 am
I've never understood why Timeshift would want to use the system drive to do a backup of the system. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
fwiw: same thoughts here, and even when not defining these files as backups, why would they be considered safe on the same partition?
Yeah I'm with you on this as well. If it is not a "back-up" of the system files - the term "snapshot" sure infers that is what it is then what is it? Great . . . if you add some new software and "things" on the system get jacked up - you just go back in time when everything was peachy . . . . well except if you can't because Timeshift is (by default) on the partition that is hosed. I guess if you have no other place to put it you do it (install it on the system partition that you are "backing up") and hope you can get to it if you need it - that doesn't seem like a great idea to me. So what am I missing here?

Space wise - I follow Pjotr's recommendation - took a manual snapshot after the fresh install after I had everything just as I wanted it (tweaks, apps etc.) - and then scheduled one (Monthly keep 1) once a month getting rid of the old one taken the month before. Total space 11.4 GB for two snapshots on a 3T external HD. Maybe that would be a default setting.

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

Post by all41 »

majpooper wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:56 pm
all41 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:22 pm
Portreve wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:13 am
I've never understood why Timeshift would want to use the system drive to do a backup of the system. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
fwiw: same thoughts here, and even when not defining these files as backups, why would they be considered safe on the same partition?
Yeah I'm with you on this as well. If it is not a "back-up" of the system files - the term "snapshot" sure infers that is what it is then what is it? Great . . . if you add some new software and "things" on the system get jacked up - you just go back in time when everything was peachy . . . . well except if you can't because Timeshift is (by default) on the partition that is hosed. I guess if you have no other place to put it you do it (install it on the system partition that you are "backing up") and hope you can get to it if you need it - that doesn't seem like a great idea to me. So what am I missing here?

Space wise - I follow Pjotr's recommendation - took a manual snapshot after the fresh install after I had everything just as I wanted it (tweaks, apps etc.) - and then scheduled one (Monthly keep 1) once a month getting rid of the old one taken the month before. Total space 11.4 GB for two snapshots on a 3T external HD. Maybe that would be a default setting.
Pretty much the same here. I make a manual snapshot of a fresh install after applying full available updates. I keep this one untouched in the rare event I would want to start over from there.
I do other snapshots manually before I tread unfamiliar waters, but delete them as I go. All snapshots are directed to a separate hdd.

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

Post by bob466 »

Timeshift and Flatpaks have never been a problem for me because I don't create a tiny Root Partition as advised on this Forum and elsewhere. Image

On my 500GB SSD when I install Linux Mint...I choose..."Erase Disk and Install Linux Mint" this gives me one large Partition (Root) which is Dynamic and will take a long time to fill up...not like a 20-40GB Root Partition that will fill up at the drop of a hat. :(

Image

Back in the old days when HDDs were very small and External HDDs didn't exist...you had to create Partitions but those days are gone :D don't have Internal Storage Drives anymore either. As you can see from the image above...Root is 191GB and I still have about 290GB of space left...of cause at the end of the month I'll delete Timeshift Snapshots and move Videos...Music etc to an External HDD and run a few clean Commands in the Terminal before I create my System Image. At the end of the day...people can do whatever they like but for me I like the easy trouble-free way but that's just me. Image
Linux For Ever...Windoze Never Image

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

Post by deepakdeshp »

Clonezilla is better IMO. Complete backup, quicker to backup and restore than TS.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by HaveaMint »

FYI for anyone wanting to create an image of individual partitions or the whole drive to an external drive and find clonezilla to be difficult you can use macrium reflect as some have suggested and you don't need windows to create it.It is easier to create a flash drive with windows though. Check out https://www.hirensbootcd.org/. I wouldn't use anything as far as tools in it other than Macrium Reflect as they can do harm to a linux system.
edit: You will need a fat32 partition to save the images to. I have two images of EFI-Root-Home and it is using 31 GB of space to give you an idea on how much fat partition you may need.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ColdBootII »

Based on some posts in the LM forum, I'd say that the decision to store Timeshift snapshots in fixed /timshift folder is not necessarily "lacking inteligence"...

First, it's easy for the software to retrieve all available snapshots and not depend on user input as people fresh from windows sometimes give funky names to files and folders, with trailing spaces, leading underscores etc, which can cause strange errors or behavior in Linux apps. No exaggeration, read about it right here. Also, if it is stored on system partition, it is less likely it gets deleted accidentally.

So, every minus may have a corresponding plus to amend it,

Cheers

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

Post by bjmh46 »

HaveaMint wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:07 am
FYI for anyone wanting to create an image of individual partitions or the whole drive to an external drive and find clonezilla to be difficult you can use macrium reflect as some have suggested and you don't need windows to create it.It is easier to create a flash drive with windows though. Check out https://www.hirensbootcd.org/. I wouldn't use anything as far as tools in it other than Macrium Reflect as they can do harm to a linux system.
edit: You will need a fat32 partition to save the images to. I have two images of EFI-Root-Home and it is using 31 GB of space to give you an idea on how much fat partition you may need.
I have used the free Macrium reflect on both Linux and windows. FWIW, I have done some testing and found Clonezilla to be more reliable in creating an image, which when restored, will boot without problems. I will say that Macrium has been reliable with windows 7, but failed to restore properly with windows 10, and Mint 18. YMMV!
Bob

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

Post by Portreve »

I keep getting nagged by notifications about this thread, so... Ok, I'll comment about a few things.

It was my impression that Timeshift was already being criticized prior to my entering the fray. That one comment about it defaulting to backing up the system to the system drive as a bad default is, I believe, my only criticism of the program. I use it. Heck, I've created my own custom icon for the drive which is half way between Timeshift's logo and the Apple Time Machine logo.

And yes, I get it that this being a general comments kind of area, punters as well as pros will see my words and maybe be put off on the program, which in the main is a valuable, useful utility. I'm sorry if that offended anyone. What I would say, however, is that everyone needs to be aware of that particular foible of Timeshift. I also think Timeshift's maintainer(s) need to fix that, and this includes an initial blurb letting the user know they need to connect another drive, along with a further enforcement as previously discussed.

------

On a separate front, I'm going to re-raise a previously mentioned/discussed idea I've posted that there should also be written for GNU+Linux an equivalent to Apple's Automator program. For those who don't know, it's an incredibly friendly and well-presented front end for creating executable scripts, giving the user access to both building block-style script assembly, and direct basic coding. I'm certain there's plenty of YouTube videos on it for anyone wishing to see what it can do.
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Re: Timeshift and Flatpaks: more trouble than they're worth?

Post by ajgringo619 »

I've read and reread this thread, with the many others that proceeded it, and I still don't understand why people have so much trouble understanding Timeshift. It is not, and was never intended to be, a system backup program. While Clonezilla (which I use and love) and others are great backup programs, they do not do what Timeshift does - provide a simple way to revert to a known working state if the system is hosed. Does it really matter where the restore data is kept, other than the issues (and these are real, by the way) of disk space? I personally wish that Mint would default to BTRFS for the / filesystem, then this conversation would be moot.

Now, on to Flatpak. Yes, I can see where its programs would become a burden with Timeshift. So why not change the default install to the user's /home filesystem? It's much cleaner, and there's really no need to include them in a system snapshot anyway since they're all sandboxed away from the core libraries.
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