System restore for Mint?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:48 am

System restore for Mint?

Post by martingb2 »

As far as I'm aware Mint does not have an equivalent to M.S. Windows for creating restore points and restoring when things go wrong.

I have come across apllications called "Time Shift" and "System is Back" Does anybody have any experience of using these or similar applications? Any other recommendations for providing an equivalent to Windows Restore?

Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:25 am

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by Dyfi »

The best way is to regularly image your system. Tools such as Clonezilla, Redobackup can accomplish this. It' s best to forget the windows way of thinking and learn linux by googling and using the search facility in the forum.

User avatar
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 12048
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:57 pm
Location: at /home

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by austin.texas »

I use Gparted to clone my / partition to an external hard drive. Since my / partition is only about 22GB, it doesn't take long, and then I have a perfect snapshot of my installation.
Using Gparted is as simple as using a File Manager > just Copy the partition and Paste into unallocated space, and then give the clone a new UUID to avoid confusion.
Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, Quad core AMD A8-3870 with Radeon HD Graphics 6550D, 8GB DDR3, Ralink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Linux Linx 2018

Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:54 am

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by Axtroz »

Hi there.

Linux Mint and Linux distributions in general don't provide a system restore facility simply because they don't need one. LM has a recovery mode that can be accessed when you're booting your computer.
That being said, there are multiple ways that you can restore your system by archiving essential components and storing them somewhere safe. Another option is snapshotting, which I am unfamiliar with simply because I never needed it. For instance I create a list of all installed packages and zip the configuration directory /etc daily and send an email to myself each week with those attached. If everything breaks and the system even fails to boot, or I need to switch over to a new machine, I can make a fresh installation, install the packages from the list I have and replace the config files.

AFAIK System restore makes a snapshot of the Windows registry and some system directories. In Linux the complexity of the registry is absent, which makes the restoration process as simple as copying over some files (or deleting said files).
In order to give a better reply, you need to give us a list of features you're looking for in a "system restore" facility, for example:

Do you want a GUI, or you're comfortable running commands from a terminal to restore your system?
Do you want to be able to revert all the files to a previous stage or you just need to make the system bootable if it fails for whatever reasons?
Do you want to be able to pick the state of the system prior restoring?

User avatar
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8020
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:41 pm
Location: Potemkin Village

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by Flemur »

I just "cp -ax" the OS to a backup directory. Then you can "cp -ax" it back when/if needed.

Windows is too kludgey for a simple backup method to work, hence their "system restore" work-around.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 240
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:22 am

Post by vl1969 »

Just an fyi in addition to all that was said above, you can also look into the new file system BTRFS, it provides some great funcionality and a full system snapshot/restore capability similar to windows. Unfortunately at this time there is no gui exists to access and use all the btrfs can offer, so you are stuck with cli.

Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk

Mark Phelps
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:39 pm

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by Mark Phelps »

an equivalent to Windows Restore?
Thinking that System Restore on MS Windows restores the entire computer system is a common misconception folks have. In fact, System Restore, on MS Windows, only restores the Operating System. When you apply Window Updates in MS Windows, it keeps a copy of all the files that get replaced. When you later do a System Restore using a certain date, all MS Windows does is overwrite the current system files with the copies it saved on that date.

A better solution, one that actually restores the entire setup, is to image off your setup to an external drive. That will give you the capability of completely restoring it in only a few minutes.

I use Clonezilla to do this, but there are other solutions as well, such as RedoBackup.

User avatar
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:33 pm

Re: System restore for Mint?

Post by lewtwo »

My ISP has a 10GB/Month cap. I was looking for something that would not require all the update downloads of a fresh install.

I used Time-shift a bit. It does work but requires a lot of active disk space and time. It has a provision for a comment to describe each backup. What it does not have is a way to populate that comment.

I wound up installing Mint 17 on an external USB hard drive and writing some scripts for fsarchiver. I can boot from that hard drive and run the scripts to get a full "cold" backup of the OS (aka root) and Home partitions (dated) of the internal drive. I can also use that external drive to back up multiple systems. If I screw something up (which I sometimes do) then I can boot from the external drive and restore the offended partition to a previous point in time. I can also use one of those point-in-time backups to image a new system or virtual machine. The advantage over the gparted cloning is that the disk drive can be partitioned differently (larger or smaller) because it is restoring the file system rather than the partition. fsarchiver runs amazing fast.

I also use rsync to make live "backups" of the data partitions to a the same external drive ... but that does not give me point-in-time restore capability.
"Engineering is the art of planning and forethought."

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”