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[SOLVED] How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:02 am
by trope
Mine is 40 GB according to the file manager (I tried checking with some terminal commands but kept getting "permission denied" messages, maybe I just needed to wait longer). It seems excessive considering that timeshift is not supposed to back up personal files. I have 7 snapshots with rsync.

Is this storage usage normal, and if not, how do I troubleshoot it?

Is there a recommended number and frequency of snapshots? Perhaps I have too many, but it seemed to me that I should have some daily, weekly, and monthly because it might not be clear when exactly a problem occurred.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:25 am
by gittiest personITW
Add another snapshot and see how much space the next one takes up - as a test. It can be deleted afterwards

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:30 am
by athi
Mine is 14.4Gb (15.2Gb on disk) for 4 weekly snapshots, with 10.45Gb on my root partition.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:07 am
by gittiest personITW
Mine is about 80GB with lots of backups points due to ineptitude

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:29 pm
by cliffcoggin
40 GB for seven snapshots seems perfectly reasonable to me. Mine is 80 GB for nine.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:35 pm
by gm10
trope wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:02 am
Mine is 40 GB according to the file manager (I tried checking with some terminal commands but kept getting "permission denied" messages, maybe I just needed to wait longer). It seems excessive considering that timeshift is not supposed to back up personal files. I have 7 snapshots with rsync.

Is this storage usage normal, and if not, how do I troubleshoot it?
Could be a misconfiguration (see second paragraph in my post here for a typical misconfiguration: viewtopic.php?p=1651790#p1651790) and would definitely not be normal on my system, but it depends on your root partition usage: if you installed tons of software and/or never removed old kernels I suppose it's possible.

PS: The snapshot includes files only the root user can access, that's why you were getting the permission errors. You would have had to prefix with sudo to count all files.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:15 pm
by bob466
It all depends of what you have on the Drive and how many Snapshots you tell Timeshift to take. Image

I'm running Cinnamon 19.1 on a 500GB SSD...I have two Snapshots totalling 32GB...normal. The Drive is 22% full which is 104GB...so running out of space is never a problem...of cause you can delete some if you like as I do. Image

It seems people who have tiny Drives that fill up at the drop of a hat always blame Timeshift...when it's a lack of understanding of how things work. Image :( :roll:

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:01 pm
by trope
Additional info: My root is 22 GB and timeshift is 54G for 8 snapshots. It was ~27GB but I just deleted some flatpaks that were taking up a lot of space.
gm10 wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:35 pm
t it depends on your root partition usage: if you installed tons of software and/or never removed old kernels I suppose it's possible.
How can I tell how much space old kernels are taking up?

I have never had to restore using timeshift recently so I am thinking 8 is too many, am planning on reducing it to 4 (maybe 1 daily, 1 weekly, and 2 monthly). Will the total timeshift size automatically reduce over time with these new settings, and the total reduce from 8, or will it keep the extra ones from the old settings?

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:08 pm
by Pjotr
Nobody needs more than two snapshots. Preferably automated, with an interval of one month:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... t.html#ID7
(item 7)

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:50 pm
by gm10
trope wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:01 pm
How can I tell how much space old kernels are taking up?
If you're on LM 19.2 now then make sure that the automatic maintenance service is enabled in Update Manager's preferences, that'll automatically remove left-overs.
trope wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:01 pm
I have never had to restore using timeshift recently so I am thinking 8 is too many, am planning on reducing it to 4 (maybe 1 daily, 1 weekly, and 2 monthly). Will the total timeshift size automatically reduce over time with these new settings, and the total reduce from 8, or will it keep the extra ones from the old settings?
Timeshift won't automatically remove manually created snapshots, you have to delete those yourself (in the Timeshift application), but the scheduled ones I'd expect to get cleaned up automatically if you change the settings, yes. Although feel free to just delete them manually as well.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:12 pm
by Larry78723
gm10, I'm using your ppa and wish there was some way for automatic maintenance to delete timeshift snapshots triggered by your Update Manager that are older than the last weekly update. I know I'm daydreaming but it would be nice. :D I guess I could write a script for it and set up a cron job.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:29 pm
by gm10
Larry78723 wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:12 pm
gm10, I'm using your ppa and wish there was some way for automatic maintenance to delete timeshift snapshots triggered by your Update Manager that are older than the last weekly update. I know I'm daydreaming but it would be nice. :D I guess I could write a script for it and set up a cron job.
Pretty off-topic here but yes, I've been wanting to add a cleanup service with a configurable number of snapshots to keep. Eventually. Been a bit occupied with other stuff so haven't done any PPA work since the last update.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:05 am
by missmoondog
Pjotr wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:08 pm
Nobody needs more than two snapshots. Preferably automated, with an interval of one month:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... t.html#ID7
(item 7)
don't know if i totally agree with NOBODY needs more than 2 snap shots, especially just because that page you linked to says so, but that SHOULD be a safe number. personally, i like to keep 3 weekly snapshots. have 7 different linux computers around here and get on a different one every day so each one gets a new snap shot every week.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:30 pm
by pbear
missmoondog wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:05 am
i like to keep 3 weekly snapshots
That sounds like a good default strategy to me. Ironically, generally will take less space than two monthly because will have fewer old packages. Also agree with your larger point. There's no one-size-fits-all answer for this. Among other things, depends how much storage space is available. No point being stingy about Timeshift snapshots on a 1 TB hard drive.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:01 pm
by Pjotr
pbear wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:30 pm
There's no one-size-fits-all answer for this. Among other things, depends how much storage space is available. No point being stingy about Timeshift snapshots on a 1 TB hard drive.
True. However, a "best practice" advice that's good (enough) for the vast majority of users, is still useful. Timeshift is new for most people, and is causing overfilled root partitions all over the forum. Especially when combined with update-happy Flatpaks. :mrgreen:

Taking a helicopter view: even if you have a lot of disk space to burn, why should you burn it? The point of Timeshift is, that you can restore your system to faultless working order. You can do that just as easily with a snapshot of one month old as with a snapshot of one week old. Just run Update Manager after the restoration and you're fully up to date in almost no time at all....

When the snapshot is much older than a month or two, it becomes perhaps too bothersome to troubleshoot what exactly caused the need for a restoration, so there's that consideration of course.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:20 pm
by gm10
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:01 pm
The point of Timeshift is, that you can restore your system to faultless working order. You can do that just as easily with a snapshot of one month old as with a snapshot of one week old. Just run Update Manager after the restoration and you're fully up to date in almost no time at all....
Do you have any idea how much the people affected by this change within a month? If they didn't change many things those snapshots wouldn't grow like that (mount misconfiguration aside). So it ends up being a major difference actually.
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:01 pm
When the snapshot is much older than a month or two, it becomes perhaps too bothersome to troubleshoot what exactly caused the need for a restoration, so there's that consideration of course.
Which is why I prefer my Update Manager's automated snapshots before updates that neatly list all updated packages in the snapshot comment - if you need to roll back a specific update just find it in the list. Since I'm now implementing the overdue cleanup of excess snapshots I decided to go with a default of keeping 5 of those. I don't know how often people apply updates but even just doing it once a day then 5 snapshots is only the last 5 days, not that much time.

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:36 pm
by Pjotr
gm10 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:20 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:01 pm
The point of Timeshift is, that you can restore your system to faultless working order. You can do that just as easily with a snapshot of one month old as with a snapshot of one week old. Just run Update Manager after the restoration and you're fully up to date in almost no time at all....
Do you have any idea how much the people affected by this change within a month? If they didn't change many things those snapshots wouldn't grow like that (mount misconfiguration aside).
Flatpaks....
gm10 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:20 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:01 pm
When the snapshot is much older than a month or two, it becomes perhaps too bothersome to troubleshoot what exactly caused the need for a restoration, so there's that consideration of course.
Which is why I prefer my Update Manager's automated snapshots before updates that neatly list all updated packages in the snapshot comment - if you need to roll back a specific update just find it in the list. Since I'm now implementing the overdue cleanup of excess snapshots I decided to go with a default of keeping 5 of those. I don't know how often people apply updates but even just doing it once a day then 5 snapshots is only the last 5 days, not that much time.
Frankly, five looks like overkill to me. :mrgreen:

Re: How much space is Timeshift supposed to take?

Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:23 pm
by gm10
Pjotr wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:36 pm
Frankly, five looks like overkill to me. :mrgreen:
That's why I mentioned it. It's configurable, of course, but for the reason given I think it's a sensible default. Not every problem is discovered instantly.