(solved) Backup options

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Slowpoke47
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(solved) Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

New non-tech Mint user, Mate 19.2 on Dell desktop, dual booted with Windows 7 HP. Need to set up weekly backups, both system files and user files. Advice from others is that TimeShift utility is not meant for backing up user files on a regular basis. Others have commented that, in current configuration, TimeShift is the way to go.

Interested to know what others are using, all comments appreciated!
Last edited by Slowpoke47 on Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gittiest personITW
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Re: Backup options

Post by gittiest personITW »

Hi,
Timeshift is meant for system configuration backups and when we are just starting out, Timeshift can be a life saver but shouldn't be relied on for day-to-day data backup tasks.
However, it should at the very least be set to backup to a separate partition, and better still, a separate disk - the reason being that if your system disk goes down, you'll have an easy way to restore your system.
Also, Timeshift does what its told and if you tell it to save lots of snapshots, it may end up taking up too much space on your hard drive which is a big problem if it is your system drive.
Just set it to backup once a day and keep, say 5 snapshots, maybe along with a weekly also.

Clonezilla is good for cloning your hard drive onto a backup device as an image. The way this works is that EVERYTHING on your hard drive is backed up and if there is a catastrophic problem, you boot into Clonezilla and restore your image. You should, again, use a separate backup drive. You can only run Clonezilla from boot unfortunately so is best to do it when you don't need your computer.

LuckyBackup is great for file/data backups - Ok to set up. Can be a bit fiddly but is ok on the whole once you get the hang of it. Again, all your important data should be stored on separate devices.
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Larry78723
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Re: Backup options

Post by Larry78723 »

I use BackInTime to do daily backups of my /home folder (all my personal, data, and configuration files).
Image
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Re: Backup options

Post by jjp2145-oldtimer »

For user files I make extensive use of external harddrives and cp -ruv with the output to a .txt file for leisurely viewing. If I use the -u flag I can just copy huge directories without bothering to remember what I worked on. So every week I plug in two external harddrives and run something that looks like this

Code: Select all

cp -ruv /home/username /media/username/Backup1 > Backuplog.txt | cp -ruv /home/username /media/username/Backup2 >> Backuplog.txt
I am fully prepared to reinstall the operating system if something goes wrong, so I don't backup system files.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

jjp2145-oldtimer wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:14 am
For user files I make extensive use of external harddrives and cp -ruv with the output to a .txt file for leisurely viewing. If I use the -u flag I can just copy huge directories without bothering to remember what I worked on. So every week I plug in two external harddrives and run something that looks like this

Code: Select all

cp -ruv /home/username /media/username/Backup1 > Backuplog.txt | cp -ruv /home/username /media/username/Backup2 >> Backuplog.txt
I am fully prepared to reinstall the operating system if something goes wrong, so I don't backup system files.
Thanks for the reply. This strategy is beyond my level of understanding. To avoid missteps. I'm better off going with a backup program.
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Re: Backup options

Post by majpooper »

When it comes to backing up your system everyone has an opinion because there are limitless ways to accomplish the task. Only one thing seems to be agreed upon - you should back up your system and data. Fortunately Mint make it relatively easy by providing pretty good GUI based back up tools in Timeshift and Backintime. Timeshift for your system Backintime for your personal data. Of, course it is a good idea to put your back ups on a different drive if you can.

I subscribe to the following rules to make back ups easy - setup and forget:

Timeshift; take a manual snapshot after my freshly install system. I use the very easy to use schedule and only tick the monthly box Keep 1 (you could do this I weekly or daily if you wanted) the key is to only keep 1 and to only tick one box IMO - this will avoid the "Timeshift is hogging too much space" issue some folks report. Bottom line is you only really need to keep one snapshot - how often you take it is up to you - I choose monthly (I can always apply the updates after restore) but I get folks saying daily to capture the latest system updates in the snapshot.

Backintime; Easy GUI to setup - in the General tab say where to save your snapshots and when (I do mine a 0400) and in the Auto-remove tab tick the Smart Remove box (when you take a new snapshot at a certain interval it removes the old one) where you can limit how many snapshots to store. Again I choose the minimum value of 1.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

I have been using Macrium to back up my Win7 OS, and just recently restored that system from a serious misstep with the backups I had from that utility. I don't need any convincing that regular backups to an external target are important- in my case, I use external drives. The target for these new Mint backups is a new 1tb disk that is now formatted for the purpose.

Turns out that a Mint backup app analogous to the Macrium is not readily to be found... and I'm seeing some disagreement on whether the TimeShift utility in the Mate 19.2 distro can be used for regular full and differential images.
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Re: Backup options

Post by majpooper »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:02 pm
I have been using Macrium to back up my Win7 OS, and just recently restored that system from a serious misstep with the backups I had from that utility. I don't need any convincing that regular backups to an external target are important- in my case, I use external drives. The target for these new Mint backups is a new 1tb disk that is now formatted for the purpose.

Turns out that a Mint backup app analogous to the Macrium is not readily to be found... and I'm seeing some disagreement on whether the TimeShift utility in the Mate 19.2 distro can be used for regular full and differential images.
I know nothing about Windows or it's utilities as I left Windows behind during my Win7 days.
So I am not exactly sure what you mean by
for regular full and differential images.
I can only reiterate that Timeshift by design will back up your system files and Backintime should be used to backup your /home dir where your personal data typically resides. If your personal data resides on a different disk or in a different partition Backintime can be configured to deal with that as well.
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Re: Backup options

Post by msseufert »

A note about using cp to back up. The copy (cp) command isn't designed for use as a back-up, nor for large amounts of files. rsync is far superior. rsync will pickup where it left off if interrupted and supports incremental back-ups. rsync can also be used to back-up files remotely.

Code: Select all

man rsync
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zcot
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Re: Backup options

Post by zcot »

The "Mint way" I guess it could be put, is:

Timeshift is for system file space.

The Mint Backup Tool is for user file space.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

gittiest personITW wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:07 am
Hi,
Timeshift is meant for system configuration backups and when we are just starting out, Timeshift can be a life saver but shouldn't be relied on for day-to-day data backup tasks.
However, it should at the very least be set to backup to a separate partition, and better still, a separate disk - the reason being that if your system disk goes down, you'll have an easy way to restore your system.
Also, Timeshift does what its told and if you tell it to save lots of snapshots, it may end up taking up too much space on your hard drive which is a big problem if it is your system drive.
Just set it to backup once a day and keep, say 5 snapshots, maybe along with a weekly also.

Clonezilla is good for cloning your hard drive onto a backup device as an image. The way this works is that EVERYTHING on your hard drive is backed up and if there is a catastrophic problem, you boot into Clonezilla and restore your image. You should, again, use a separate backup drive. You can only run Clonezilla from boot unfortunately so is best to do it when you don't need your computer.

LuckyBackup is great for file/data backups - Ok to set up. Can be a bit fiddly but is ok on the whole once you get the hang of it. Again, all your important data should be stored on separate devices.
LuckyBackup seems to be what I need- investigating further, thank you!
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Re: Backup options

Post by pbear »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:39 am
Others have commented that, in current configuration, TimeShift is the way to go.
No, it's not. By design, when you restore a Timeshift snapshot, it removes any files more recent than the snapshot date. Indeed, the main point of the exercise is to remove files (e.g., package updates) which are causing a problem. If you use Timeshift to backup data files, a restore will delete any files added since the snapshot date and any edited files will be restored to their prior state. It almost never will be the case that you want this outcome.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

pbear wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:20 pm
Slowpoke47 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:39 am
Others have commented that, in current configuration, TimeShift is the way to go.
No, it's not. By design, when you restore a Timeshift snapshot, it removes any files more recent than the snapshot date. Indeed, the main point of the exercise is to remove files (e.g., package updates) which are causing a problem. If you use Timeshift to backup data files, a restore will delete any files added since the snapshot date and any edited files will be restored to their prior state. It almost never will be the case that you want this outcome.
Thanks for the post. I've looked at LuckyBackup, and I plan to use that (in spite of the goofy name).
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Re: Backup options

Post by TNorth »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:56 pm
I've looked at LuckyBackup, and I plan to use that (in spite of the goofy name).
I'd be interested to see how you like LuckyBackup once you get it set up! Hope you post back with an update!

Thanks!
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Re: Backup options

Post by gittiest personITW »

TNorth wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:28 pm
Slowpoke47 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:56 pm
I've looked at LuckyBackup, and I plan to use that (in spite of the goofy name).
I'd be interested to see how you like LuckyBackup once you get it set up! Hope you post back with an update!

Thanks!
I like LuckyBackup as it backs up your files as files. Handy for me.
Some programs back up your data as a snapshot/package. Handy for some others.

Its nice and easy to use and lets you know if there are problems.
I have various external drives that are attached at various times and it figures out which one is connected and just gets on with the job.
Remember to backup your profiles in Lucky Backup.

Good luck with it.
gittiest personITW
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Re: Backup options

Post by gittiest personITW »

One other thing....
It seems you can use Macrium to clone your EXT4 partitions also.

The other main program people use, as far as I know, is Clonezilla. I use it, but it is in robot speak. So need to think carefully before <OK>.
There are various posts detailing how to use Clonezilla, but as you are used to Macrium you might as well use that - you can use the same DVD version. Good Macrium.

Unfortunately, I used to use old version of TrueImage which did the disk backups from within GUI. At the moment (Andyyyyyyy :) ) there is not an equivalent as far as I know.
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Re: Backup options

Post by dutchhenry »

As already stated, there are a myriad ways to backup. I use fwbackups by Diffingo Inc. It is free, and open software. Not presently available from the Software Manager. However, it works very well with Mint (mine is 19.2) Easy to download and install. It produces a tar file for easy storage. The set-up is one of the easiest I have seen. Times can be set up as often as is needed. Have a look. :D
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Trying to get set up with LuckyBackup. I think I have made the correct entries to back up a full system image, i.e. all system and user files (Didn't see an opportunity to save settings). Target HDD, previously formatted, is connected. Schedule is set for Tuesdays at 9 a.m. Selected Run, expecting to have a backup immediately, but, see screenshot, this message appeared instantly, no data saved, confirmed by the empty disk.
LuckyBackup.png
At first I thought perhaps nothing would happen before next Tuesday, but the red text includes error messages that I do not know how to correct. Anyone familiar with this utility?
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Re: Backup options

Post by gittiest personITW »

The directories with a . in front of them are hidden.

Some will have different permissions set to them. You'll get the same error using any backup method for those directories I think, unless running the program with sudo permissions (I think).

At least with LuckyBackup it tells you it hasn't copied them!

Don't change the permissions on those directories though.
Aptik can copy them but the version that works best is the paid version from what I've heard.
The version in Synaptic will backup some of your config files but then if something does go pear-shaped, you'll probably have to put them back manually.
Or, every so often, open Nemo. Right click an empty space and select 'Open as Root'. You'll get a new window with a red border. Be careful. Everything you tell it to do it will do, regardless of whether it is a good command or an evil command. Close it as soon as you have finished to stop your cat wiping your boot drive. In that window you can manually copy everything over - it should have to be done often anyway as most of your configs will stay the same.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Backup options

Post by Slowpoke47 »

I started this thread looking for a backup utility for weekly full system images and possibly differential backups as well. While I am relatively new to Mint, I have ample history with Windows OS's but chose to migrate here due to the baggage and ongoing problems associated with Win10. All in all, it's going well.

Have had no problem backing up Win7 with two or three successive downloaded apps, most recently Macrium, which not long ago proved its worth by helping me recover from a serious problem. I need to install in this Mint OS a comprehensive b/u program that a non-tech type can understand. Perhaps LuckyBackup is not that program. I have just uninstalled it and I'm ready to start over, with that or another program.
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