(SOLVED) Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

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1NEWLINUXUSER
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(SOLVED) Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by 1NEWLINUXUSER »

Where is the best place to keep Timeshift snapshots? I've been keeping them on an ext. drive but I'd like to free that up for other things. I seem to recall someone saying that Timeshift is similar to Windows Restore points & its ok to keep them on the same drive the os is on, again similar to how Windows saves restore points.

Attached is a gparted screen shot of the installation. Can/should they be kept in /, /home, or somewhere else entirely?

Thanks.
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Screenshot at 2020-01-14 10-43-25.png
Last edited by 1NEWLINUXUSER on Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

deepakdeshp
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by deepakdeshp »

Both partitions are very small. You can't store them on these partitions. Best bet is to use external drive and keep only say 2 or 3 snapshots, deleting the old ones.
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cliffcoggin
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by cliffcoggin »

It's unwise to store them in root as it will quickly become full. Home is more usual.

Personally I store them both internally and externally: scheduled snapshots to home, occasional manual full system backups to an external SSD.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by 1NEWLINUXUSER »

deepakdeshp wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:05 pm
Both partitions are very small. You can't store them on these partitions. Best bet is to use external drive and keep only say 2 or 3 snapshots, deleting the old ones.
Thank you both. I agree that both are small, its just a 64gb usb stick. But Home is 40gb and since I'm really not saving that much data on this stick drive right now anyway and I do keep timeshift to a wouldn't it be ok to save it to Home? Also, I do plan to eventually install Mate to the SSD on this laptop.
Thanks again.

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pbear
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by pbear »

1NEWLINUXUSER wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:00 pm
... its just a 64gb usb stick.
This problem is a good example of why my tutorial says not to use a separate home partition on a flash drive. Maybe you can get away with putting Timeshift snapshots on the home partition, but it's going to be "on you" to make that work, including carefully monitoring space used. What you really should do is either consolidate the partitions (complicated) or reinstall.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by jglen490 »

Treat timeshift like any other "backup" solution. It belongs on its own partition so it can't blow out your operational partition.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by 1NEWLINUXUSER »

Thank you all for the feedback.
pbear wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:03 pm
it's going to be "on you" to make that work, including carefully monitoring space used. What you really should do is either consolidate the partitions (complicated) or reinstall.
So I guess what you are saying is that I more or less unwittingly did the "Advanced Installation" described in your tutorial which allows for separate partitions of root & home instead of the "Simple Installation" which puts everything in one large partition, and I'd be better off keeping things as they are or just doing a "simple" reinstall, right?

Actually, I did use your tutorial, along with a few other articles & videos, in making my decision for installing to an external drive, I liked that approach. Obviously I had no clue what I was doing as the "advanced" approach seemed easy enough, it worked so I went with it. And obviously I either overlooked or didn't understand your reasoning's for the "Simple" install. Now it makes more sense but I'll have to give this a little more thought because I will be installing to the ssd soon. As for manually updating and monitoring space, I do that now anyway so that's not a problem for me.

Thanks again.

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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by metabolico »

i see another solution, probably better suited for a "small", 64GB is more than enough to operate the system (of course without saving video, music or stuff like that) i would split partitions more evenly, use BTRFS.

in my system, 60GB root+home, mint with 6 restore points (3day, 2 weeks, 1 month) using btrfs makes up to 17GB out of 30.

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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by Petermint »

You can direct Timeshift snapshots to your home directory then backup your home directory to an external disk using Backintime. That way, you save everything to an external disk.

When your snapshots land on Ext4, only changed files are stored as new files. Duplicates become an "inode" pointing to the original file. Each snapshot looks like a full backup when you browse it or ask for the space used. The actual space used by the second snapshot is far less.

Look at the free space in the partition. Run the first snapshot. Look at the free space in the partition. Lots of space used.
Look at the free space in the partition. Run the second snapshot. Look at the free space in the partition. Not much space used.

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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by jglen490 »

And then look at all the threads in Mint where someone fills up h/is/er operational partition with Timeshifts. yes, it is a configurable product, and it is not necessary to do a Timeshift every moment of every day. yet people do that, until they learn. The user has to manage something that takes up free space. Give it (TS) its own free space.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by farkas »

Where to to store Timeshift? There are as many answers as there are users. If I do a reinstall like upgrading from Mint 18.3 to Mint 19 I make a clone, in place upgrades are very cumbersome, prone to failure and very time consuming. Tried twice, one success and one failure.
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=277741
A clone is a good to keep in reserve if everything borks. Keep a copy of the cloning usb iso with the cloned drive.
I have a desktop with two drives sda, (boot), and sdb (data), I keep two on demand, two weekly snapshots on sdb and two on demand snapshots on external usb.
My laptop with only one drive I keep two on demand and one weekly in my /home partition, two on demand on a usb.
Found out the hard way that a snapshot on the internal drive is useless if you can't access it! Keep a snapshot on an external device. I also keep a usb with Mint ISO, just in case of boot failure, and use it to restore from /home or the usb with timeshift snapshot.
In case of total drive failure, or a bricked machine, you'll have a clone and latest time shift snapshots to restore to a new drive, or a new machine.
There are other methods to back up your data as discussed in other forums.
It all all boils down to is how much time and effort you want to invest in securing your system and data info.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by 1NEWLINUXUSER »

Petermint wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:45 pm
You can direct Timeshift snapshots to your home directory then backup your home directory to an external disk using Backintime. That way, you save everything to an external disk.
I think I like that approach and will give it a try.

But, now I have a question about how Timeshift/Snapshots actually works! As you explained the first snapshot is always the largest and each subsequent one is smaller. It's been my understanding for a while now that snapshots are not incremental and that it is ok to delete all older ones and just keep a few of the newest ones. So, with the exception of just a few of the newest, I've been very diligently deleting all older snapshots just to free up space. But if I understand your explanation, all subsequent snapshots point back to the original so if you delete it then subsequent ones have nothing to point back too and would therefore be useless, right? So, shouldn't you keep the original at least until you delete all snapshots and completely start over? Am I on the right track or am I confused?

Thanks.

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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by pbear »

1NEWLINUXUSER wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:33 pm
It's been my understanding for a while now ... that it is ok to delete all older [snapshots] and just keep a few of the newest ones.
This is correct. As for whether Timeshift snapshots are properly called incremental, that's a can of worms. They are in one sense but not another. But, yes, the sense in which they aren't is why snapshots can be deleted in any order.
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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by Petermint »

This is Ext4 file system only. Each file entry is a single block, an inode. The inode points to the file. The first snapshot copies the files and creates the inodes for the files.

Snapshot 2 copies changed/new files and creates inodes for them. For identical files, snapshot 2 creates an inode pointing to the original file.

Snapshot 3 copies changed/new files and creates inodes for them. For identical files, snapshot 3 creates an inode pointing to the original file.

When you delete a file in Ext4, you are deleting the inode, not the file. Ext4 deletes the file if there are no inodes pointing to the file.

When you delete snapshot 1, you are deleting only the inodes for the files in snapshot 1. If a file exists in any other snapshot, Ext4 keeps the file.

When you delete snapshot 2, you are deleting only the inodes for the files in snapshot 2. If a file exists in any other snapshot, Ext4 keeps the file.

When you delete snapshot 3, you are stuffed. There are no more snapshots pointing to the files. Ext4 deletes the files.

You need to keep two or three recent snapshots so that you can recover from updates a few days ago that are just starting to show problems. On your external disk, you can leave every snapshot for months.

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Re: Timeshift Snapshots, Where Best to Keep Them?

Post by 1NEWLINUXUSER »

Petermint wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:00 am
You need to keep two or three recent snapshots so that you can recover....On your external disk, you can leave every snapshot for months.
Thank you both and all others who responded! Ok, so I don't know "inodes" from "outodes" and this getting deeper than I really need to know so unless I hear otherwise I'm just going to take your word/s for it, continue deleting all but a hand full of the newest snapshots but now I'll start backing all up to an external drive w/Backintime.

Marking this one solved so thanks again!

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