How good & effective is Timeshift?

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walterdowis
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How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by walterdowis »

I like to experiment with my OS so I can really mess things up sometimes. I usually use Clonezilla as my backup and recovery tool. I know I can safely restore my computer from a certain point in time. However, how good & effective is Timeshift at restoring when I mess up my computer and need to restore? Can Timeshift create conflicts or not do a clean restore? Can you recommend Timeshift?
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antikythera
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by antikythera »

I use it for that purpose but also in case of an update causing an issue and so far it's not let me down. I let Timeshift also snapshot the hidden files in root and my own user account though. It doesn't run on schedule, I run Timeshift manually and the snapshots are saved to external media.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

For rolling back to a previous time, I've found Timeshift to be extremely reliable and effective. I make weekly snapshots and also make a snapshot just before doing something that might prove problematic, such installing a potentially dodgy program or updating the kernel. For convenience, I make and save my snapshots to a folder on my main data drive and, occasionally, also in a folder on a partition on an external backup drive in case the main data drive becomes compromised.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by GNULinux »

walterdowis wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:41 am
I like to experiment with my OS so I can really mess things up sometimes. I usually use Clonezilla as my backup and recovery tool. I know I can safely restore my computer from a certain point in time. However, how good & effective is Timeshift at restoring when I mess up my computer and need to restore? Can Timeshift create conflicts or not do a clean restore? Can you recommend Timeshift?
i would say its pretty effective(thats why people who mess a lot with os generally schedule it thought its not scheduled by default in most cases like mine)
atleast its better than windows recovery methods :D

ya but just dont mess up your boot
because if you cant boot you can use timeshift to restore it either
just keep that in mind and you are good to go
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

GNULinux wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:09 pm
walterdowis wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:41 am
I like to experiment with my OS so I can really mess things up sometimes. I usually use Clonezilla as my backup and recovery tool. I know I can safely restore my computer from a certain point in time. However, how good & effective is Timeshift at restoring when I mess up my computer and need to restore? Can Timeshift create conflicts or not do a clean restore? Can you recommend Timeshift?
i would say its pretty effective(thats why people who mess a lot with os generally schedule it thought its not scheduled by default in most cases like mine)
atleast its better than windows recovery methods :D ...
No kidding! In XP, System Restore was hit and miss. I never could get System Restore to work at all in Win 7. In Mint, Timeshift simply works.

I wholeheartedly recommend using both Timeshift and Clonezilla or other imaging programs like Clonezilla, such as Rescuezilla or Foxclone. While it's also a good idea to use an imaging program like Clonezilla, Rescuezilla, or Foxclone (in case the whole drive goes south or boot gets borked), Timeshift is faster and simple to use, both for making the snapshots and for restoring them. Imaging should be considered an ultimate backup for when the absolute worst happens and cloning for when you want to transfer the contents of your drive to another one.

I use both Timeshift and Clonezilla. So far, the only Clonezilla restore I've done was to test the image I made to make sure it would boot by swapping out my original boot drive with an empty one, then "restoring" to that drive. I use Timeshift quite frequently to go back to a time before the latest screw up I made.
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antikythera
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by antikythera »

GNULinux wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:09 pm
ya but just dont mess up your boot
because if you cant boot you can use timeshift to restore it either
just keep that in mind and you are good to go
You can run timeshift from the live media if need be, that's why it's included :D
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by GNULinux »

antikythera wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:30 pm
GNULinux wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:09 pm
ya but just dont mess up your boot
because if you cant boot you can use timeshift to restore it either
just keep that in mind and you are good to go
You can run timeshift from the live media if need be, that's why it's included :D
Wow i really dint knew that
all i remember is that last time i broke my mint i had to reinstall the entire os
i wish i knew this before never mind i will use it when i break my boot next time :wink: :lol:
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cliffcoggin
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by cliffcoggin »

Timeshift can be a savior if you are careful where you store snapshots. Set a schedule and forget about it.
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ThrashZone2
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by ThrashZone2 »

Hi,
Only issue I found was you need to format the hdd/.. in linux before you can actually use timeshift.
Can't just use a mbr disk like windows not sure you can just use a gpt disk either so no timeshift doesn't just work :-)
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rickNS
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by rickNS »

walterdowis wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:41 am
I like to experiment with my OS so I can really mess things up sometimes.
I'd say in addition to timeshift, or any other backup strategy for that matter, the best place for experimenting is in a virtual machine. I believe it's one of the biggest reasons for their use. Especially so in a virtual machine that's not actually installed, that is, you just boot the "live iso". Do as much crazy stuff as you want, install anything at all. Next time you boot your back at a default, factory fresh image, ready for more experimentation.

Installed virtual machines can take "snap shots" too, and is extremely quick.
Yes you could just use the live USB stick, but the virtual machine boots faster.
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antikythera
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by antikythera »

rickNS wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:17 pm
Installed virtual machines can take "snap shots" too, and is extremely quick.
Yes you could just use the live USB stick, but the virtual machine boots faster.
Depends on the hardware concerned as to whether a VM is viable or not for trying things out. You won't get decent performance with a VM on an old dual core machine with 2GB RAM for example and then there's also the storage space. Leveraging Timeshift snapshots on the other hand can allow a certain amount of tinkering without the resource loading.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by rickNS »

antikythera wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:34 pm

Depends on the hardware concerned as to whether a VM is viable or not for trying things out. You won't get decent performance with a VM on an old dual core machine with 2GB RAM for example and then there's also the storage space. Leveraging Timeshift snapshots on the other hand can allow a certain amount of tinkering without the resource loading.
Well obviously, if you can't (run virtualbox), you can't, and that's the end of it.
But if you can, it's the better choice. There is NO risk, and much, much faster.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

ThrashZone2 wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:52 pm
Hi,
Only issue I found was you need to format the hdd/.. in linux before you can actually use timeshift.
Can't just use a mbr disk like windows not sure you can just use a gpt disk either so no timeshift doesn't just work :-)
My boot drive is only 512GB but I'm running it on GPT anyway since I use EFI boot. I left MBR behind when I abandoned Windwoes a year ago.
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antikythera
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by antikythera »

@Thrashzone2 - You can very much use an MBR layout drive with timeshift just as much as GPT. The crux of the matter is actually you just need a partition formatted to btrfs, ext4 or xfs and not NTFS or FAT32 for it to store snapshots on.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by ThrashZone2 »

antikythera wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:33 pm
@Thrashzone2 - You can very much use an MBR layout drive with timeshift just as much as GPT. The crux of the matter is actually you just need a partition formatted to btrfs, ext4 or xfs and not NTFS or FAT32 for it to store snapshots on.
Hi,
You prove my point additional formatting needed for some odd reason.

Doesn't matter mint holds nothing special, clean install is nothing once i get everything noted I've added.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by antikythera »

Actually there's a very simple reason for this lack of NTFS and FAT32 support in Timeshift, the resulting snapshot would be no use whatsoever.

If you are using NTFS or FAT32 to backup or store anything from your Linux system all the symlinks and file permissions are being lost, not to mention the speed deficit. Microsoft are working to integrate better NTFS reliability and speed into the kernel upstream.

It will take time to reach long term support operating systems like Ubuntu 20.04 which Mint is based on and still won't address the lack of support for symlinks and file permissions.

If you replaced your Windows system with a Mac, you'd also have to deal with a different file system to use their file system snapshot utility reliably. So being a princess about formatting partitions when using a completely different operating system is quite frankly laughable.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Green man »

Timeshift in general is awesome, however, I did run into an issue once wherein I wanted to do an experiment with Wine, and took a timeshift snapshot beforehand. As expected, the experiment I was doing in Wine was a bad idea, but unexpectedly, rolling back with timeshift didn't purge the wine install/set up. I asked about this on the EzeeLinux forum, and apparently it has something to do with Wine putting a lot of files in nonstandard locations, not typically included in the scope of timeshift backup. Pretty sure this is an edge case, but I thought I'd posted here in case it prevents someone else from learning about it the hard way.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Pepi »

I've used it around 6 times and it's performed flawlessly
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by Termy »

I've seen quite a few people here posting about issues they've had with Timeshift. As someone who works with code on a daily basis, I can appreciate it for what it is, especially as I personally find writing GUIs a huge pain in the behind, but I don't use it, don't trust it, and I don't recommend it. I tend to just recommend CloneZilla, not that it's perfect, but in the 6-7 years I've often used it, it has not once let me down.
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Re: How good & effective is Timeshift?

Post by ThaCrip »

I think Clonezilla is more bulletproof since it's a exact duplicate of the boot drive at the time you imaged it. so anything that's added or removed or if anything gets out of whack, when restoring the Clonezilla image it's back to the EXACT state when the person imaged it with all other changes being completely gone. but given that... the only small negative here is if you added stuff you don't want to lose after you imaged it and something gets out of whack, once you restore the Clonezilla image all of the stuff you added will be gone. but this is generally not a real problem for me since going back in time roughly 2-4 weeks is not going to change much since the stuff I care about (like would be a bigger problem if I lost it) is not stored on the boot drive but on my other hard drives.

I make a occasional image with Clonezilla for insurance. like maybe once every couple of weeks or once a month or so depending on how long I go between reboots etc.

while I used Timeshift to make a image occasionally (I tend to make these on the lesser occasion something gets out of whack before installing updates in the Update Manager(but so far nothing has gotten out of whack from the Update Manager updates in the 2 years I have been using Mint on my main PC)) I never had to restore anything with it yet. I remove all of the Timeshift images before imaging with Clonezilla though to help keep the storage space the image takes lower, which helps lower image/restore times. I think Clonezilla is definitely the safer/more reliable option if your going to choose between the two and you need something to just work and work reliably. but I suspect Clonezilla is a bit more time consuming though and I suspect Timeshift will be good enough most of the time to stop any catastrophic issues.

bottom line... regardless if you like Timeshift or not, it would be wise to make a occasional image with Clonezilla in case something gets totally out of whack you always have that Clonezilla image as a fallback option. because if everything is in good running order at the time you make a Clonezilla image, you will always have that you can fall back on in case Timeshift fails to work as intended.
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