Burned twice by Timeshift

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TaterChip
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Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

As the thread title says, I have now been burned twice by TimeShift.

The first time was when it would not revert an unwanted update to Thunderbird. The second time was last night when I screwed up my system. This has caused me to reinstall the OS and now I'm trying to learn 21.1 cinnamon. I was on XFCE.

Burn me once, shame on you.
Burn me twice, shame on me.
There won't be a third time.

It seems like I am just wasting my time and hard drive space by running TimeShift. What other options do I have? Is there a way to create an ISO of my system as it sits right now?
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wwblm
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by wwblm »

Have you tried foxclone
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by rick gen »

I don't use Timeshift. If something goes wrong, I'll just reinstall it. (I'm using Xfce.)
It doesn't take me a lot of time reinstalling the iso because I have stopped changing defaults like themes,
icons, colors schemes, etc. Except things that need to be put in place like shortcuts for apps, etc.
So far, I haven't had any major problems/breakage by religiously doing the (security) updates.
They're sometimes annoying, but what can you do? I have no way of knowing what they actually do.
Most important thing is moving your data on a separate drive, or external one to be safe.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by Hoser Rob »

If Timeshift didn't revert to a previous version of Thunderbird or any other program it's because you updated it before the snapshot was taken.

Timeshift is an excellent program but no software is immune to operator error.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

wwblm wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 3:58 pm Have you tried foxclone
I have not. I will look into it. Thank you.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

rick gen wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 5:44 pm I don't use Timeshift. If something goes wrong, I'll just reinstall it. (I'm using Xfce.)
It doesn't take me a lot of time reinstalling the iso because I have stopped changing defaults like themes,
icons, colors schemes, etc. Except things that need to be put in place like shortcuts for apps, etc.
So far, I haven't had any major problems/breakage by religiously doing the (security) updates.
They're sometimes annoying, but what can you do? I have no way of knowing what they actually do.
Most important thing is moving your data on a separate drive, or external one to be safe.
My biggest time sink is copying everything back over from my home folder and getting all the software installed and set up. Every couple of days both my home folder and the secondary drive in my laptop gets copied over to an external, so I'm good there.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

Hoser Rob wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 5:48 pm If Timeshift didn't revert to a previous version of Thunderbird or any other program it's because you updated it before the snapshot was taken.

Timeshift is an excellent program but no software is immune to operator error.
Ordinarily, I might agree with you. However, I went back almost a month worth of snapshots and it still did not fix the thunderbird issue. One day I had the thunderbird that I have come to know and enjoy the next day. I Got this new UI which really sucks. The snapshots were there, they just didn't fix the problem. I even used my backup to overwrite the hidden thunderbird folder. That didn't fix the problem either.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by AZgl1800 »

TaterChip wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:43 pm
My biggest time sink is copying everything back over from my home folder and getting all the software installed and set up. Every couple of days both my home folder and the secondary drive in my laptop gets copied over to an external, so I'm good there.
APTIK can take care of that chore.
I just now replaced a 1TB SSD with a 4TB SSD.

I ran Aptik before the change over so I had the most recent copy of all of my Apps.

Partitioned the 4TB the same as before



the old SSD was 1TB and the OS was 40gB
/home was 480gB and is now 3 gB approx

Aptik didn't care, it just brought over the old Apps,
I use Homi for my /home backup

4TB Gparted.png
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

thanks
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by motoryzen »

My biggest time sink is copying everything back over from my home folder
You can always separate your home folder ( /home ) into its own separate partition from /boot and /

This way chances for data loss are much lower, clean-install upgrading to a newer LM version regardless of desktop flavor is easier because you're only dealing with /. You simply must ensure that / partition is large enough within reason ( these days Mint team recommends at least 100GB although I have mine set to 120GB)

But I noticed you didn't specify if you made any settings changes to how you've used Timeshift.... THAT...can matter...
Also if you deleted one of the first one or two Timeshift snapshots ...those are the full meal deal backup snapshots...everyone past those are basically hardlinks. So you confused yourself if you did that assuming your snapshots would restore your system as it should in the end. I've made that mistake before a few times in the past.

Also Details matter also ( forum rules ...section II.... step 5 2nd dot aka bulletin point.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

motoryzen wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:40 pm
My biggest time sink is copying everything back over from my home folder
You can always separate your home folder ( /home ) into its own separate partition from /boot and /
It is my understanding that if I do that, then I cannot encrypt my drive. I have a laptop and we travel the country in an RV. The encryption is more important to me than potentially losing a day copying stuff back over. I just figured that if I had an ISO of my system then I would be able to install all of my software and my settings at one time, and thus speed things up.
This way chances for data loss are much lower, clean-install upgrading to a newer LM version regardless of desktop flavor is easier because you're only dealing with /. You simply must ensure that / partition is large enough within reason ( these days Mint team recommends at least 100GB although I have mine set to 120GB)
If I ever upgrade the second hard drive in my laptop, I may look into seeing if there's a way to put the home folder on the second drive. Although I am not one for distro hopping. Coming from XFCE, I'm still trying to learn Cinnamon, And I'll most likely be on 21.1 Cinnamon for a long time. However, I do like the idea of having the home folder untouched if something goes wrong. And it would definitely help the workflow when it comes to backing up my system.
But I noticed you didn't specify if you made any settings changes to how you've used Timeshift.... THAT...can matter...
Also if you deleted one of the first one or two Timeshift snapshots ...those are the full meal deal backup snapshots...everyone past those are basically hardlinks. So you confused yourself if you did that assuming your snapshots would restore your system as it should in the end. I've made that mistake before a few times in the past.
I didn't make any changes to timeshift, it is straight out of the box. However, there is the chance that I did delete the original ones as time went on. I just hooked up my timeshift drive and confirmed I did not delete the original. However, I could see myself doing that. It's nice to know that you can't do that, though.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by rickNS »

TaterChip wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:52 pm
It seems like I am just wasting my time and hard drive space by running TimeShift. What other options do I have? Is there a way to create an ISO of my system as it sits right now?
YES there is a way, and in fact a couple of ways.
This is my preferred backup method for a few years now, reasons are many, but, one is it only takes a small amount of space, so can be saved on a small USB stick unlike ANY other clone type backup.

I recently wrote a tut. about "Refracta Snapshot" here
viewtopic.php?t=402752

But my favorite tool is Systemback, and I have wrote about that too on here, I'll see if I can find the threads, and post back here with an edit in a minute or two.

Frankly for me it is the ULTIMATE backup, and "cloning" method. I put cloning in quotes because it is better than cloning, because it is an actual install, where you get new UUID's, and hostnames, because it is an install.

Most recently I have used this version from here,
https://github.com/BluewhaleRobot/systemback
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by motoryzen »

I just figured that if I had an ISO of my system then I would be able to install all of my software and my settings at one time, and thus speed things up
:) I can relate to that. That is where a custom Linux Mint .iso installation file comes in handy...but is no small task aka not for beginners and not for those without patience and good attention span.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by JerryF »

motoryzen wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:40 pm ...
Also if you deleted one of the first one or two Timeshift snapshots ...those are the full meal deal backup snapshots...everyone past those are basically hardlinks. So you confused yourself if you did that assuming your snapshots would restore your system as it should in the end. I've made that mistake before a few times in the past.
...
This is not true. Timeshift keeps a log of what files it will need to restore the system to what it was when any snapshot is taken.

You can delete any snapshot and Timeshift will keep the files that are necessary for any future restore.

Example:
#1 snapshot taken on 11/01/2023
#2 snapshot taken on 11/02/2023
#3 snapshot taken on 11/03/2023

If snapshots #1 & #2 are deleted and you want to restore snapshot #3, any files that are within snapshot of #3 that pertain to snapshots #1 and #2 would be saved so that #3 can restore everything as it was on 11/03/2023.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by diyliberty »

How exactly did it fail each time? What was the error message?
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

diyliberty wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 11:13 pm How exactly did it fail each time? What was the error message?
no error message. Just didn't fix the problem. Didn't un-update thunderbird, or fix whatever I screwed up with my system.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

rickNS wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 2:03 pm
TaterChip wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:52 pm
It seems like I am just wasting my time and hard drive space by running TimeShift. What other options do I have? Is there a way to create an ISO of my system as it sits right now?
YES there is a way, and in fact a couple of ways.
This is my preferred backup method for a few years now, reasons are many, but, one is it only takes a small amount of space, so can be saved on a small USB stick unlike ANY other clone type backup.

I recently wrote a tut. about "Refracta Snapshot" here
viewtopic.php?t=402752

But my favorite tool is Systemback, and I have wrote about that too on here, I'll see if I can find the threads, and post back here with an edit in a minute or two.

Frankly for me it is the ULTIMATE backup, and "cloning" method. I put cloning in quotes because it is better than cloning, because it is an actual install, where you get new UUID's, and hostnames, because it is an install.

Most recently I have used this version from here,
https://github.com/BluewhaleRobot/systemback
Thanks, I'll check those out.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by spamegg »

Didn't un-update thunderbird
Are you by any chance using Flatpak version of Thunderbird? Maybe the snapshot did not cover that directory.

Did Timeshift revert other things OK?
or fix whatever I screwed up with my system.
Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of a problem. "whatever" tells me that you're not entirely sure. Maybe Timeshift failed, but maybe it did its job fine, and the problem was elsewhere. What was the problem, in detail?

Yes, Timeshift is not a silver bullet to fix "whatever" we do to our systems, unfortunately. Unless you take a full disk image / clone, it's not the same as truly going back in time. There are way too many possibilities as the source of a problem.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by JerryF »

My advice is to boot a live USB of Mint and restore a Timeshift snapshot that way.

Just make sure that the proper partitions are selected and if your grub is working fine, uncheck reinstall grub, etc. I personally have the grub set to my liking and I don't like to have it reinstalled by Timeshift.
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Re: Burned twice by Timeshift

Post by TaterChip »

spamegg wrote: Fri Dec 01, 2023 6:12 am
Didn't un-update thunderbird
Are you by any chance using Flatpak version of Thunderbird? Maybe the snapshot did not cover that directory.

Did Timeshift revert other things OK?
I was using whatever was originally installed with Mint 21.1 XFCE, as to other things, no clue they weren't messed up.
Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of a problem. "whatever" tells me that you're not entirely sure. Maybe Timeshift failed, but maybe it did its job fine, and the problem was elsewhere. What was the problem, in detail?
I installed plank. didn't like it, and uninstalled. However it was still there, so I rebooted the system. That's when things went south.

panel was missing on laptop, 27" external monitor looked like you put laptop screen over larger monitor screen.
Yes, Timeshift is not a silver bullet to fix "whatever" we do to our systems, unfortunately. Unless you take a full disk image / clone, it's not the same as truly going back in time. There are way too many possibilities as the source of a problem.
Timeshift has let me down twice. If I can't find a simple alternative then I will just reinstall the whole system.
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