Discussion about using Timeshift


Hi Cordx, I assume that in order to use Timeshift, you have to be able to boot the Linux system.
Is that true? Also, is there a benefit to moving the Timeshift files offline?

Modem-manager-gui won´t start any more
Backup and restore using GParted

according to the developer’s website:

If the main system is not bootable, then it is possible to boot from an Ubuntu Live CD, install Timeshift on the live system, and restore a snapshot on the main system.

the caveat there is that by default /root and /home/user are both excluded. so if there is some corruption/issue in those files, they will not be restored. this is why i used clonezilla as a backup for my backup. in case of total drive failure.

i keep my timeshift (and clonezilla for that matter) snapshots on an external drive. i’m not sure that makes a whole lot of difference. it was just a carryover habit from using clonezilla i think. in theory it might be minimally quicker to write to the external while reading the internal. maybe? :slight_smile:


Does this means that Timeshift is not even taking a full backup of root and/or home unless I check the box ‘include everything’?


correct. those two directories are being left out of the snapshot unless you specifically choose to include them because timeshift is meant to be more of a system restore than a whole machine backup.

as @ElectricDandySlider said, you should definitely (i say should just because i have never chosen this option) be able to choose to include these two. the main reason i leave them out of my snapshots is because i want timeshift to help me out if i install some program that doesn’t fit well with my system or if i run through an update && upgrade and something doesn’t go as expected. in those cases, reverting to how my system was before the snapshot (sometimes taken 12 hours or more previously) might also revert the work i had done in the intervening time on a spreadsheet or document file.


Hi Cord, I got a bit confused about root. I was thinking root and ‘/’ was the same thing. So checking the box for root means copy the files for root the user.


/ is also called root as in root partition, but there is also a root folder on the root partition, i.e. /root.


Yes, it dawn on me that root and ‘/’ are not the same. I begin to wonder, 'What is Timeshift backing up if both ‘root’ and ‘home’ were unchecked?"


It’s backing up everything that has a system-wide scope, excluding user-specific data.


if you are interested in seeing kind of the “inner workings” of what is and is not being saved, you can check out the logs that are saved with each snapshot. inside whatever directory you have chosen to save them to, there is a “snapshots” directory that has all snapshots saved in it. inside that directory is a dated list of each snapshot. inside the individual snapshots there is an exclude.list that shows what is left out and an rsync-log-changes that shows the files that changed. rsync-log gives a very detailed look at all of the commands run by timeshift during the snapshot creation. kinda interesting in my book :slight_smile:

p.s. at some point i should probably shift this part of the conversation to a timeshift thread since we have gotten off of the gparted track :smiley:


I figured, I’d follow up on this suggestion, so here we are.


I love timeshift! I have been using it for about 3 weeks now. It’s easy to set up and restore function works great!!!


i just recently added a mint 19.1 partition and thought it was cool that timeshift came preinstalled. nice addition to what also seems like a nice distro.


It was first introduced in 18.3, but became standard in 19.


I use the wonderful timeshift to duplicate a full install to a like sized flash drive, as I run Linux from a flash drive. Sounds a little odd but it is a great way to play with a distro. Saves downloading, reinstalling and configuring the 50 odd apps I usually add to a basic install.


Is that easy to do Paul ? I have never tried it which why I am asking.


After the first couple of attempts it’s easy Once you master the art of doing a full install to a flash drive (there is a perfect howto here)
This article changed my life. So well written and covers every situation. Then I suggest a couple of practice runs before you commit to serious duplication.


This sounds great! Trying out different distro from a flash drive as well as being able to save your changes / downloads there. I am going to give it a try. Thanks for the post.


Thanks for the link Paul. I will read through it all later as it is very comprehensive and long and will take some time to do.


Please let me suggest to y’all “MultiBoot USB” program. Depending on size of your flash drive, you can load many iso’s on it, and boot and run any one of them, like a live CD. Note that there are similar programs, but IMHO, this is the best.

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