Timeshift backup out of the system

While backing up, Timeshift said that you should consider keeping the backup on an external drive for safety. But there was no option to do that and it was stored on the system. Now, is there any way to have a copy of it to an external storage space ? I couldn’t move files due some permission or similar errors when I tried using a pen drive. Thanks.

1 Like

if the backup is recent and your system is stable, probably the easiest thing to do is insert your pen drive and create another snapshot on it as soon as possible. you can change the location where timeshift saves by going into settings and then location. the pen drive will have to have a linux file system (ntfs, fat, etc are not supported).

if you still want a copy of the snapshot you have, you will need to use something like sudo cp -r to copy it from your internal drive to your pen drive. that should work if you just have one snapshot with no hardlinks to preserve.

if you have multiple snapshots you want to migrate, you will need to choose some other options for cp to copy the links. i used -a when i migrated mine recently, but haven’t taken the time to check and make sure the copies work like the originals so please make sure you check if you decide to go this route. for me it was about making copies that would work for the next few days if necessary while i still have access to the original backup medium. after that i will have more snapshots and won’t need to worry if everything got moved over exactly.

1 Like

As far as I know, the wizzard/assistant lets you choose the destination of the snapshot, so you could use a pendrive (if big enough) or an external hdd. As @01101111 says, it has to be formatted with a linux filesystem (ext3/ext4…) and network drives are not supported yet (sadly).

1 Like

That is why I’ve kept all my Timeshift backups on my main box. I have the memory so it costs nothing really. I’ve wondered if I should clear it all out and start fresh now once in a while. I worry now if all my links are still intact. One bad backup and Timeshift may not be helping me at all. As I understand it one missing step and it wouldn’t be able to restore properly. Or the re-installation could be unstable. But so far, the 2 or 3 times I’ve needed it, it works perfectly.

But now that I think about it there is probably a point, so many backups in, that breaks in the chain become probable.

So cleaning out Timeshift might be a good idea.

Unless it’s not.

The last time I tried Timeshift would only image and restore sda. It recognized my externals were there, but wouldn’t allow me to use them as a destination. If that’s changed, I can think of ways that would be handy!

1 Like

Maybe the external drives (USB I assume) had no GNU/Linux filesystem (ext2, ext3, …) on them?
Timeshift cannot use Windows filesystems as fat or ntfs.
I sure hope, this will change in the future in addition with the ability to write to network shares…

1 Like

You are right on. And I think Cordx touches on this above. Timeshift needs to write on an ext3 or 4 partition. I just formatted a partition on a 32GB stick to ext3 and Timeshift offered it as an option. So there is no reason I couldn’t take an external HDD and create a Linux partition on it. Then–on a crowded sda–I can direct Timeshift to keep its files on an external with no space limitations. I can stay safe and keep some free memory.


1 Like