APTIK- Have Settings Will Travel!

wizardfromoz

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G'day

This How To article was prompted by participating in a Topic elsewhere where the Member was hoping to move his existing install of Linux Mint from a unit it shared with Windows 10 to a new SSD he had purchased which would be totally Linux driven.

I do not have an SSD (Solid State Drive), but I do have a Toshiba laptop with a 1TB HDD, and a powered external HDD connected via USB cable, with 3TB storage. The latter is bootable, and already houses a number of Linux installs.

DISCLAIMER

I am working from a totally Linux environment in performing this exercise.

If on your Source drive you are dual-booting with Windows, be sure to have performed your backups and have a recovery solution in place, eg install disk, &c.

Unless you are performing this exercise to a different computer, and that computer is not networked, I would think it likely that when Grub is built following the steps below, it will detect and provide for your Windows installation. Someone can provide me with alternatives if I am mistaken.

ENVIRONMENT

My testbed environment consists of an install of Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” with the Cinnamon DE (desktop environment), the same as the Member I referred to.

STEP 1

On your Source drive and partition, install Aptik and Timeshift (you will have use for Timeshift, but if you choose not to, just copy the Aptik part for now) … and yes you can paste these three lines directly into Terminal.

Code:
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa ; \
sudo apt-get update ; \
sudo apt-get install aptik aptik-gtk timeshift
NOTE TO THE ABOVE

@ 28th June 2018, "aptik-gtk" has been inserted into the above commands. See #2 Bulletins below for further detail. Wizard.

STEP 2

Now Aptik is installed, take a look (or two or three) at the following video:


… and when you are comfortable with the principles, implement the Aptik process.

In my case, and you may find, Aptik stalls for 2 – 3 minutes at ~/.cache. You may have seen me wave the cursor around that spot in the screencast, and I paused. Contents of my folder are only 488MB, but Aptik took a while to digest it.


STEP 3

On your target drive and partition, or target computer, execute the following preliminary steps:

  1. If you are a user of Swap, carve out your swap partition using GParted or similar tool. Choose the File Sytem, not as Ext 4, but as “linux-swap” or “swap area” if your computer supports that. If your target drive is already populated, this step may be unnecessary, but make a note of the partition number on which Swap resides, and its UUID.
  2. Swap size – I have 8GB RAM, and usedto use 8GB on each of my HDD and external HDD. I know I do not need 8GB, and you may choose as little as 2GB, but if you do a lot of video downloading or editing, likewise with music, or use Google Earth a lot, you may want more.
  3. Current news is that I no longer use Swap, but I will go into that elsewhere.
STEP 4

Perform a fresh install, on your target device, of your elected Distribution, in my case LM 17.3 Cinnamon. I am using GPT formatting on both my Source and Destination. If you are using msdos-MBR on one or both, just make the appropriate allowances. As part of my circumstances, during the install, I pointed the Ubiquity Installer to my external HDD's Swap, and to my existing uefi/boot 297MiB. I have chosen 40GiB for the size of the partition, same as my existing install was. I do not have a separate partition for Home.

If you already have a Linux Distro or two on the Target device, do not choose to format the Swap, or else other Distros will have to have their fstab file amended to point to the “new” Swap's UUID.

Once the install is completed, and you have checked that it works OK (and if a Windows user, that Grub has detected your Windows install and that it works), then note the following:

  1. Using LM 17.3 as I was at the time, I was rapidly notified that I had updates to install, with the little “shield” turning blue. The first invocation of that will install two (2) updater-related packages. THEN, you will see something like hundreds of updates totalling hundreds of MB, to be installed. Resist the urge to update, yet.
  2. In Australia, Linux Mint's default Mirrors are set to (Main rosa) a USA site, and Base (trusty – ie Ubuntu) a UK site. The same may apply to your country, and the downloads could be slow.
So where applicable (LM Cinnamon offers the option to) change mirrors via your Software Sources to something more appropriate to your circumstances. That applies from 17.3 on. Perform your updates.

@NEW INSTALL end:

Code:
sudo ufw enable
puts your firewall in place.

Code:
sudo apt-get install gparted
... that one is my choice because I boot multiple Linux, if you just use one you may not need it (particularly if you have GParted Live on a stick or CD)

Code:
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa ; \
sudo apt-get update ; \
sudo apt-get install aptik timeshift
… and follow any prompts.

STEP 5

THEN, take a look at Video 2, and implement it.


STEP 6

As the video suggests, we need to reboot for the changes to take effect.

The following is what I find at “the other end” of that process.


Included with one-click backup by default:

  • applications and utilities installed from the official repositories (ie from Software Manager, (Synaptic) Package Manager eg GtkHash, or via Terminal (apt-get install)), AND their Profiles, eg Firefox, Thunderbird – this includes open Tabs and Bookmarks for FF and email for Thunderbird
  • wallpaper/screensaver settings
  • mouse cursor size
  • Panel and System Tray settings and placing
  • Folder contents from my Home folder (eg Documents, Downloads, Music Videos &c – have all been ported successfully)
NOT included with one-click backup by default:

  • Mirror Settings/choices
  • Additional repositories (ppa's) eg Multisystem … had to reinstall Multisystem (iso burning tool for usb), even though .deb is there
  • A simple Bash script or six
CAN BE included:

Notes – most of multisystem is in /usr/local/share/multisystem. Some more is in /var/lib/dpkg/info. The actual executables for multisystem, called “multisystem” and “multisystem test iso” are in /usr/share/applications – although Nemo lists them as Type Text files? .debs are stored in /var/cache/apt/archives.

In fact all .debs are there, it (Multisystem) is just not installed. See screenshot.





So how to get it captured in the net of Aptik? Will GDebi fix this and include anything in SPM &c?

Answer – No.





CAN'T BE – do manually:

  • Multisystem (ie from Additional Repositories)
  • Yumi – ditto; Yumi .deb came from SourceForge
  • Copy across my Bash script

You may choose to either keep your previous install in place until you get a chance to “plug the gaps” with any data that has not been accommodated for by Aptik, or if you have comprehensive backups, that will suffice and you can remove the old install. Your choice.


TIMEFRAME FOR STEPS:

STEP 1

Install Aptik/Timeshift 2 mins

STEP 2

Run Aptik Backup 5 mins (includes 3 mins “stall”)

STEP 3

Setup Swap (if needed) 2 – 3 minutes

STEP 4

Linux Mint install 18 mins – My two units have about 16 – 17 Linux Distros installed across them, so there is a small time overhead in the new install “Detecting other Oses”* and “update grub”.

Change mirrors (if needed) and perform Updates 15 mins

Terminal operations @New Install end 5 mins

STEP 5

Perform Aptik Restore to new install 5 mins

STEP 6

Checking everything works OK is going to vary from User to User.

STEP ADDITIONAL

Once I had established all was good at the receiving end, I then employed Aptik's sibling, Timeshift (act like Windows Restore, and sets a point) to take an on-demand snapshot. This took 3 mins 30 secs for a 5.5GB snapshot.

Excluding the additional step, I had my total operation completed with less than one hour's downtime.

Neither Aptik nor Timeshift pretends to be Clonezilla.

Clonezilla can perform a low level sector by sector operation and exactly duplicate your setup, but unless you opt for the imaging choice (smaller and less time, but needs quite some time at the destination to restore) – you can count on being down for two and a half to three and a half hours; longer if you clone a drive rather than a Partition.

If you have a failing hard drive, or time constraints, I would go with Aptik.

If I had to score Aptik, I would give it an 8.5, heading towards a 9.

Enjoy Linux - I do, every day ;)

Wizard
 
Last edited:


wizardfromoz

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Staff member
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APTIK NEWS BULLETINS 1 & 2

Both of these events occurred around 1 May, but I have not had time to report them until now, regrets. :oops:

Tony George has basically rewritten Aptik from the ground up, and the following are examples of those revisions.

BULLETIN 1

For current and future users of Aptik under Debian and Debian-based Distros (these include but are not limited to Debian itself, AntiX, MX series eg MX-17, Neptune and then Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and the like):

The installation of Aptik via

Code:
apt-get install aptik

#or

apt install aptik
as described in #1 above, will only get you the command line version of Aptik. No graphical frontend, no icon. Which is not a tragedy if you enjoy using CLI, you might just need to type in and enter

Code:
aptik --help
to get rolling :D

To get both tools, use

Code:
apt-get install aptik aptik-gtk

#or

apt install aptik aptik-gtk

BULLETIN 2

At the same time as the above was executed, Tony extended the use of Aptik to a couple of other Linux Families - Arch-based and RPM-based (with a proviso on the RPM-based).

Arch-based Distros include but are not limited to - Arch itself, Manjaro, Netrunner Rolling, Bluestar Linux, Swagarch, Antergos, Anarchy &c

I have the 6 Arch-based Distros referred to in my stable, so I will try them out with Aptik and report back here when all results are collated.

The Proviso on RPM-based is that currently that is confined to Fedora, which I have also, and will test (Fedora Workstation 28). I would think that if this is successful, it will be only a matter of time before the safety net of Aptik, for your settings, will be extended to eg CentOS, Mageia, OpenMandriva and the like. Just my guess.

For more information on these two bulletins, you can read Tony Georges release notes from his presence at "Medium", here

https://medium.com/@teejeetech/aptik-v18-5-5c0985eb16d3

I am unlikely to be able to print it all here, due to copyright reasons, but one part I find of interest is as follows:

The GTK app runs as a normal user and does not require admin privileges. This allows it to run under display servers like Wayland.
I have mixed feelings about the non-requirement for elevated privileges, but will wait until I test before commenting further. The Wayland option may be of value to those whom are finding the X environment may not be with us much longer?

Cheers

Wizard
 
New member here ..... hope I have posted in the right section
@mods .... please move if appropriate

Aptik problem ..... I've used it for years from the GUI but now that has gone from 17.3
I'm looking to migrate my apps from 17.3 to a freshly installed Mint 19.1 cinnamon
The GUI is no longer available in 17.3 , command line only now , but that's ok with me

I can't get the aptik-gtk package , and the --basepath <path> option keeps rejecting
the path to my external drive
bash: syntax error near unexpected token `newline'
same with path to a local folder .... eg.
sudo aptik --backup-all --basepath </home/user/Desktop/Aptik_latest>

for now I'll let it save to the default location ( wherever that is ! ) then copy it to my backup drive .
It looks like it should be here , but there's only an empty folder named " data "
basepath/home/files/user/data.tar.gz

A restore would have to be done by reversing those steps .

It's a bit messy ..... any tips or ideas ?
Thanks
 
Last edited:

wizardfromoz

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Staff member
Gold Supporter
G'day @Socket of Davis and welcome :)

Try your command without the angle brackets, that is

Code:
sudo aptik --backup-all --basepath /home/user/Desktop/Aptik_latest
Let us know how it goes

Cheers

Wizard
 
Bingo !
True wizardry ..... thank you very much !
I feel a bit of a chump now for not spotting that .... :rolleyes:

I'll return the favor by posting something Pi related .
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Another satisfied customer :D

Wiz
 

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