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Several "How Do I Do That?" Newbie qestions

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gomad, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Gomad

    Gomad Active Member

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    Hey all, I'm very new to Linux, and with @wizardfromoz, @atanere and @Condobloke's help, so far I have managed to get Linux Mint 18.3 MATE running from a hard drive that Windows rendered useless after an update. So I'm trying to get Linux working "for me" so I can dump Windows completely.

    1. I took a system snapshot with Timeshift and configured it to do weekly incremental backups. I would like to learn how to use it to recover my system beforehand, in the event that I do something wrong and need to restore my system. So if there are any tips or tricks that you can share with me, I'm all ears. I have a basic MATE install on one of my HDD's that has nothing else on it, and I know how to wipe the HDD and reinstall Linux if I have to, so I have a nice playground to get dirty in there, with no worries about killing any data.

    2. I'm using a Seagate USB HDD for Timeshift snapshots, but it's a 2 TB drive with nothing else on it, that I would like to use for redundant storage. I've been reading as much as time has allowed, but there is a lot to learn and I would like to get things set up properly to do backups to this HDD and store files that I don't want to lose. So I would like some advise on a backup application and some basic instruction on the proper way to set up directories to store these backups, as well as other files on that HDD. I know Linux does things a little differently than WIndows, so I don't want to mess with my file system until I know what I'm doing. Any help with that would be appreciated.

    3. Lastly, I have 3 HDD's attached to my system, but they don't all mount when I boot up. I have a Samsung drive that has Windows on it and files that I need to access in Linux, so how can I tell this drive to automatically mount when I boot up? I have to click on the drive in "File Manager" and then it mounts.



    Thanks in advance

    Steve
     
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  2. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Hi Steve .. I like that Title :), this might become a bestseller for people needing answers across the board?

    On 1., (I hope I have read this the right way) you can create an "On Demand" snapshot at any time using Timeshift - the first one you created was likely such, it has a flag of alphabetic "O". Any time following that, you just click Create, and it will perform an incremental snapshot, using considerably less space, unless you have had a large number of large updates installed, added new (large) apps or games, &c.

    If you need to rollback between the scheduled snapshots, you just highlight the last incremental, click Restore and it will do the trick, as it is hard linked to the original snapshot.

    For The Viewers, there is information in my Tute here

    https://www.linux.org/threads/times...afeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/#post-49418

    ... although the Post concerned relates to Manjaro, the hard linked approach applies to all Distros that support Timeshift.


    On 2., Linux Mint (& most other Distros) have their own backup app or utility, in Mint, you'll find it under Menu - Administration. If you have your Menu set up to show Favourites, just click All Applications. Have you tried it yet?

    With the rest of 2. - did we establish whether the Seagate is MBR or GPT? A GParted right-click Information will reveal.

    On 3., having followed 2.'s instructions to realign your Menu appearance - go to Menu - Accessories - Disks.

    There you will find a graphical representation of your drives and partitions. Find the Samsung, if it is there (left-hand side). If there, click it, then highlight what is showing on the right.

    Underneath Volumes, click the little icon with the double cogs, and choose Edit Mount Options.

    In all likelihood, Automatic Mount Options is On. Turn it off. Make sure Mount at Startup is checked.

    Exit and reboot and check your File Manager and see if it has a little up elevator option beside the Samsung showing it is mounted.

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
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  3. Gomad

    Gomad Active Member

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    Hey Chris, that would be a good thing. Thanks for all your help so far.

    This would make it extremely easy to do a recovery. I was wondering if I had to first recover with the big snapshot, but if is linked to the original, then that takes care of it. Easy works for me. I'm sure you've seen Disney's "Fantasia." Around computers, I'm like the kid who steals the Wizard's magic want and wreaks havoc because he doesn't know what he's doing. I'm very grateful there are people like you who are willing to help out. I'll read your tutorial and play around with it as time permits.

    I've seen it but haven't tried it. If that's a good utility in your learned opinion, then I'll give it a try.

    Still MBR. I would like to convert this HDD to GPT eventually. If it's best to do that before I get too much data, or if I have to wipe it, then I should do that before getting too much on it.

    And I just adjusted my mount options for the Samsung HDD as per your instructions. I'll reboot now and report back. Thanks again Wiz

    Steve
     
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  4. Gomad

    Gomad Active Member

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    That appears to have worked. Thanks Wiz. Off to work now...
     
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  5. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Always welcome, friend. Knowledge shared in a venue such as this is knowledge exponentially multiplied. So hopefully more than just your good self can benefit :)

    I can neither endorse nor disendorse it, Its formal name is Duplicity. I don't think I have used it, that was for "justin" - just in case you were unaware of it. I have used Timeshift since I first learned of it in 2014, for my system requirements, its cousin Aptik, if I just wanted settings safeguarded, and 1:1 duplication of data from point A to point B externally.

    Proprietary formats for backup apps such as I had in Windows, where you had to have the app or utility installed elsewhere to restore your data, used to annoy the crap out of me.

    For those who use Windows, anecdotal evidence from my old stomping ground was that Macrium Reflect was a good choice, as it recognises and can handle partitions formatted as Ext4. A quick search under its name reveals, not surprisingly to me, a page from one of my fave sites - AlternativeTo.

    https://alternativeto.net/software/macrium-reflect/?platform=linux

    Listed there is Déjà Dup, which ships by default with Ubuntu and I recall using that once and finding it passably good. Déjà Dup is also in your Repositories, can be installed from Synaptic if you like.

    Speaking of Synaptic, you can open that, type in the Search field "backup" without the quotes, and then get lost in the choices :D. Included in there is Back In Time, which Timeshift's author Tony George pays kudos to. Also partclone and partimage. Another two that might be of interest are rbackup and rsnapshot - these are based on rsync, which is the underlying engine for both Timeshift and Back in Time.

    Reviews on a number of choices can be found linked from GitHub here

    https://github.com/restic/others

    I found that page simply by taking the first one from Synaptic, attic and Googling "linux attic".

    Don't hate me, lol, but when we are talking Linux, we are talking multitudes of choices.

    Doing research yesterday, I read one fellow at one forum say in his signature "If it was meant to be easy, it wouldn't be Linux".

    Curious, but it made me smile.

    If you find a you beaut ripper of a program, let us know, perhaps in a thread on Backup solutions we could be using as a Backup Corner, if there is not one already in place I have not found? It is my plan to cover Back in Time and some others at the Timeshift thread, but I cannot give a timeframe on when, given my other commitments.

    Now it's Saturday morning in Oz, so those whom know me will expect

    avagudweegend

    Wizard
     
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  6. Gomad

    Gomad Active Member

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    Thanks for the info Wiz. I have a question or two about Timeshift that I didn't see addressed in the tutorial.

    I have Mint 18.3 MATE, and Timeshift both installed on two separate HDD's.

    I created a snapshot while booted to (let's call it HDD1), which is my (working pretty good) Linux setup now, and asked Timeshift to place the snapshot on my Seagate USB HDD.

    I then booted to, and installed Timeshift on HDD2, (same distro, but just basic setup for testing) took a snapshot, and asked it to place that snapshot also on the Seagate USB HDD. I was curious where it might attempt to place the snapshot, and much to my surprise, it was in the same folder as the snapshot taken from HDD1. I could see the snapshot from HDD1 while booted to HDD2.

    I should note that the USB Seagate HDD has only one pattition.

    So I canceled the snapshot of HDD2, not wanting to break anything, wondering if Timeshift would be able to differentiate between the two HDD's, which could perhaps have different distros and/or software/kernel/etc. If not, it makes sense to me that mixing them could be disastrous if one attempted a restore.

    So my question is: will Timeshift keep the snapshots associated with HDD1 and HDD2 separate for restores? If not, then do I need to attempt to place snapshots from different installations on different partitions on the Seagate USB HDD, perhaps a different partition for each distro?

    TIA
     
  7. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    Nicely said, as always, Wiz! :D Also, if you wish to keep your other drives set to manual mounting, you can save time mounting them, by right clicking on the "disks" setup program, and choosing to place it on your task bar. Just a thought.:p Welcome to the group!

    Happy Trails,
    Paul
     
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  8. Gomad

    Gomad Active Member

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    Thanks Paul. That's a good tip.
     
  9. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Paul is good value, and also runs a thread on Slackware here, as well as having many other talents. VP9KS is his call sign for being a ham radio operator.

    He lived in Bermuda for a time but does not like fish. OK, I take it back ... he's strange (this, from a Wizard:rolleyes:).

    I'm going to take Steve's (@Gomad 's) questions on Timeshift and deal with them at my Timeshift Tute here

    https://www.linux.org/threads/timeshift-similar-solutions-safeguard-recover-your-linux.15241/

    ... because they are (good and valid) questions that might well be raised by others using Timeshift, and with a viewing audience in excess of 1,500 - most benefit may be derived there. Staff will tell me if I am wrong, and I will eat Humble Pie (I quite enjoy the taste, lol).

    See you there

    Wizard
     
    #9 wizardfromoz, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  10. VP9KS

    VP9KS Well-Known Member

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    What, me strange? I'm the normal one around hereo_Oo_O! Vegetarian = Normal, ask any one!:D:D By the way, what exactly is in a humble pie?:confused::confused: Does it, also, taste like chicken? :p:p

    Happy Trails,
    Paul
     
    #10 VP9KS, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  11. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Oops, knew it started with a B - fixed :oops:
     
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