Timeshift & Similar Solutions - Safeguard & Recover Your Linux

zfigz

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Success story.
and this was on a new drive?

the files mentioned above would definitely give you trouble if that were the case.
Forget clonezilla it's just too slow and there's no grantee it will work. I recently created an image of my 500GB SSD...used space on Drive was about 160GB...Foxclone took 37 minutes and compressed the image to 120GB. Foxclone has an image verify feature...so you know the image created is good which is very important.
To restore it would be a little less under 37 minutes and has a very nice GUI too...it's free try it you've nothing to loose.
happy0035.gif
i tried using foxclone a while back and ran into issues. why not use gnome disks that was mentioned above. couldn't i create a disk clone image that way?
I've just came across a bespoke script that someone uses to do something similar.
nice, i'll check this out.

at the moment i'm leaning on creating a new image 2 or so times of year to store in borgbackup and also store regular timeshift backups. when shit hits the fan, i pull down disk image, restore, and finally a timeshift retire to get back to the latest.

i'm actually doing these tests on a smaller drive, so i'm picking up the same size sad tomorrow to put into this test puter and try the above method.
 


Condobloke

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the files mentioned above would definitely give you trouble if that were the case.
Why ?

This was in fact on a new drive. a 250gb nvme M.2

why not use gnome disks
Yes....gnome disks does an admirable job.
It has not failed me.
The external hard drive the clone goes to is formatted as ext4.
 

Condobloke

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No encryption

No dramas whatsoever in any way
 

zfigz

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Ohhh, but are you restoring from the cloned image first and then restoring from timeshift??
 

Condobloke

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from a conversation I had with two senior members of this forum on October 26 2021

"I ended up doing a live install of LM20.2 from a thumb drive onto the nvme, and then accessed Timeshift from there and laid the latest snapshot (todays)down on the nvme."

and....

""I had a Timeshift snapshot which I took yesterday morning.

After I installed the M.2 nvme, I booted my PC to a usb stick with LM20.2 on it.

As soon as it had booted to that live version, I accessed Timeshift.....put a tick in the location of the snapshot (it is on an external hard drive).....and then went back to the main window of Timeshift and clicked on Restore.
I altered the "select Target Device' window to look like this...""
1659668893181.png



p1 is the Root (on nvme )
p2 is the Home ""
p3 is the Boot

I also had a look in Bootloader Options and decided all was ok there.....

So clicked on next and basically allowed it to do its thing.

It restored to the nvme and after rebboting there it was !

I gave the nvme a going over with gparted this morning, and rearranged the whole thing and also increased the size of the swap and home to what you see in the screenshot above.

The overall speed has increased noticeably. I had obviously made them to small before...especially the home partition, and the swap partition.

I opted for a swap partition as opposed to a swap file.....simply because I have the space.

and.....a few days later..(October 28)..becasue the nvme was nopt giving me the speed which i felt it should...

"Actually time has moved on…. I am currently putting todays Timeshift snapshot on the fresh install"

end result

1659669338679.png


....and so it goes.

Resounding success

From memory I did have some trouble getting the pc to boot....I did not wrote it down so I cannot remember the details......
but.....at some stage, I hit the power button and turned it completely off. Waited a minute. Hit the power button....and it booted !
 

bob466

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No encryption

No dramas whatsoever in any way

Exactly...for those who think Encrypting your SSD is a wonderful idea have a look here...
 

bob466

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i tried using foxclone a while back and ran into issues.
What issues ?
Download the ISO and burn to a Flash Drive with Etcher.
Plug in your External HDD and create a folder and name it.
Boot to the Flash Drive...Foxclone scans the Drive...select Drive (all partitions) to create image from.
Select HDD and folder to put image on and start...easy.
happy0034.gif


Foxclone even comes with instructions...the created image looks like this in the folder on the External HDD.
]
screenshot-1.png
 
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wizardfromoz

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Brian and Bob, it's important to remember that @zfigz is using Pop!_OS and what is different in that regard is that Grub is not his default bootloader, systemD is. That also has an impact on how his Timeshift needs to be configured.

@zfigz I have been working on this for 6 hours or so, hence my late arrival.

I should have asked you are you using 20.04 or 22.04?

I have installed 22.04, which purportedly is based on Jammy Jellyfish but differs significantly (I did like the fact that it does not include snapd by default :) )

Currently I am running a Timeshift Restore op because Pop!_OS usurps control away from Grub, and I had to launch this Linux Mint instead from the BIOS boot order.

No dramas, you can't keep a good Wizard out of his own computer, just time-consuming.

I'll come back to this once I have restored my setup, and seen if I can still have Pop recognised under my Grub setup. but I wanted to cut off at the pass well-intentioned advice that does not take account of the systemd element.

I can also give you some more advice on Timeshift, and some steering on what you are doing wrong with efi/EFI.

Back when I can

Wizard

BTW is having Pop!_OS a dealbreaker, that is, would another distro do?
 

Condobloke

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BTW is having Pop!_OS a dealbreaker, that is, would another distro do?
As @zfigz knew from the outset,......"Success story.I am running Linux Mint 20.3"

perhaps LM21 may be of interest?
 

zfigz

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Brian and Bob, it's important to remember that @zfigz is using Pop!_OS and what is different in that regard is that Grub is not his default bootloader, systemD is. That also has an impact on how his Timeshift needs to be configured.

@zfigz I have been working on this for 6 hours or so, hence my late arrival.

I should have asked you are you using 20.04 or 22.04?

I have installed 22.04, which purportedly is based on Jammy Jellyfish but differs significantly (I did like the fact that it does not include snapd by default :) )

Currently I am running a Timeshift Restore op because Pop!_OS usurps control away from Grub, and I had to launch this Linux Mint instead from the BIOS boot order.

No dramas, you can't keep a good Wizard out of his own computer, just time-consuming.

I'll come back to this once I have restored my setup, and seen if I can still have Pop recognised under my Grub setup. but I wanted to cut off at the pass well-intentioned advice that does not take account of the systemd element.

I can also give you some more advice on Timeshift, and some steering on what you are doing wrong with efi/EFI.

Back when I can

Wizard

BTW is having Pop!_OS a dealbreaker, that is, would another distro do?
22.04 here

and correct, i always disable all the grub options for advanced. i've been experimenting if / when to enable updating initramfs.

eh, i like pop. i'm picking up my ssd today that'll mirror my own SSD to create a disk clone and then try the timeshift restore again.

What issues ?
Download the ISO and burn to a Flash Drive with Etcher.
Plug in your External HDD and create a folder and name it.
Boot to the Flash Drive...Foxclone scans the Drive...select Drive (all partitions) to create image from.
Select HDD and folder to put image on and start...easy.
happy0034.gif


Foxclone even comes with instructions...the created image looks like this in the folder on the External HDD.
]
screenshot-1.png
can't remember, this was a year ago but i couldn't get the thumb drive to boot whereas clonezilla worked without a hitch.

from a conversation I had with two senior members of this forum on October 26 2021

"I ended up doing a live install of LM20.2 from a thumb drive onto the nvme, and then accessed Timeshift from there and laid the latest snapshot (todays)down on the nvme."

and....

""I had a Timeshift snapshot which I took yesterday morning.

After I installed the M.2 nvme, I booted my PC to a usb stick with LM20.2 on it.

As soon as it had booted to that live version, I accessed Timeshift.....put a tick in the location of the snapshot (it is on an external hard drive).....and then went back to the main window of Timeshift and clicked on Restore.
I altered the "select Target Device' window to look like this...""
View attachment 13277


p1 is the Root (on nvme )
p2 is the Home ""
p3 is the Boot

I also had a look in Bootloader Options and decided all was ok there.....

So clicked on next and basically allowed it to do its thing.

It restored to the nvme and after rebboting there it was !

I gave the nvme a going over with gparted this morning, and rearranged the whole thing and also increased the size of the swap and home to what you see in the screenshot above.

The overall speed has increased noticeably. I had obviously made them to small before...especially the home partition, and the swap partition.

I opted for a swap partition as opposed to a swap file.....simply because I have the space.

and.....a few days later..(October 28)..becasue the nvme was nopt giving me the speed which i felt it should...

"Actually time has moved on…. I am currently putting todays Timeshift snapshot on the fresh install"

end result

View attachment 13278

....and so it goes.

Resounding success

From memory I did have some trouble getting the pc to boot....I did not wrote it down so I cannot remember the details......
but.....at some stage, I hit the power button and turned it completely off. Waited a minute. Hit the power button....and it booted !
yah, did the exact same here except i have to turn the grub options off...i get nowhere unless i make changes to the files i've mentioned before.

ps and to keep everyone in the look of my current tests:
  1. fresh install + fresh create snapshot
  2. moved /boot, /etc/fstab, /etc/crypttab from new snapshot (fresh install) to old snapshot (my old sys / home user) and updated the uuid for info.json in the old snapshot
  3. restored old snapshot w/o grub options and without update-initramfs
  4. no boot due to unable to find crypt data...i chroot'd and everything matched up. eventually i did all the steps in fixing the bootloader (https://support.system76.com/articles/bootloader/).
  5. i then got an error at the bios screen (when you can get into your bios setup / change what drive to boot from), "pxe-e16 no valid offer received". i looked into this error for a hot minute, but it was terribly late at this point...so gave up.
next test is to:
  1. fresh install + fresh create snapshot (not including the home user and i also made sure to do an update, that is, sudo apt update; sudo apt dist-upgrade, not sure if this matters tho.
  2. edit fstab and crypttab by hand replacing their contents with those of the fresh snapshot
  3. replaced /boot on the old snapshot with the snapshot's.
  4. restored my old snapshot (including the home user and /root to just to be clear) w/ no grub options and with update-initramfs
 
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Tolkem

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Success story.
I tried to do this a couple of months ago with KDE Neon Testing, and didn't work the way I expected; the system wouldn't boot (and yes, I came here, searched this thread, but didn't find anything explaining how exactly do that ... did I miss it?). I don't know if it is because it was a different .iso (There's a new .iso release every two weeks or so) or I just did it wrong. Or maybe it doesn't work with distros such as Neon testing (being testing and all, files change very often).
 

zfigz

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I tried to do this a couple of months ago with KDE Neon Testing, and didn't work the way I expected; the system wouldn't boot (and yes, I came here, searched this thread, but didn't find anything explaining how exactly do that ... did I miss it?). I don't know if it is because it was a different .iso (There's a new .iso release every two weeks or so) or I just did it wrong. Or maybe it doesn't work with distros such as Neon testing (being testing and all, files change very often).
yah, Condobloke's experience absolutely baffles me. though i do understand that having an encrypted disk adds an additional layer complexity, but i think it's more than that.

no matter what, at least with what little i do know, when you do a fresh install onto a disk it'll always create new uuids for your partitions, and so, you should always have to do a bit of magic in regards to ensuring that fstab (and anything else that's pointing to your old disk uuids) is line with the new snapshot (new install).
 

Tolkem

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you should always have to do a bit of magic in regards to ensuring that fstab (and anything else that's pointing to your old disk uuids) is line with the new snapshot (new install).
Yeah, I think this was it. I did do something about it, but I probably did it wrong, cause it didn't work. What could be the "anything else that's pointing to your old disk uuids"? Also, I wasn't sure whether it was the snapshot's fstab file, or the one in the disk/new install that needed to be edited. I think I did edit both, but maybe there was "anything else" that was pointing to my old disk uuids I didn't know about.
 

zfigz

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Yeah, I think this was it. I did do something about it, but I probably did it wrong, cause it didn't work. What could be the "anything else that's pointing to your old disk uuids"? Also, I wasn't sure whether it was the snapshot's fstab file, or the one in the disk/new install that needed to be edited. I think I did edit both, but maybe there was "anything else" that was pointing to my old disk uuids I didn't know about.
heh, yah so the following files + directory need to reflect what your new disk has:
  • /boot and /boot/efi
  • fstab
  • crypttab (if you're using an encrypted disk)
  • you can also edit the info.json file to have the correct uuid for your new disk as well, but don't think this is necessary as that's just for documentation purposes specific to the snapshot.
again, i'll mention that my test computer has a 128gb ssd whereas my snapshot comes from a 500gb ssd, but the side of the snapshot is under 128gb so i don't think that should be an issue like it is when creating a direct clone of the disk.
 

zfigz

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okay, and here are the results of the next test mentioned above:
PXL_20220805_151724396.jpg


and then a better error when i exit initramfs:
PXL_20220805_152125496.jpg


i've gotten this before, but gonna see if i can dig deeper. i may just try repairing the bootloader and see if that fixes it.

any suggestions and ideas, please lemme know.
 

zfigz

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interesting, i ran the bootloader repair steps and now i have an error that's similar but diff uuid. i'm gonna check the fstab / crypttab files to make sure they're good.
PXL_20220805_164920935.MP.jpg
 

zfigz

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and yup, everything matches.
so this is where i throw in the towel unless y'all have any other ideas.

i'm gonna try making a disk image of my main computer via disks and then see if i can restore from that with a live boot disk "and then use timeshift to restore."

ps i did notice the uuid in the 2nd photo is actually in the 1st photo.
 
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wizardfromoz

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...so this is where i throw in the towel unless y'all have any other ideas.

Regrettably, I have to do so too. :confused:

I spent another 6 hours today with it, but no joy.

I got my setup restored OK, and was able to run Pop!_OS under the Grub Menu I have for Linux Mint 21 'Vanessa' Cinnamon, and that worked fine.

I had also installed Timeshift on Pop and had taken a snapshot, then blew away Pop, but have been unable to return it to working order via Timeshift.

You could try contacting System 76 themselves, because I saw an article (can't find it now) about Timeshift with them, or there was this from 3 years ago

https://pop-planet.info/2019/01/backup-pop_os-simple-easy-and-thorough/

... don't know if that will lead further?

Other than that, if you are going to stick with Pop, give me a heads up, and maybe next weekend I can install it again - it will be easier the 2nd time around for me to restore my setup from how it wrests control from Grub now that I know the steps.

Regrets, Cheers and

Avagudweegend.

Wizard
 

zfigz

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Other than that, if you are going to stick with Pop, give me a heads up, and maybe next weekend I can install it again - it will be easier the 2nd time around for me to restore my setup from how it wrests control from Grub now that I know the steps.

Regrets, Cheers and

Avagudweegend.

Wizard
yeah, i'm gonna stick with pop!_os as i'm quite happy with it. if you wanna give it a go, feel free to as i would really like to be able to simply do a fresh install and just restore via timeshift.
 
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