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Timeshift & Similar Solutions - Safeguard & Recover Your Linux

Discussion in 'Linux Other' started by wizardfromoz, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    G'day all :)

    First up is short and sweet, while I am still finalising material that addresses your concerns and statements above. Takes a little time, I am 5,000 years old.

    It appears you do (need a Tutorial), you have the wrong settings checked to take a full snapshot. :oops:

    Take this as an exercise in 3 parts, and report back, while I am finishing my submissions.

    PART 1

    • Launch your Timeshift, and go to Settings, then click the Users button
    • Currently, you have a box or two at the left checked, or not at all. Change those to the right, that is (include everything). If there is one for User and one for Root, check both.
    • Look at your Filters tab - this may now show something like /home/rado/** and /root/** and have radio buttons under the + sign filled
    • Under Schedule, check there is nothing scheduled, if there is, unschedule it
    • Close and you will be returned to your large pane, where you have your current snapshot taken

    PART 2

    • Delete the current snapshot
    • Wait 30 to 60 seconds after that has completed
    • Note the number of GB you have available, bottom right corner, write it down
    • Choose Create under the new settings to generate a new, On Demand Snapshot
    • When that process is completed, the Available Space figure will reset, note the new figure
    • Subtract the lower figure from the higher figure and note the results, which will tell you the space the Snapshot has consumed.

    PART 3
    • Close down Timeshift and launch GParted
    • Navigate to the drive and partition/s where you have your Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' Cinnamon running.
    • Note the space consumed and write it down
    • If you have created a separate partition for your Timeshift experiments, navigate to it, note the space consumed and write it down.
    • Exit GParted
    Report the results back here.

    I may ask your for some screenshots, but the figures you report back may do.

    Cheers

    Wizard


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  2. rado84

    rado84 Active Member

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    Did it just as you said - step by step.

    GParted report of my system. I put some English labels on this image to help you understand what is what bc my interface is in Bulgarian.
    [​IMG]

    Size of snapshot:
    [​IMG]

    There are a few files outside of "localhost" but they're a few megabytes and I don't think they would contribute so much to the total size, which is why I didn't make a screenshot of them.
    Which only proves my point you can't have a full system backup while the system is running.
    Even if there is some difference between GiB and GB, it's minor and there's still too big difference of nearly 6 GB between the snapshot and the actual size.
     
  3. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    That is so, but we are making progress, aren't we? We have gone from 2.7 GB to 7.8 GB, nearly 3 times what you thought initially?

    We can find the rest, I have every confidence. This is all about how your computer is configured, and how you use the Settings in Timeshift.

    You mentioned earlier about the

    1. Are they captured in the screenshot?

    If you are not sure whether they were, you might know whether the mods are saved in eg ~/.config

    In that case, you can track it through the Timeshift snapshot storage hierarchy.

    Let us know if any probs.

    2. Are you using a /Home partition, or a /home folder?

    3. I am curious about the /media/root/Drive_E path, I take it Drive_E is a label, but the root?

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
  4. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Not at all, sorry :)

    See my subsequent Post (might be after one of yours)

    Nearly 6 GB is not left out by Timeshift without a reason.

    As you will see, if you are patient.

    Wizard

    Edit - added BTW

    BTW Rado, also tell us whether you are on MBR or UEFI, so I can respond to the Grub issues in time (which Timeshift handles fine)

    Thanks
     
    #84 wizardfromoz, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  5. rado84

    rado84 Active Member

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    I don't like separate partitions for home, so there's only one partition for the whole system - in root there's /home and there's /boot (grub). No swap either (with 32GB RAM there's no need for that).
    /media/root/Drive_E is another storage device (there's also Drive_D). I labeled it Drive_E in order to recognize it easier. There was a reason for these labels and names and it was Windows, whereas now they're just labels for easier recognition. That "root" in the path appeared after I formatted that device with ext4 file system, so that I can save the snapshot (which is one more reason to prefer Clonezilla - it can work with all file systems, NTFS included, not just ext4). Before I formatted it, the path was /media/rado/Drive_E. Gotta say this creation of additional ext4 device created a lot of troubles for me with fstab, so after I posted the screenshots, I had to reformat it back to NTFS and delete that root folder from the path.
    My motherboard uses UEFI instead of BIOS, if that answers your question. And while the bootable software I use does support UEFI, I prefer to use the traditional way for installation. As for GRUB - there are absolutely no issues because Mint 18.3 (Ubuntu 16 and/or older) uses legacy grub which allows it to be installed inside / , instead of on the MBR. This also allows more control over GRUB and I for one like to be the one in control over GRUB, not GRUB over me. So, with Mint 18.3 I don't write on MBR at all. But even if there were an MBR problem, I have an easy way to fix it using a Live environment:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install lilo
    sudo lilo -M /dev/sdX mbr
    
    * replace X with the storage device letter
    
     
  6. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    May need to go no further than this.

    From Tony George's writings here https://github.com/teejee2008/timeshift

    My highlighting in red.

    Can you do us a favour and report back on the output of

    Code:
    grub-install --version
    ?

    Thanks.

    That applies to Grub2 as well.

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
  7. rado84

    rado84 Active Member

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    It doesn't. I've tried to install GRUB2 inside the file system many times (Mint 19, Ubuntu 18, Manjaro, Arch and a few lesser others) and in all of these cases when I try to do that, I either get an error while the installer is trying to install GRUB2 inside the file system, or the system simply doesn't show the GRUB2 menu and the OS wouldn't run.

    Here's the output you requested.
    Code:
    grub-install.real (GRUB) 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.14+linuxmint1
     
  8. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Rado, you are running Grub2. As the output shows. I believe you are confused between the two Grub versions. Legacy Grub, or Old Grub, as it is now known, was versions of Grub prior to v1.98. With v1.98 onwards, it became Grub2, which nowadays is simply referred to as Grub.

    As evidence, if you check your File System in your File Manager (Nemo), you won't find a file /boot/grub/menu.lst (which belonged to old Grub), but you will find a file /boot/grub/grub.cfg, which came in with Grub2.

    Running a computer in Legacy mode, however, describes a computer that is UEFI-enabled, and choosing (or being forced) to run it as Legacy.*

    Here, Legacy refers to BIOS-MBR, as opposed to UEFI-GPT, which is the more efficient combination. So Legacy, BIOS, and CSM (Compatibility Support Module) are interchangeable here.

    I wondered with that on some of your previous references (eg Linux Mint 18.3 having Legacy Grub), and now we know. Ubuntu have had Grub2 since 11.04 'Natty Narwhal', and LTS since 12.04 'Precise Pangolin'. Linux Mint has used it ever since that time.

    So rather than argue with me and derailing this Thread, please do a bit of reading, or start a Thread elsewhere and I will be happy to provide input.

    So for now, I will get back to working on the basis that your settings in Timeshift need further tweaking which will enable effectively, a 14.5 GB usage to generate a 14.5 GB snapshot, which is what I and other users get whenever we do a full snapshot using Timeshift. My further Posts will show this.

    Wizard

    * An example of this is Linux Lite, by Jerry Bezencon, whereby Jerry will not support UEFI, so you have to install it under Legacy mode. However, once installed, it can be run in either mode. With Linux Lite, I do my Timeshift snapshots within Legacy mode, so that I do not confuse the issue and get an accurate snapshot.
     
  9. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    This is a holding Post before I exit for my evening, but to assure all Users and potential users of Timeshift how to save all files and folders to restore to full functionality.

    Today I installed Linux Mint 19.1 'Tessa' Cinnamon, in order to help a Member with disappearing icons.

    I have my Timeshift settings as follows, under Settings - Users (using current version 19.1 of TS)


    [​IMG]

    SETTINGS - USERS - INCLUDE ALL


    The size of the new install is shown below. I have not yet run updates, only installed GParted (2MB or so), so close to stock standard.



    [​IMG]

    New Install - /dev/sdb13 - 6.47 GiB


    I take the full snapshot with Timeshift.

    BEFORE I take the snap, my Timeshift main window looks like this, with 37.9 GB remaining space on my Timeshift dedicated partition


    [​IMG]


    36 SNAPS FOR 36 DISTROS - 37.9 GB SPACE REMAINS


    Then I take the snapshot and we see the outcome below



    [​IMG]

    37 SNAPS FOR 37 DISTROS - 31.2 GB REMAINS


    The difference is 37.9 - 31.2 = 6.7 GB.

    GParted size revealed was 6.47 GiB - (different measuring standards)

    Point being that all of my Distro has been screenshotted, less some incidental files open.

    So if Rado has 14.5 GB of space used, he should get 14.5 GB screenshot resulting.

    To not have that, something needs tweaking :D

    These results carry across all my 37 Distros from 4 Linux Families - Debian-based, RPM, Gentoo and Arch-based. The dedicated partition is 400 GiB. That is an average of about 10 GB/GiB per Distro, quite appropriate as my "home" is storage on a 4 TB external drive.

    Cheers, and more later

    Wizard
     
    #89 wizardfromoz, Apr 10, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
  10. wizardfromoz

    wizardfromoz Super Moderator
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    Getting close to my signoff time for my evening.

    Questions have been raised about whether, when you run a Timeshift Restore, Grub, whether it is set up on your drive, or your / (root) partition, will be safeguarded, whether Timeshift will capture in it screenshot all that is needed to restore your system to its previous functionality.

    It can, it does, as we will see.

    For other purposes, I had converted my 2 TB HDD on the Dell to BIOS-MBR in order to help others using MBR-based Distros, and also for those Distros that do not use UEFI. Its GParted appearance is as follows.

    Initially I had a Linux Mint 18.3 'Sylvia' MATE or Cinnamon (32-bit) on here for another Member, who is waiting on a new SSD to resume activity, so I have put on a 64-bit version for now.


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 1 - WIZARD'S 2TB HDD - RUNNING ON BIOS-MBR

    For this exercise, and to cover the Users who may be installing Linux "the traditional" way, I have used four (4) partitions -
    • /dev/sda5 is the /boot partition, 1 GiB in size, 118.15 MiB "consumed" (I will come back to this)
    • /dev/sda6 is the "root" / partition, where the main system is housed - 20 GiB, 5.96 GiB consumed. I have only added to the base install - GParted (about 2 MiB from the Repository) and Aptik (also by Timeshift's Tony George, about 5 MiB), I have not performed updates yet.
    • /dev/sda7 is 4 GiB Swap (I do not use swap, this is just for the exercise)
    • /dev/sda8 is Home, not /home, separate to the OS itself, and we are often advised to make this large enough to cater to all our data and growth demands.
    Into this melting pot, I have thrown 2 files into Home -


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 2 - MAYBE 4.1 GiB OF FILES ADDED TO HOME

    Chakra Linux and KaOS Linux .isos have been added. These might be regarded as being similar to the

    ...Rado mentioned earlier. They might have a presence in his .config folder, or have their own dedicated eg .ATS folder, he can say.

    Now given the version of Timeshift that shipped with 18.3 was likely v17.11, nevertheless for doing the following, I am using


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 3 - TIMESHIFT VERSION WIZARD USED

    19.01, the latest.

    This is likely because I have installed Aptik to save settings on my Mint safeguarded, then blew it away and restored. Updates may have been run. I won't get sidetracked.

    So I run my Timeshift once again, with the Settings - Users set to include all.

    Before shot on Timeshift


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 4 - EMPTY TIMESHIFT PANE, 105.1 GB AVAILABLE


    And after a minute or two


    [​IMG]

    SCREENSHOT 5 - AFTER SHOT (ALWAYS MAKE USE OF YOUR COMMENTS :) )


    94.8 GB left, that is the snapshot has consumed 10.3 GB or thereabouts.

    Next step is then for me to "blow away" LM 18.3 and restore it, but that will have to wait for my tomorrow.

    Cheers

    Wizard
     
    Vrai and Condobloke like this.

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