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Question Solved Timeshift - restore from Live Disk

linux_noob

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Jun 30, 2020
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After my recent transition from windows to PopOS, i've been testing out backups with Timeshift. So far, i've been successful in creating backups and restoring them via UI.

my layout is:
* /boot - 512M (fat32)
* /swap - (too many GBs, cause i'm testing; linix-swat)
* /root - rest of the disk, ext4

for the ultimate test, i wanted to do a full disk restore. To test, i've executed the following:

1) booted live disk in UEFI mode
2) installed Timeshift
3) reformated root partition
4) attempted to restore from timeshift's snapshot

During restore, there were permission issues, and ultimately everything got corrupted.


Questions:
1) Has anyone w/ similar setup successfully restored from Timeshift snapshot?
2) did you change any of the "advanced" settings pertaining to grub?
3) how to you specify where swap partition is - it's not an option in the UI?
4) timeshifts mentions the following:
EFI systems are fully supported. Ensure that the /boot/efi partition is mapped while restoring a snapshot. It will be mapped automatically if detected.
would you know how to do that from LIVE CD booted in EFI mode?

Thanks in advance!
 

tompop

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Jun 29, 2020
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Timeshift needs to see the boot partition and all the other partitions it's expecting. You have formatted the drive, so you have to put your partitions back.

Formatting your drive wasn't the best idea as that's not the kind of failure Timeshift is meant to recover from. It's an rsync utility to resore a broken system, but that doesn't restore partitions. It does go one step further and restore system boot (legacy or efi) but that's still a far cry from recreating a partitioned disk. Timeshift is meant to recover from a bad update, accidental deletion of files, etc. Stuff like that.

The kind of whole disk failure you simulated would best be handled by clonezilla or some other imaging utility (gnome-disk-utility, etc).

You are going to have difficulty restoring your system like this, but it should be possible in theory.

In the live enviornment, use a utility like gparted to reformat the disk, gpt. Recreate all those partitions. Iit's worth a shot.

If you wind up reinstalling and want to test this again, just delete some directories or something. Timeshift can handle that, no problem. If you want to be able to recover from a reformatted disk, use clonezilla for backup. Clonezilla will nail it.

Good luck and welcome to linux.
 

linux_noob

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Jun 30, 2020
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thanks for mentioning full disk clone tools, will definitely try them!

would timeshift be able to restore snapshot if I get a larger disk where I create same number of partitions, but root one will be larger?
 

tompop

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Jun 29, 2020
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thanks for mentioning full disk clone tools, will definitely try them!

would timeshift be able to restore snapshot if I get a larger disk where I create same number of partitions, but root one will be larger?
I think so. I never tried it, myself, but I can't see any reason it wouldn't. The partitions have to be the same type and the same order. If it was a simple install, it should work. If you are duel booting or something like that, it will be tricky.

I back up with rsync (same as Timeshift) several times a month. Once every few months, when I'm really loving my setup or before I do something particularly daring, I'll back up with clonezilla.
 

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