System Administration

Essential System Tools: Timeshift – Reliable system restore tool for Linux

Last Updated on December 21, 2022

Other Features

The software offers two types of snapshots:

  • rsync – All files are copied when your first snapshot is created. Subsequent snapshots are incremental with unchanged files hard-linked from the previous snapshot. The snapshots can only be saved to a disk with a Linux file system. Besides ext2, ext3, and ext4 filesystems, there’s also support for F2FS. There’s the option to exclude specified files and directories. The swapfile is excluded. By default, the contents of home directories are also excluded. This is on the basis that these directories may contain large amounts of data and waste space on the snapshot device. Remember, the software is a system restore tool, not a full backup solution.
  • BTRFS – unlike the RSYNC type, snapshots can only be saved on the disk they are created from. The device will need a BTRFS partition. Snapshots are byte-for-byte copies of the system with nothing excluded.

There’s the option of choosing a snapshot level. You can schedule snapshots at hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly intervals. There’s also the option to snapshot your system at bootup. Boot snapshots provide an additional level of backup.


The software also offers the following:

  • Cross-distribution restore.
  • Support for RAID 5 – a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity.
  • Support for dmraid – a device-mapper software RAID support tool.
  • Setup Wizard to make the backup process as easy as possible.
  • Exclude files from snapshots.
  • View logs. They are stored in /var/log/timeshift. The software keeps a maximum of 500 logs.
  • EFI systems are supported.
  • Internationalization support – good range of languages are supported.

Next page: Page 4 – Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

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