Clonezilla vs timeshift

Does it make more sense to backup my EnOS using clonezilla or timeshift?
I know the limitations of timeshift, but still the same question is ponging in my head.

It probably depends what situations you’re wanting to protect against.

Personally, I don’t find full-disk backups particularly efficient for personal desktops. Reinstalling the OS is pretty straightforward (and most times it can be recovered via a chroot anyway). However, my data is important and impossible to recover without a backup.


I’m confused. What is your answer?

It depends™.


More seriously, if you want to recover from a complete disk failure or want to swap a disk and keep going after an OS break then Clonezilla is useful. Otherwise, it’s pointless as it keeps a copy of too much data which changes too regularly and which is easily recovered by other routes.

Timeshift is useful for quickly switching back to a pre-update state if something breaks or you do a partial upgrade, but again this can be recovered using a chroot (pretty easily if you’re confident with package management). From my perspective, it’s much more useful for personal desktop use.

However, my personal approach for backups is to make sure I have a copy of anything I can’t easily recover from other sources. The OS is easy to recover. Media is easy to recover (e.g. I can re-rip CDs for music), though it might take a bit of time. Documents, email, photos, etc. are impossible to recover, so those are what I keep multiple copies of.


I use the btrfs snapshot method for system backup .
Anything else I care about I use duplicacy to send to a HDD and encrypted to a cloud server each night

Timeshift is not designed for backup, it is a great system restore utility and should be treated that way. But it is pretty terrible for backup. So you should always exclude your home directory from snapshots (with the possible exception of the .config directory)

You should backup your home directory separately, and when it comes to important files you should have multiple external backups.


I agree. In linux, it’s only the personal data and a few configs that need backing up.


I backup my VM’s .img file :stuck_out_tongue: