What are and how snapshots of the system works (using timeshift)

Hi folks, first, i got myself wondering how snapshots work, using timeshift (i dont know other snapshot software, please fell free to recommend them to me). In my distro hopping adventures, its really demanding to install, configure and use all software of my daily routine all again after returning to the main operational system (EndeavourOS in my case). Konsave works wonders when restoring the KDE desktop layout i use, but does not restore my software and some minor tweaks i also use on a daily basis.

The great question of mine is: does snapshots work like this? they function as a restoring point (recreating an exact moment, including software and packages, kinda llike a back-up, of the entire OS) or am I mistaking things?

Yes, pretty much a timeshift snapshot will restore the system to prior point in time if you recover it.

Just keep in mind you need to be careful about what you include in your snapshot. For example, by default /home is excluded so restoring a snapshot will not restore any of the config in your home directory. On the other hand, if you do include it, it will get restored. But this will also means it will revert all your data to that point in time so any documents/music/pictures/etc that you have created/saved/modified will also be gone.

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I had KDE using Timeshift with autsnaps and being able to restore the snapshots from the grub menu. It was a good solution.

You did not state your filesystem, so I am guessing it is ext4. I use btrfs with @dalto 's Btrfs Assistant, which does not need Timeshift and it is a sold solution.

SInce you don’t mind distrohopping, you may want to choose btrfs instead of ext4 for the file system in the Calamares installer. You will benefit from instant snapshops, subvolumes, and a really robust restore workflow.

To back up home directory and configs, I would leave TimeShift exclude home directory, and use déjà dup, a simple package.
@dalto said: [quote=“dalto, post:2, topic:25633”]
…restoring a snapshot will not restore any of the config in your home directory.

I wish you well in your adventures.

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I forgot to mention, i also use btrfs as file system. Thanks for the suggestion, gonna try it soon!

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Btrfs Assistant 1.0 is coming, testers needed to stay in the loop. It’s up to v1.2 now.

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