What is the closest software Linux has that functions the same as MacOS Time Machine?

On my mac I have Time Machine enabled which takes full snapshot images of my drive and backs it up daily to my NAS. How can I do this on Endeavour? I want a software that can do daily backups to my NAS exactly like Time Machine.

Ive customized my Endeavour experience enough to want to back this up so I don’t have to start from scratch again with customization and settings should I need to reinstall etc.

One place to start is the EndeavourOS Wiki:


It’s not really the same thing. There is also Snapper that might do something similar or even closer to what you are needing. Either way, I don’t think you will find an exact replication of the time-machine functionality, at least not one that is as seamless and idiot-proof.

I downloaded timeshift as my first choice, but during setup it says snapshots cannot be saved to remote locations. I don’t know how I can back it up to my NAS.

You can take a look at this thread to see if anyone has approached the topic closer to what you want:

Personally, I don’t rely on snapshots. I keep my /home on a separate partition and keep a list of applications I install. If I ever need to reinstall, my /home is intact with all my data and the dot folders hold all my settings, so a reinstall just uses my old /home partition and I choose the same username when I reinstall. Then I reinstall all my apps from the list I keep. I can be up and running in under 10-20 minutes from a dead system with very little loss.

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I don’t keep personal files on my Linux system, so that’s not what im worried about losing, but rather it’s the work I put into customizing it. I just like how time machine backs up so easily to my NAS and I never have to worry. I just want the same for this Linux system, but have no idea which is the best software to achieve this.

I am probably not the best person to give advice since I don’t use the features you seek. I cannot remember the last time I needed to restore a system from an image backup, maybe back in the Windows 98 days. Most problems I experience in Linux are minor and require a couple minutes of fixing if at all. I long ago settled on my preferred applications and my hardware does not change but every five to seven years, so I don’t experience breaking problems.

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I hear ya. I’m banking on someone else having been through this journey already and knowing which application does what I want. Hopefully at least

Hi. You might be interested in an app called backintime. It’s in the AUR and it has a link to github which is worth looking at. It takes snapshots and you can do remote ones. It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to TimeMachine, although back in my Mac days I never used it, preferring SuperDuper instead but that’s different.

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Thanks for the suggestion. At first glance, it looks worth experimenting with. I’ll certainly check it out.

tar, 7zip, rsync, cp

to name a few.
why not just make a daily to go to you nas using rsync command

rsync -av ~/ /to/destination

this will copy your home folder saving all your dot files that you worked on.

This is always best practice IMHO as this not only makes it easier for the reinstall but I can share it between several distro’s.

If you do not find exactly what you are looking for, you can always use a full size backup solution like Borg for basically all backup and restore needs. We use it professionally, and it works like a charm. There’s other full size backup solutions, of course. Some are listed in the Wikipedia article I linked.

I am quite literally seeking the same function as Time Machine. A full disk clone with versioning.

The problem with Time Shift is it won’t let me backup directly to my NAS. It forces me to use local storage.

I dont mind if I dont have personal files in home folder saved because I back those up manually to my NAS anyways and never store them on my desktop OS. I mostly want my system files, settings including apps and all customization backed up.

I haven’t used it myself but it may be close to what you are looking for?


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Doesn’t appear to be, unfortunately. :frowning_face:

could you not just save the files and write a script to reinstall them when you need to? seems to me this would save a lot of backup space that is being wasted on system files that will update.

I have plenty of space on my NAS, so I’m not too concerned with that. I mostly want the ease of use. I’m not sure if you’ve ever used Time Machine before on a Mac, but all I can say is that it’s the best backup system that exists for any desktop, in my opinion.

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A couple of hourly BTRFS snapshots means you can instantly recover the system from the last couple of hours.

r/sync backups to your NAS preserve the system and it’s setup.

Configuration files are part of what we call your ‘personal data’.

When my PSU exploded last year, I had a month away and then rebuilt with a new motherboard (so going from an i3 to a Ryzen 5 - different altogether) which meant I reinstalled, and manually imported my configs.

Following an SSD failure a year before that, it took me 20 minutes to recover using Back-in-Time.

Following complete system rebuild (except for the HDD’s which simply got mounted in the same /mnt/ locations) after the first 20 minutes, I had a few more hours to edit some configs that were broken (like my networking conky).

Selective restoration does add the benefit of cleaning out some of the crud which builds up.

So two things I now rely upon:

  1. Snapshots (3 hourly, 2 daily, 1 week) BTRFS on the system drive.
  2. Back-in-time (daily up to 2 months).

no i have always just used a bash script i wrote. I have my home on a seperate drive and can easily back it up to an external device that isn’t always on. as far as snap shots and stuff I just don’t use them. it doesnt take that long to reinstall my system (longest part is the actual downloading of the apps) and since my home isn’t tied to the system disk I don’t have to redo a bunch of settings for either aesthetics or just my normal used program settings like browsers.

only clone tool i am familiar with is clonezilla. of course you could always use the dd command to make an image of your system drive to store on the NAS i’m sure there are others good luck to ya.

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This in fact may be part of your challenge …

Many Linux users back up system-wide files and personal files (read: customizations) separately given the directory structure inherent in Linux. FWIW, doing so has bailed me out on too many occasions to recall.

I suspect that those highly prized customized configurations you are referring to are likely residing in your /home/.config directory (or perhaps somewhere else within your /home storage, i.e., not in the root system files).

Yes, for system setups, Timeshift is superb for ready-to-restore backups - but as you’ve noted, apparently it’s not NAS-friendly.

But there’s Vorta (Borg) which is outstanding and highly flexible for initial and then subsequent incremental backups of only what’s changed. Restoring is equally as flexible as you get to pick and choose what to bring back to life.

I use both. But for my precious customizations (that take months to evolve) which reside in my /home directory (given the typical directory structure of Linux), it’s Vorta that has really saved the day time and time again. I get back to my customized settings without further tears.

Replacing system-level apps in their stock condition tends to be fairly easy - since much of the code is off-the-shelf directly from the repositories. But those customization you seem to be referring to are likely residing in your /home directory where Vorta excels.

Not sure if Vorta is NAS-capable and no, it will not look quite as pretty (nor animated) as Time Machine does on MacOS, but it will likely get the task done that you’re aiming for.

Good luck!