Your "Plan B" Backup System?

Hi all,

I’m fairly new to Arch Linux and I want to try and make the switch long-term to EndeavourOS, learning along the way. I have tried it in a virtual machine before and briefly on my system. I love this project, however the volatility of Arch scares me at the moment since I am inexperienced. I would like to learn how to setup my system in such a way that, if all else fails, I can be back up and running quickly to continue using my computer.

I would love to learn more about your personal system for keeping your files/data safe & secure, considering the possibility that an update may cause issues beyond repair and may require a fresh installation. Do you keep your data backed up to the cloud? Do you back up your data to external hard-drives? Do you use snapshots?

If something was to break, what steps would you take prior to deciding that a fresh installation is needed?

I will appreciate any info you could give me on this topic. Thank you!

Full data backup once in…whatever i feel like time (at least once in half a year), on hard-drives outside of my machines.

I just hash it, move it with rsync and then check hashes.

P.S. Welcome! :partying_face:


Hi and welcome to the forum @azxr , it really depends on your use case, for me I backup the majority of my files on my external HDD and a few various things on GitHub. But it really depend on what you use the system for, I mainly use my laptop as a “smart tv” so I don’t have much on the laptop except for programs I need to accomplish this


I run Timeshift before I do my updates. I know it isn’t fool proof, but I don’t really care all that much since all my important data is saved on an external HDD.


My data is backup on 3 different computers. So I guess it would be plan B, C and then some. :joy:


Thank you! :smiley: I’ll definitely check out rsync as I’ve heard it being mentioned quite often for data backup.


Hi, thank you! At the moment, I do not have a huge amount of data to back up but I definitely want to get into a habit of doing it as my data collection grows. I think I might buy an external hard drive as you mentioned. Do you use a particular tool to create these backups on the HDD?

If your system breaks in common ways (for example grub not working or graphical session not launching), your data will be intact, but assuming a scenario that corrupts or deletes data, I back up my entire home folder on another drive if possible. I don’t save any files outside the home folder on purpose so it’s just system files, config files and my http server outside, thats why I only back up the home folder.

I never tried timeshift, but only because I never felt the urgent necessity to do such thing. Unless I mess with partitioning, I don’t really have a risk of data deletion, since the breakage that could happen to me would be getting stuck in tty. I still recommend checking out timeshift out of curiosity at least.

If you have space limitations, you can try compressing your home folder into a tar.gz archive, tarballs keep your file and directory permissions intact if I’m not wrong.


For most data I take hourly snapshots and replicate them to a second machine

For important data I do daily encrypted borg backups to a local machine in my network and then replicate them to the cloud using rclone

For important data I always have 3-4 copies of the data in at least two physical locations.

My one key point of advice for encrypted cloud backups is to use a solution where you control the encryption and the keys and the “cloud” only ever sees completely blind encrypted data.


I definitely want to implement Timeshift into my setup. After you rollback an update that has caused you an issue, what do you do afterwards? Do you wait a while before updating again and that may solve the issue? Or do you update again and try to solve the issue when you have the time to do so?

It depends on the package/whatever broke. In general, rolling back just gives you a known functional system you can work with.

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Usually fixes roll out within a few hours of been reported. So sit, wait and carry on with life as normal.


No I just copy or save my files directly to it, I use KDE/dolphin but this can be done with any desktop or even through the terminal


I have to say, across many years and hundreds of installs of Arch and Arch-based distros I have never had a situation where I had to “Rollback an update”.


That’s reassuring to know. Would you say that after years of experience with Arch, you can quite easily solve any problem yourself that may arise after an update?

I would say that I have barely ever had any material issues that needed solving. However, in the rare cases I have, I would always solve them and move forward. This was true from the first day I used Arch.

The way you gain experience is by fixing issues. If you forcibly rollback whenever you hit an issue, you will never learn anything. Although, again, I can’t remember the last time an update caused any significant issue for me. Certainly nothing in the last couple of years.


I’ve only ever only really had issues that I’ve caused myself by messing with my system while a bit drunk lol, but never anything that wasn’t easily solved after an update

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Hello @azxr welcome to :enos:-Forum and the wonderfull Community!

I use grsync to backup my data to an external hard drive. in my case dot files and something important in the home folder.
Very important data I handle as described by @dalto. 3-4 copies on 2 different physical locations.
My /home is mounted on a second hard drive.
Which data you want to backup depends of course on your needs.
As you can see, if you have further questions, please contact the forum :wink:

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I’m going to adopt this mentality going forward. Thank you!


I never use the cloud for backup. Reason for this is I don’t trust my important data to others. I run a backup once a week on my system. All files are on separate external hard drives. I have a script I run for backup.

tar cf ${BACKUP_DRIVE}/thefrog/tmp/thepad.tar ./ | 7z a ${BACKUP_DRIVE}/thefrog/2023/thepad_`date +"%m-%d-%Y"`.tar.7z

simple and clean.

Note that i use tar and 7z this is because 7zip does not store permissions