• Preparing for breakage or other mishaps on updating

    Hi folks,
    Just wondering if someone could point me to a wiki in which I’ll find good up-to-date guidance on what to do:

    1. in the event of a breakage on updating; and, as prophylcatic measure:
    2. what preparations to undertake so as to be ready for such an eventually?

    Would be very interested in hearing others’ experience in this domain too.


  • @tex The answer is very simple - backup the system, before making changes to it. Backup the system as frequently as you can.

    Two best tools for making reliable backups are

    Having a backup made with either of two tools, you may even completely destroy the system. Delete it. Substitute it with windowz. Repartition the disk(s). It will be always possible to restore the system from a backup to its original, unmodified state.

  • Thanks.
    I’ve been tinkering like a child with Linux for years. As a consequence, I know a lot less than I should.
    Backing up is a subject that I have avoided like the plague (for what reason, god only knows; so, no-one knows)

    Time to dust off the man pages and dive in I guess.
    (Unless clonezilla or fsarchiver are very intuitive to use.


  • @tex said:

    Backing up is a subject that I have avoided like the plague (for what reason, god only knows; so, no-one knows)

    Same story here. For some reason, for many years the word “backup” was scaring me. Probably because there’s no good and/or easy to use backup tools in win world.

    (Unless clonezilla or fsarchiver are very intuitive to use.

    Clonezilla is mainly a standalone tool, in a form of LiveCD (though I’ve put it on LiveUSB). Just boot from it and follow its menus. It’s written by the guy from Taiwan, and his English is a bit hard to understand sometime. But nothing tragic.

    Clonezilla is a kind of a mission-critical tool. If you just bought a new PC with win8-10 preinstalled and wish to try out a Linux on it, on a clean disk, without windowz, then Clonezilla is your best friend. Make a whole disk backup of original disk, with windowz on it, with CLonezilla, wipe windowz out with gparted, do whatever you want on a clean disk.

    If you decide to turn back to original win8-10, just let Clonezilla to restore it from the backup made previously. You’ll get the “origianl” PC, as it was shipped from the factory.

    Fsarchiver is more flexible than Clonezilla. If you have many computers, install some Linux on one of them, and want to copy it on your other computers, without changing their partitioning, than fsarchiver will do this job excellently.

    Fsarchiver is included, as a package, in all distros I know. Its usage is not harder than those of any Linux command. It has the excellent built-in help. It checks your commands so rigorously, that it’s almost impossible to make an error with it. It simply won’t run. Fsarchiver is so flexible that I simply love it and use it in 99% of cases.

    Both clonezilla and fsarchiver have teached me to not be scared by the word “backup” anymore. Now I can’t imagine how it could be possible to live in Linux without backups.

  • This response is:

    1. helpful
    2. full of good direction
    3. encouraging
    4. and makes me feel like I’m on the same track trod by many before me

    Thanks heaps!

  • You might want to try Timeshift.
    I use that program and if backs up the entire system.
    Quite easy to use and it saves the system in easily restored files.
    Since we are using systemd, be sure to install
    cronie and then
    #systemctl enable cronie
    #systemctl start cronie
    Then when you open Timeshift, select Scheduled backups.

  • Thanks kindly herbie.
    I’ll add it to my list of things to do.
    Getting a nice of choices/options to research and compare.
    Cheers, TT

  • You are quite welcome. Timeshift has made it so easy to reinstall the OS and the I can selectively restore what I need that wasn’t configured, installed or whatever.
    Mostly, I just change themes so /usr/share/themes is saved.
    A short time ago I had problems with the pgp or gpg or whatever and couldn’t find the answer.
    Just went to Timeshift folder and opened a known good snapshot and copied over the folder.
    Problem fixed in about 1 min where I had been Google’ng for quite some time.
    Great tool to have on hand.

  • what a sense of satisfaction!
    I can imagine: it would have been one of those heady “gotcha” moments with linux, right?
    I’m squeezing all the fun and learning I can out of this OS.
    Really enjoying the friendly support as well.

  • I use timeshift on my critical ubuntu based boxes, and am glad to see that people are reporting it works well under antergos. Since my antergos box is my “fun” laptop, i haven’t worried about backup strategy yet and take a breakage as an opportunity to learn more.

    Some things you might also want to consider are your storage options and what is important to you to back up. Depending on what you backup, different programs and solutions might help. Looks like you are looking to quickly fix the “oh poop” problem. Personally, I only backup my personal stuff. I don’t mind reinstalling an OS and configuring it, in fact i actually thinks its fun. I look at reinstall time as a time to try new stuff and see if maybe a better solution is out there. Buy my mission critical PC does have image backups for quick restoration and multiple backups of personal files (onsite, offsite, and revisions).

  • SirWeazel, thanks for reminding me that, looked at from a sufficiently broad perspective, backup IS a complex issue, after all.

    (I guess I enjoy a good re-install as much as the next person; it’s just that I’ve done enough these past few weeks to satisfy that particular urge for a while)

    I can see I will have to give it some more thought before jumping in.

    Thanks kindly

  • The one thing that is really good about Timeshift is that it backs up your entire installation.
    I have an external drive that I use for backups.
    The one thing I failed to mention was that the backup device has to be formatted as a Linux file system. I used ext4.
    Works great.

  • Cool. I’ve got a device that someone bought for me 2 years ago.
    Might dust it off and see if I can reformat it (though I think I have already formatted for Linux file sys)


  • Glad I was of some help.

  • @herbie
    If you have an un-bootable system, how are you using timeshift. Are you booting into a live environment and then installing timeshift into the live environment? I don’t think it has a command line interface, i think it is gui only.

  • No, my system isn’t broken.
    The advice I was asking for related to the “what if…” scenario, and what I could do to prepare for its eventuality.

  • Being totally honest, I have never used it for an unbootable system.
    However, what you have said makes perfect sense.
    TImeshift, as you probably noticed, has a restore function.
    I wish you luck, if you have to do this.
    If it works, wonderful, if not. Well you can re-install and put back what files you may need.
    etc config files that you modified, themes, home, etcl.

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