Restoring system from live ISO

I’ve just installed a new ultrawide monitor. Before installing, the system was up to date (testing) and working without a problem (Even after restarting/sleeping where problems typically occur).

Post-install, NetworkManager went into a connect/disconnect cycle and KDE panels would not display when the mouse hits the screen edge. Not knowing if it was an update problem, I timeshift restored to a know good point. That’s when all hell broke loose.

After the restore I was prompted with the “Emergency Mode” screen. I have an older iso configured for such an emergency in my GRUB. It failed to boot past “Simple Display Manager”. Luckily I duel boot with Windows where I created a Live ISO.

Anyway, I could chroot into my system, but timeshift would not list any snapshots. timeshift --list was empty. I instead thought about googling the exact error so I rebooted into my installed system prepared to photograph the screen, to my surprise it booted normally. I can only guess that chroot somehow fixed the original problem on its own.

As to my question. Given that timeshift RSYNC is configured to store snapshots on /dev/sdb2, which is also configured to mount to /home/owen/Backups, how should I restore the system from a live ISO? I’ve actually done this once or twice in the past, but this time it refused to work.

Right now I’m worried about applying the new updates again. Then again, I’m long overdue for a full reinstall. If I do a reinstall, would BTRFS be a better choice?

Mount the volume with the backups to a mountpoint in the live session and mount your installed system to another mountpoint. And then tell them to talk to each other. :wink:

Another way is to chroot and then mount the volume with the backups where it usually goes.

That’s subjective. You will have people who say that it’s better, and you will have people who’ve got nothing but horror stories about it. All I can say is that I myself happen to quite like btrfs, and I haven’t had any problems with it so far. :man_shrugging:

But one thing is certain, though: a broken system is a broken system, and the chosen filesystem isn’t going to offer you a “get out of jail free” card in that regard. Putting four new tires on a car with an engine that won’t start isn’t going to get you to your destination any faster, you know? :wink:


Figured it out. You do not need to chroot at all. Just open a terminal in the live ISO and run timeshift --restore. It will detect and mount the snapshot volume itself.

I also figured out the network issue. Manually setting 100Mb/s, rather than auto negotiate, stopped the loop. But I bought a quality cable so 1Gb/s should be possible. Turns out the pins in the RJ45 plug were corroded. A little shine with a SIM removal tool seems to have fixed everything.

After a little reading on the subject, I think I’ll stick with ext4 for now.

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