What do you use for backups?

I’m planning on using Syncthing on my linux laptop and the same on a Raspberry Pi with a large usb hard disk. What are you using?

I set up this 10-year-old “Stinkpad” (it’s a term of affection, now) which I bought for ~$100 (including upgrades) to be just for writing, without any distractions. Now I like using this old Core 2 Duo box more than my i5 MacBook.

Linux FTW!


I used to keep all my data on a separate ‘DATA’ partition so that it was available from all OS’s and so that when I messed something up by fixing till it broke all my data was fine. It also made reinstalling distros much quicker.

In the end all my work and personal data ended up on an external disk (#1), to make more space for distro’s and VMs. I also personally prefer to physically take this disk between work and home rather than using a cloud service.

However, I also have a Nextcloud Raspberry Pi which ‘real time’ syncs all my data to a second external disk #2 attached to that (its actually one of the Nextcloud Box’s they used to do). This also gives me access to my data when I don’t have external disk #1 with me.

Then, I use Grsync regularly to sync all my data from disk #1 to a third external disk (#3) that stays at home in a safe place.

And finally, I regularly use SyncBack free to also back up all those Grsync back-ups on disk #1 to the drive of my Windows computer at work. Just in case my house ‘burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp’.

I also have a ‘Cheat Sheet’ for each distro (I use Evernote with Nixnote2) with all the apps I have installed on it together with all the little ‘tricks’ or ‘workarounds’ etc that I have found out from forums etc so that getting back to a nice clean install with everything I use is easy.
I guess I could use a ‘clone’ or whatever it’s called, for this but I actually like the satisfaction of reinstalling everything, and with Linux it doesn’t take long.

The ‘Cheat Sheet’ also has any distro-specific solutions on it - e.g. the Manjaro sheet has the simple instructions I got from this forum (thanks!) to solve the Grub kernel panic that I get when Xubuntu updates (the kernel?) and rewrites the Grub (I think!):

If grub of other OS gets written (e.g. after update of that OS) and Manjaro stops booting with ‘Kernel Panic’ then:
boot up and press ‘c’ at the menu to get to the grub prompt (grub>).

grub> search.file /etc/manjaro-release  root
grub> configfile /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Then, when booted:

sudo grub-install /dev/sda
sudo update-grub

This is helpful to me as someone who can follow instructions and understand most things to a degree but doesn’t really take (or have) time to understand the deeper meanings behind everything (or remember it for longer than a Goldfish).

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I use Timeshift for daily snapshots and clonezilla to copy my hdd once a week. A full copy of my home drive to an external drive once a week as well or whenever I feel it’s necessary.
For Timeshift I have a small partition set aside on my hard drive so it’s easy to make a copy and restore with a quick mount.

Same thing happened to me. I started playing around with Linux on an old rusty laptop and within a week I wasn’t even booting up my new laptop anymore because the old one ran so much better.

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I do the same thing except I use cherrytree. Also, for a list of all of my installed applications through pacman I use
pacman -Qqn > .installed-packages.txt
and for AUR packages

pacman -Qqm > .installed-aur-packs.txt

If I ever need to reinstall all of my packages on a rebuild

sudo pacman -S < .installed-packages.txt
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rsync and a couple of external drives on which I date stamp backups into different directories until space becomes and issue. then I delete the oldest set.

one external unit is configured as RAID 1 so in effect I two layers of redundancy.

I also started using clonezilla, it’s slower than other options but is full proof. I’m no longer bothering with Timeshift, If for some reason you can’t get back to your Manjaro setup, Timeshift isn’t of any help.

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I recommend pacmanity to automate the process - and to back it up to Github - via a pacman hook. WARNING: the hook isn’t called successfully when using the pamac GUI - which has had the benefit of persuading me to use CLI exclusively for package management.
I use yay btw :slight_smile:

Laptop here with 500GB SSD + 1TB HDD. System and files on SSD, backups on HDD.

Backup with Timeshift for my system (root): hourly (keep 12) and daily (keep 5).
Backup with Deja Dup for my files: daily and keep 6 months.
Have a small (micro) usb flash drive with Manjaro Gnome that has Timeshift pre-installed.

This way I can restore any of my files and my system separately and even in case of no reboot I can boot from the micro-usb and restore with Timeshift. I can restore individual files and folders or the entire system separately, which is super helpful.

In case I want to move my system to a new machine I use Aptik that can do a simple full backup of your entire system.

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Cherrytree is new to me, I’ll have to look that up - I’m dying to leave Evernote
Usually the problem is importing all my many many Evernotes and lack of webclipper

And thanks so much for that tip on pacman CLI - that’s great! So simple and efficient.

I love Manjaro :slight_smile:

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As alternatives to that you can also try GNote, Notable, or Notes-Up. Great note taking apps :wink:

Rsync, clonezilla & common sense.

Nextcloud (with the server part running on a Qnap NAS) for the very important data,
unison-gtk for bigger datasets, syncing to usb disks and
Timeshift for the system (which won’t protect against disk failure since it only keeps btrfs snapshot on the same disk, but system config is the least of my worries when my laptop disk fails.)

Not sure if I follow? I used timeshift just last week to restore my system after I broke it and it seemed to work fine.

Never used Evernote so I don’t know how compatible or similar they are. Cherrytree works best for me before on how I organize my notes and stuff

If you can’t make it to the login screen to login, how is it possible to use Timeshift? In clonezilla, I just duplicate the entire drive so it’s easy.
Since installing clonezilla, I’ve been experimenting (and thus learning) in Manjaro much more freely as I am not worried about anything bad happening, I just reclone :slight_smile:


Few questions about the app:

  1. Does it have infinite or deep structure so you could have at least 4-6 levels/nodes of notes?
  2. Does it have a websync, like in cloud?
  3. If not, is there a database file that can be exposed to cloud and used by cherrytree installations on various computers?
  4. Can it cut articles from sites or at least is it possible to paste them into a note?
  5. Is it possible to create a link to share the note in case it can be hosted on a server?
  6. Can it be hosted on a server directly?

I have a small partition on /dev/sda where I save timeshift to. If I need to restore a snapshot I use my live usb, chroot into the system and restore the snapshot


I don’t do full clones too often because they just take too long for me.

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My answer might not be as “cool” as others people have, but for my personal usage, I use some old school and pretty casual stuff (I haven’t pushed my nerdy side very far, and I don’t have the space or the permission to do fancy stuff too anyway).

  • For not very personal files (like wallpapers, generic PDFs, etc.), I use a simple cloud storage provided by Mega.nz. I chose it because it because it provides a reasonable amount of space for free and it has an official sync client for both Linux and Windows (they even officially supports Arch Linux).
  • For personal files, I still use only local methods like putting files on USB flash drives or external hard drives; I never put that kind of files to the Internet.
  • For larges files, since my Internet connection is not that good (especially in upload) (yeah, Silicon Valley guys thinking that everyone has a cheap, not metered and insanely fast Internet connection LOL), I prioritize local methods too.
  • Recently, for fun, I recycled a laptop that I don’t use anymore into a “NAS” (yeah, a NAS with only one drive). Nothing really fancy and complicated: it just has Ubuntu Server 18.04 with Samba, SSH and Avahi (so it can be accessed with <HOST>.local) and nothing else. It is planned for LAN usage only. Pretty basic, but it does the job and hey, it’s a free 400 GB of space.

I also use TimeShift in case the system is broken beyond repair.

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timeshift has a cli option. You can restore your system even to a new hard drive (without your personal data though if you didn’t modified the default options).

Personally I use timeshift + cloud for work documents. Both together allow me to restore a full system in minutes.

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