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How to set up a backup snapshot on Linux Mint

A backup snapshot on Linux Mint is created with the Timeshift utility included with the operating system. Open up the Timeshift application by pressing Win on the keyboard, typing “Timeshift” and select the option in the app menu with the red/black icon labeled “Timeshift.”

Note: the Timeshift application is built into Linux Mint, and should be installed on your Linux Mint PC by default. If it is not, open up a terminal window and type sudo apt install timeshift to install it to the system.

Backup snapshot with Timeshift

Upon the first launch of the Timeshift tool on Linux Mint, you’ll see a password box that says that “Authentication is needed” (or something similar). Write out the password for the current user you’re logged into, and Timeshift will be usable. You’ll then see the “Setup Wizard.”

In the Timeshift Setup Wizard on Linux Mint, you’ll see the first page. On this page, the program asks to “Select Snapshot Type.” The Snapshot options available to Mint users are the “Rsync” protocol, and “Btrfs.” Select the “Rsync” option on the menu, as it’s the most reliable option. Only choose “Btrfs” if your Linux Mint operating system’s root/home filesystems are using the Btrfs file system and know how it works. Then, once you’ve chosen the “Btrfs” option, find the “Next” button at the bottom of the page and select it to move to the next section of the Setup Wizard.

On the page following the “Snapshot Type,” one is “Snapshot Location.” In this area, you must choose the drive in which Timeshift will save the system snapshots to. Look through the list of choices and choose the storage location. All snapshots will be saved to the “timeshift” folder in the partition’s root on the drive you select. After making your storage location selection, click “Next” to move to the next page.

Past the “Snapshot Location” page is the “Select Snapshot Levels” area. Here it’s possible to tell Timeshift when to take snapshots of the Linux Mint operating system. The choices for snapshot levels are “monthly,” “weekly,” “daily,” “hourly,” and boot.

Read through the different choices available and choose the option that fits best for you. Be sure also to customize how many Snapshots Timeshift will save by default, as you may not like the default amount. When done, find the “Next” button at the bottom of the page and click it to move on to the next section.

After “Snapshot Location,” Timeshift will show the “User Home Directories” page. On this page, Timeshift allows users to choose what home directories on the system it includes in the snapshot process, as well as what home directories it should exclude.

Go through the list of home directories and check the box next to “Include All” for each one you wish to add to the snapshot configuration in Timeshift. Leave home directories you want to exclude set to “Exclude All.” Also check “Include Hidden,” if you want Timeshift to save your backups and configuration files. Once your selections are made, click the “Next” button to move to the final page.

On the final page of the Timeshift Setup Wizard, a “Setup Complete” page will appear, with detailed instructions on how snapshots work on Linux Mint, and what to do. Read through the page, and click “Finish” to close the Setup Wizard.

Create first Timeshift system snapshot in Linux Mint

To make a snapshot in Linux Mint with the Timeshift tool, find the “Create” button and click it. As soon as the “Create” button is selected, a window will pop-up on the screen and create a snapshot. Wait as it creates the snapshot, as the process will most likely take a lot of time to complete.

When the snapshot process is complete in Timeshift, it will appear in the app. Click “create” to make additional snapshots if you wish.

Restoring system snapshots in Linux Mint

Did you mess up something on your Linux Mint PC? Need to restore the Timeshift snapshot you took at a previous time? Here’s how to do it! First, look through the list of created snapshots (they’re sorted by date created). Then, select the snapshot you wish to restore in the list with the mouse. Click the “Restore” button to restore the backup to your Linux Mint system.

When Timeshift is done restoring the snapshot to your Linux Mint system, your computer will reboot.

Deleting system snapshots in Linux Mint

Deleting system snapshots taken in Linux Mint with the Timeshift application is very simple. To remove a saved snapshot, look through the list of snapshots in the Timeshift app, and select the one you want to delete with the mouse. Then, after selecting the snapshot in the list select the “delete” button, and Timeshift will remove it from the “timeshift” folder on the system.

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