How To Use Timeshift To Backup And Restore Linux System?

Backup and restore are important functions for any computer system. You can do this in Linux easily with the help of Timeshift.

Timeshift is a powerful backup utility for Linux systems that allows you to create and manage system snapshots. With Timeshift, you can easily back up your entire system or selected files and directories, and restore them to a previous state if necessary.

Using Timeshift is straightforward and requires only a few steps. To get started, you’ll need to install Timeshift on your Linux system. To install Timeshift on your Linux system, you can follow this installation guide.

Once Timeshift is installed, you can launch the application to begin creating and managing system snapshots.

What Does Timeshift Do On Linux?

Timeshift allows you to create and manage system snapshots. When you create a snapshot with Timeshift, it captures a snapshot of your system’s current state, including all the system files, directories, and settings. This snapshot can then be used to restore your system to a previous state if needed.

Here are some of the main things Timeshift does on Linux:

  1. Creates System Snapshots: Timeshift creates system snapshots using the Btrfs filesystem snapshot method or Rsync for incremental backups. This allows you to capture a complete image of your system’s current state, including all the system files, directories, and settings.
  2. Manages Snapshots: Timeshift allows you to manage your system snapshots, including deleting old snapshots to free up storage space, customizing backup settings, and selecting which files and directories to include in each backup.
  3. Restores System Snapshots: Timeshift allows you to restore your system to a previous snapshot, which can be useful if you encounter issues with your system, such as a software installation problem or a system crash.
  4. Protects Your System: By creating and managing system snapshots, Timeshift can help you to protect your Linux system from data loss, system crashes, and other issues that may arise.

Overall, Timeshift is a powerful tool for anyone looking to implement a reliable backup and restore solution on their Linux system. To know more, you can read this blog post.

How Much Space Does A TimeShift Backup Take?

The amount of space a TimeShift backup takes can vary based on several factors, including the size of the files being backed up, the frequency of backups, and the backup settings you choose.

When you create a backup with TimeShift, it takes a snapshot of the current state of your system. By default, TimeShift will store up to 5 snapshots daily, with older snapshots being automatically deleted as new ones are created.

If you choose to use the Rsync method for incremental backups, TimeShift will only back up the changes made to your system since the last snapshot was taken. This can significantly reduce the amount of storage space required for backups.

To estimate the amount of space a TimeShift backup will take, you can use the following calculation:

The size of the backup = the size of the files being backed up + (the number of snapshots x the size of each snapshot).

Keep in mind that the size of your backups may increase over time if you continue to add more data to your system, or if you change your backup settings to include more files or snapshots. It’s generally a good idea to regularly monitor the amount of space your backups are taking up and adjust your backup settings as needed to ensure you have enough storage space available.

How To Create A Backup Using Timeshift?

Creating a Backup snapshot is easy in Timeshift. You only need to click the Create button in the Timeshift main window. It will then create a complete snapshot of your Linux. Timeshift will take scheduled backups of your Linux. Make sure you enabled Scheduled Snapshots at the initial setup.

Create a Snapshot In Timeshift

How To Restore A Backup Using Timeshift?

Restoring a snapshot in Timeshift is easy. You can use the GUI or CLI to restore the Linux system with Timeshift. Open Timeshift and give Root access. Select the snapshot you want to restore. Click on the Restore button to continue.

Select a snapshot in Timeshift

Now select the target devices where you want to restore the backup files. If you are not sure what to do, do not change anything and click on Next.

Select Target Device in Timeshift

Timeshift is now comparing files with rsync to prepare the restoration process.

Timeshift is comparing files

Now, look at the list to see which files are going to be restored. If everything is ok then click the Next button and the restoration process will start.

Confirm action in Timeshift before restoration

Wait for the process to be completed. After completing the restoration process, your computer will restart and your system will be restored.

You can also use the terminal to restore your system. Run Timeshift using the following command. It will show you all the commands and the syntax.


To restore a snapshot, use the following command. Then follow the instructions to complete the process.

sudo timeshift --restore


Timeshift is a robust and user-friendly utility that allows you to create backups of your Linux system and restore it with ease. It offers an intuitive and streamlined interface that facilitates the creation, scheduling, and management of system snapshots.

Furthermore, the process of restoring a system from a snapshot is straightforward and efficient, requiring just a few clicks. Overall, Timeshift is an essential tool for protecting your Linux system against data loss and system failure. Its sophisticated capabilities make it an ideal choice for advanced users as well as beginners.

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