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Messages - Sgt_Pepper

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1
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:23:56 am »
BTW, if anyone is looking for some Black Friday deals on lifetime cloud storage, these are some interesting offers that I came across and most are valid for the next 2-4 days.

https://venturebeat.com/2020/11/24/these-lifetime-cloud-storage-deals-are-on-sale-for-black-friday/

Having said that, they're not exactly household names and could disappear or change policies at some point in the future but the same applies to Dropbox, Google and other well known companies.

Speaking of cloud storage, has anyone used either Nextcloud or ownCloud?

https://itsfoss.com/nextcloud-vs-owncloud/ (June 2020)

https://itsfoss.com/nextcloud/ (March 2020)



 

2
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:03:42 am »
I decided to use Back in Time rather than Timeshift and think I made a big mistake.  I wanted to back up only my root partition and used my WD 2 tb external hard drive to do the job.  I wanted to have everything on my external drive to avoid clutter and have insurance if my my drive fails. Anyway, to make a long story short, it was taking an extremely long time and only 1% of the job had been completed but then I noticed that not only was it taking a snapshot of my root partition but also my /home partition as well but the real shock was when I realized that it was also backing up my entire WD external drive too (17 gbs had been copied when I finally exited BIT)!  Good grief, Charlie Brown!  >:( It seems that when you choose full system backup up on BIT it really backs up everything, including any attached media. I guess I should have excluded my /home partition and WD from the snapshot before beginning...

The really weird thing after exiting BIT was that it was still running and backing up more data and the small BIT icon was at the bottom of my screen and I could see the files that it was backing up. I unmounted the drive which finally stopped the backup process but got the msg that the "device was still busy" when I tried to safely remove it. I even logged out and mounted it again and then tried to safely remove it but kept getting the same msg.  :-\  I used sakura to kill BIT and rsync processes and see if I could safely remove the drive but it had no impact and BIT and rsync processes were still running... Just to be clear, the drive would unmount and I had to mount it again t in order to use it but unmounting the drive would not let me safely eject it and I kept getting the "device is busy" msg over and over.  In the end, I simply rebooted and everything was ok.

It's been a learning experience and I didn't lose any data, or damage my drive but I'm pretty annoyed to put it mildly.  :D I might give BIT another chance and exclude the /home partition and my external drive but maybe I'll just jump ship and try Timeshift instead.  ;D

   

3
New Users / Re: Backintime deleted directory (Not really SOLVED)
« on: November 23, 2020, 10:58:35 am »
Hi straybit, I came across your post as I've been doing a lot of research into different backup/cloning applications and wondered if you're still using BIT and were able to sort out why your directories suddenly disappeared. That's pretty scary!  :o I haven't used BIT but two things come to mind: could that directory have been a previous "snapshot" that gets automatically overwritten when performing a backup? Could you have accidentally pressed some keyboard combination which caused it to be deleted? This seems to happen to me every so often on Firefox with bookmarks folders when I'm tired or distracted but luckily I tend to back them up regularly.   :D

Quote
I found something that I don't normally do:  I had made a copy of the directory to the same HD.  So, I haven't lost the data.

That's great that your data was saved and shows how important it is to have multiple backups.

BTW, these are some alternatives to BIT and tutorials on using different backup and cloning tools:

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,3908.0.html (system restore for Timeshift)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2673.0.html (Basic Guide to Backup- Grsync GUI for Rsync Tool)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,8156.0.html (cloning hard drives refresher course)

I also started a thread which discusses different backup applications/practices, cloning, docking stations and cloud storage

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,10097.0.html (Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics)

Cheers!



 

4
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 23, 2020, 10:06:09 am »
In my recent search for information and user experiences using Deja Dup and other applications to back up data, I came across something which I think is worth mentioning and might help new users avoid some pitfalls when restoring data from Deja dup and company. If you re-install Peppermint or any other distro of your choice and change the name of your computer or even username during installation, Deja dup and similar applications won't be able to restore data because the name of the computer/username has changed. It's logical why it won't restore but easy to overlook if you're distracted or just feel like changing things up a bit.  :D

Here's the original poster's thread:

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,9627.msg96134.html#msg96134 (Recomendations for a way to backup my system? Déjà-Dup fails. [SOLVED]


 

5
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 21, 2020, 07:26:32 am »
@ VinDSL: No problem(s). I've been using this Thermaltake BlacX dock (ST0005U) for at least 10 years. I did a quick search (blacx vindsl) and found this old post on AnandTech: https://is.gd/Qqnjmz

Another Golden Oldy:  https://is.gd/ug8ZA


Those are some awesome posts, VinDSL and really take backups and cloning to the next level!  :) I love the idea of rotating drives like tires on a car and it makes a lot of sense if one's system is running 24/7.  :D

Maybe I'll spring for one of those docking stations this Christmas or sooner as Black Friday sales are approaching.  :D

I came across some "best of" docking stations lists:

https://premiumtoplist.com/best-hard-drive-docking-station/

https://www.gearhungry.com/best-hard-drive-dock/

Before I forget, I've also been reading up on supposedly "the best" different cloud storage services of 2020:

https://www.lifewire.com/free-cloud-storage-1356638 (I've never heard of some of these providers but I do have an account with Swedish based Degoo and they give away a whooping 100 GB of free space and seem to take security seriously).

https://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-cloud-storage

Has anyone tried out CloudBerry for Linux? I've read some good things about it too.  ;D

https://www.tecmint.com/cloudberry-backup-cloud-backup-and-disaster-recovery-for-linux/

Cheers
 

6
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 20, 2020, 02:30:57 pm »
Hi alynur, thank you for sharing how you partition your drive and your back up methods. I've read basically good reviews of Time Shift but also some users say that it's had a negative impact on their system performance. I'm curious if you've ever experienced problems after installing it or noticed your system slowing down? Can you use Time Shift to recover an unbootable partition or does that go beyond its scope? I'm a bit torn between installing Time Shift and Back in Time. Have you ever tried out BIT? If so, how did you find it in comparison to Time Shift?

Your comment, "I really do miss our wizard though", I assume is about the late Mr Greaves. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to interact with him and his passing is truly sad and has left a big space in Peppermint community and wider Linux community. His contributions as the Peppermint project leader (PCNetSpec) were immense and he fostered an incredible community.  Judging by the posts I've read from him on this forum and his interactions with others, he was very kind, helpful and had a great sense of humor.  We can honor his memory by continuing to encourage and support members of the Peppermint forum and follow his unique example.     

7
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 20, 2020, 02:15:21 pm »
@VinDSL Your experience with HDD/SSD longevity is telling. It's amazing how quickly drives and other hardware, not to mention household appliances seems to suddenly die these days just after the warranty expires. It seems that planned obsolescence is very real and almost impossible to avoid these days.  :'(

Having said that, I've had good experiences with WD drives and a five year warranty on the Samsung Evo is probably as good as it gets these days. I also tend to unplug my external drives and only use them when needed (hopefully that will keep them going a bit longer).

The Thermaltake BlacX  docking station is a very cool solution to backing up data quickly. I noticed on their website that they say it's only compatible with Mac OS and Windows--did you have to jump through any hoops to make it work with Peppermint? The only other potential inconvenience that I see is having to remove your drives from your box to use it each time...

Yes, cloud storage terms are constantly changing and keeping up with all their changes can be really frustrating. Spider Oak and Proton Drive appeal to me because of their end to end encryption and security policies but it's not like I have super sensitive data to store there in the first place. Lol!

BTW, the Artic Code Vault is a very cool archival facility. Who knows, maybe there will be similar projects on the Moon or Mars a few years down the road. :D

8
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 20, 2020, 10:56:28 am »
Hi VinDSL and grafiksinc, thanks for sharing your comments and experiences.  :) VinDSL's story is a timely reminder that hard drives can, do and mostly likely will fail at some point.  I'm currently backing up data to two separate external drives. I've also considered using a cloud storage solution for critical data files such as Spider Oak or Proton Drive. Any other recommendations of cloud services that you would entrust your data to?

Grafiksinc, you mentioned that you couldn't warm up to Deja dup and switched to Luck backup.  I'll have to check it out sometime. One of the potential problems I see with Deja dup is that it uses compression and I've read some stories of users having problems restoring data which defeats the whole purpose of making backups. Has anyone else experienced problems with Deja? I'm not using encryption when making backups with Deja but it should restore backups correctly, with or without encryption.

As a final note, I've recently become sort of obsessed with backing up data and partitions and I wonder if it's partly due to the pandemic and working from home or if I'm just slowly going off the deep end.  :D Has anyone else become more cautious or even paranoid about losing data since the pandemic hit? It would be interesting to do a study and see if there's a correlation between "being on guard all the time" because of the virus and being more diligent about backing up data... Maybe it's a way to have a bit more control over some things in very uncertain times. :-\  I really don't know but I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from a bad dream about losing my data to hard drive failure or something else.  :o

Cheers and stay well everyone!

   

9
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 19, 2020, 02:44:07 pm »
Hi Slim, nice to see you on the thread I started. ;D  I'm started to get a bit obsessed with backing up data. Maybe I'll actually follow the old 3-2-1 rule sometime soon.  :D

I've been scouring the Peppermint forums recently and have come across some other good guides related to backups, cloning and system restore which hopefully will be useful to others.  ;D

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,8156.0.html (cloning hard drives refresher course from 2019)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2673.0.html (basic guide to backup-Grsync GUI for Rsync tool from 2015)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,3908.0.html (System restore for Peppermint: Timeshift from 2016)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,9207.0.html (Top 15 Best Cloning software for Linux in 2020)

Cheers!




10
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 19, 2020, 10:52:43 am »
Hi alynur, thank you for warm welcome to the forums. I really appreciate the help and overall vibe that I'm getting from Peppermint land. I feel that it's a good fit for me and that members are really trying to help each other out. :)

Yes, the idea of creating a separate data partition and linking it to the home folder intrigues me. How much space should I devote to the /home partition if all my data is actually stored on a separate data partition?  If one chooses to go that route, is it still recommended to create a separate /home partition or is that pointless?

I'm still a bit confused as to how things would play out if one's /home partition got borked (HD failure is probably more likely and that would most likely take out the root partition too) and I tried to restore it.  It seems to me that one would need both partitions backed up in order for it to work and restore to a new hard drive. From my understanding, trying to restore the home partition to a new distro or even a fresh installation of the distro that one's currently using is going to cause trouble due to missing configuration files...

Any advice or experience in this scenario from more seasoned PMers would be greatly appreciated.  :D



 

 

11
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 18, 2020, 10:59:55 am »
Hello Spence and everyone else that's reading this.  ;D As cool as the applications Back in Time and the Timeshift sound by creating snapshots of your system before installing major updates or doing some risky experiments (much like restore points in Windows), I'm not sure you can restore a root partition that's truly borked and can no longer boot. It seems that a bootable live image created by Clonezilla or another imaging application is probably needed to rescue such partitions.  It might be easier to just reinstall the system as long as you've got your data backed up elsewhere.  :D

At any rate, the above two mentioned applications seem to designed for backing up your root partition and separate apps such as Deja Dup and others are designed for backing up data.

BTW, this is a nice list of 31 backup tools and rates each one:

https://www.linuxlinks.com/backup/ (from April 2020)

I'm really looking forward to Peppermint 11 and we definitely need to have things backed up.  :D






 

12
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 17, 2020, 10:49:54 am »
I just noticed that the tutorials on using "Back in time" are starting to look a bit long in the tooth but they seem well written and clear.  :)  It's great to see that the application has been around for at least a decade and maybe it has some new functions not mentioned in these two links:

https://www.howtogeek.com/110138/how-to-back-up-your-linux-system-with-back-in-time/  (from 2012)

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/backup-restore-data-and-files-easily-time-linux/  (from 2010)

I've also used the https://alternativeto.net on a number of occasions and it's pretty cool!

BTW, I came across the following guide on using symbolic links to a data partition on the forum tutorial section and this is a very cool solution to preserve your data when upgrading or changing distros.

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,1835.0.html

It's different than backing up data as has been so far discussed and backing up your data is still a good idea but this solution gets around the potential mess of restoring the entire home partition when changing or upgrading a distro. It's definitely something that I'd like to try the next time I install a new distro.  ;D

Cheers!

13
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 16, 2020, 09:05:41 am »
Thanks for those suggestions invisible. Yes, making an image before installing a new kernel, version of grub or major update could be a real lifesaver. 

In my quest for the best backup strategies, I've come across several useful websites that list many different ways to backup/restore/clone partitions. I think they could be useful to other members in the forum and I'd like to share them here (I hope that's ok).

https://www.tecmint.com/linux-system-backup-tools/ (extensive list of 25 backup tools and short summary of each)

https://www.howtogeek.com/110138/how-to-back-up-your-linux-system-with-back-in-time/

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/backup-restore-data-and-files-easily-time-linux/

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/10-easy-ways-restore-linux-system/

https://www.maketecheasier.com/switch-between-linux-distros-without-losing-data/

Have anyone used any of the apps mentioned in these links? If so, which did you find the most reliable and would you recommend to newcomers?

14
User Submitted Tutorials / Re: How To: Use symlinks to a DATA partition
« on: November 15, 2020, 12:47:56 pm »
Hi Slim,

Thank you for your clear explanation on the reasoning behind using symlinks.  :)   It seems like a very elegant solution and how one could avoid problems down the road.  I'm a home user and don't generate massive amounts of data, nor do I have multiple distros sharing the same partition but it makes a lot of sense to me to separate data from the root partition.  This has saved me numerous times since the days of XP.   :D

One thing that still has me a bit puzzled is under what circumstances I could restore my entire home partition.  :-\ From my understanding, in order to restore one's home partition, it would have to be the exact same version of Peppermint (in my case, PM 10 respin) or whatever distro one is using.  However, it seems that one's root partition is much more likely to become unbootable or seriously borked than the home partition getting trashed and that brings to mind, my next question.  If I re-install a sparkling fresh version of PM 10 respin, could I keep using my old home partition or would I need to have cloned the latest "image" of my root partition?

Sorry for all the questions and if I've strayed too far from symlinks but this has got me more than a bit confused.

Thanks again for any suggestions or wisdom that you could pass on.   ;D

   

15
New Users / Re: Deja-dup, cloning and backup basics
« on: November 15, 2020, 12:01:36 pm »
Hello invisible and many thanks for your suggestion to use grsync. I can see the advantage of not using compression in order to access individual files and it seems that Deja Dup doesn't save much space when using compression.  I chose Deja Dup initially because I've read good things about it and it's very easy to use.

I connected my WD passport external drive to a different usb port today and was able to make a backup but got the following msg after verification of files at the very end: "could not backup the following files: /home/alan/.dbus and make sure you are able to open them." Are these files "mission critical" to restoring a backup?

I'm still not clear about restoring the entire home partition. Would it work on the same version of Peppermint or is this asking for trouble and would mess up a clean installation?  Should I just restore everything in my home folder from the home partition? In that case, it doesn't seem necessary to backup the entire home partition... I've been in the habit of separating my data from the system since the days of XP and it's saved me and my data more than once but I really don't have experience of restoring an image. I usually end up just reinstalling the system if things get too messed up but this isn't the most elegant way to do things. lol!

As far as using Clonezilla for making an image of your system goes, is it best to use it immediately after installing one's desired distro and all apps or can it be used at any time to take "snapshots" of the system? Maybe "back in time" would be more suited for this purpose?

It'd be great to hear any thoughts and suggestions on these topics. :-)









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