Thank goodness for Timeshift

Had a situation in which I inadvertently messed up a part of my Zorin installation. Thankfully, I had Timeshift installed and a "default" system restore point ready to go. I did not hesitate to use it. Everything worked like a charm, and my system is back to normal. This happened earlier today, and the backup I'd made was recent, so I did not lose anything in the process. Would be fantastic if Zorin Group started including Timeshift by default in each fresh install (along with other apps like Startup Disk Creator, for example). That'd make a whole lot of people's lives easier, and make Zorin OS a more attractive, "complete" distro. (If not that, then at least consider including a checklist of apps to check on future ISOs of Zorin OS so everyone can have the best of both worlds - a "minimal" or a "custom" installation everyone can choose from.) That'd give Zorin OS an edge over the "competition."


I use Timeshift on Mint. I think I am using Backup (Dejavu?) on Zorin which comes pre-installed.

Does that work the same way?

FYI ... link:

Timeshift is awesome - and so easy to set up and use. Wouldn't be without it.


@cms42 I will echo that. Used Timeshift on Mint and use it now on other distros. Easy solution for system recovery. I manually backup my home dir since I work in the clouds and don't use it much.


I personally don't like Timeshift's system snapshot process simply because I've never been able to successfully restore from a Timeshift backup for all of the 2 times I tried.

I turned to another backup and restore solution that is seamlessly automatic and beautifully developed.

Another thread of similar feather...

Could you enlighten us? I had occasion to use Timeshift only yesterday after deleting some crucial system files that I thought I didn't need and was then unable to boot into Zorin. To get running again I booted a live session from USB, installed Timeshift, ran the wizard and selected the most recent restore point. I sat back for a couple of minutes whilst Timeshift did its stuff and everything was good again. I'm frequently breaking the OS as I meddle with things that I shouldn't and have learnt to trust Timeshift to get me out of trouble. I have it set to save the last 5 boots on a second M.2 drive and always make a manual save before installing new software or changing anything as root. I have two PC's - one running Windows 10 and the other for OS17 Pro - so I've always got an escape route. I certainly wouldn't recommend taking such a cavalier attitude if you are running just one machine, and especially if you have critical data stored on it but throwing caution to the wind and then having to find a way of fixing what I've broken has taught me a lot! What I particularly like about Timeshift is the ease with which I can use Files to navigate to and restore single files or folders from the backup should I need to just by copy/paste, without having to do a full restore.

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I don’t understand the need to “meddle” with an operating system and then hop on the forum to get help to unbreak things. I am not a read-the-f’ing-manual person but if you don’t fully know what you are doing with the OS, why do it?

These are self-inflicted wounds and not by accident. They are done willingly. I am not sure learning is a good excuse. No wonder immutable systems are getting so much hype. It is not a panacea for sure but it can help eliminate so many of the recurring problems like this one. Volunteers can then devote time and other resources to help isolate real bugs instead someone tinkering with their system to improve boot up time by .0000001 seconds but then break it.

I don’t mean to offend anyone but I think Linux users should be more responsible for the sake of the community. Yes, the community is there to help, but it should be for real bugs/problems or limitations or work around solutions.

What do we do as a community to help you not knowing more specifics of how your system was broken?

Thankfully you had a back up so that was a good lesson learned. What files did you remove so others can learn not to remove those files too?:v:

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I think you've misunderstood my post C141ZorinOS (which may be my fault for not explaining more fully) - I'm not seeking help from the community to 'unbreak things' and I'm certainly not complaining. I fully appreciate that these are 'self-inflicted wounds' occasioned by my inept attempts to configure the OS to my liking, and that's kinda the point. After many years of experimenting with (and breaking) MS-DOS and numerous versions of Windows, I've learnt to 'reach an understanding' with Windows, and now have a very stable and reliable OS on my 10th Gen i5 machine which I can (mostly) control and rely upon to get the job done without being too intrusive. As a newcomer to Linux I'm applying the same strategy of experiment/fail/learn and it's great fun! The point of my post was merely to extol the virtues of the Timeshift utility, and how it has proved to be invaluable in my quest to further understand the workings of the Linux filesystem, and to concur with the OP's post. In a nutshell - yes, Timeshift is great. I've no complaints about it, Zorin, Linux in general or anything else - I'm having a ball! :grinning:


Point well taken. Thanks for clarifying. As long you are having fun, all is well. Enjoy Zorin. I use Mint’s LMDE 6 and Zorin 17 Core primarily and they always work. I have experimented with others over the last 24 months including MX, Pop, Tuxedo OS, Kubuntu, Q4OS, Neptune OS, and Ubuntu Budgie. All are exceptionally good but Zorin and Mint are the most reliable, good looking, and easy to use for me. I do want to go all Debian but I also like some of the benefits of an Ubuntu base. However, since Debian now includes non-free software, that Ubuntu benefit is fading away. Furthermore, the Snaps drama is hurting Ubuntu with many missteps. Thus I am liking Debian more so lately and liking LMDE 6 even more or MX Linux or Q4OS. I am glad you had a good experience with Timeshift. I need to use that too on Zorin which seems to be better than the included Back Up application. Take care…:+1:


The same push exists in the Automotive industry.
Often, the cited reasons are that people are modifying or repairing their own cars and that they do not know what they are doing and create a hazard or self-inflicted further autorepairs that are expensive.

In reality, however... The vast majority of vehicle owners only do the most basic repairs if any at all. They do not mess with their cars. A couple of studies were performed on this and the results were that the numbers simply do not add up. Too few people modify their cars, much less do at-home repairs to cause the industry any expense, much less any kind of road hazard. Road rage and inattentiveness is the actual road safety problem.
The actual reason for auto manufacturers making newer cars harder to work on is that it gives them more control over the money. Many new cars require repairs that you must take the car to a dealership with specialty tools - not a home job and not even for the mechanic in town.
This moves a bulk of profit to the automotive supplier side, boosting their sales and revenue by seizing control.
Home mechanical was just an easy scapegoat that seemed mildly plausible as long as you do not look at the numbers.

Computing is not any different. The developers constantly yearn for more control and to limit the user as much as they can. It is a primary reason many of us wanted away from Windows OS.
They often give the reason that users break things, then complain or file bug reports. But the reality I have observed over the many years of this forum include:

  • The vast majority of users just want it to work. They do not go in meddling.
  • The vast majority of users are very quick to state what they have already done to the system. Or even if it is their own self-inflicted wound. Very few try to hide it or something.
  • The vast majority of bugs are solved when we address drivers and software issues; not user configurations. It's the things that the developers did.

The numbers do not add up to blame the users.


I drive an old car. I love driving it but I don't attempt to modify or 'improve' it as there's not a Timeshift equivalent! I don't want automatic lights or windscreen wipers or assisted this, that and the other. I particularly dislike self-cancelling indicators as they only work 70-80% of the time and therefore have to be carefully monitored. After 40+ years of driving (some as an instructor) I like to rely on my skill and experience to keep me out of trouble. So far I've been successful - I hope I reach a similar level of competence with operating systems someday :slightly_smiling_face:


On topic: I love timeshift. Had a system yesterday update break my system for some unknown reason - used timeshift with a live usb -> went right back into working mode. :slight_smile:


I've used Mint on and off for a couple of years and like it very much, but always come back to Zorin. LMDE will be my next experiment as I've heard many good things :wink:

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That's a false equivalency. I clearly stated if the person does not know something, don't do it. I am not saying you should not to do it. If you are experienced with the OS to make changes without breaking something, then go for it. A car owner might know how to change the oil - great - they can do it. But if they don't know how, they risk breaking something and the manufacturer should not be held liable. Tinkering is fine. But there is a risk and the person doing the tinkering needs to assume some or all of that risk. Just because you can do something does not mean it is safe for you do it because fixing your work might be beyond your ability to repair your own tinkering. Someone trying to reduce the weight of the car by removing lug nuts from wheels to improve acceleration is risking a wheel coming off. I can work on my air conditioning system but I won't do it because I know there is too much that can go wrong to take that risk. Same for working on my pool - I have certain abilities and recognize my limitations not to go beyond my skill level. But too many Linux users suddenly think they are computer engineers with skills beyond their abilities. Just because you can type in the "sudo" command does not mean you have all the necessary knowledge to delete files not fully grasping all the interdependencies. They watch a YouTube video and think they can go in to the internals tweaking and purging - suddenly when things break - you see the please help me request. They often don't provide specifics of what they did but some demand that the community help them. Some are realistic - many are not. I am all for helping someone needing help because they don't know how to make some changes or work with an application. But fixing some of their mistakes is asking too much sometimes. They too are a part of the community should recognize their own limitations. I don't advocate for an RTFM attitude but again, a Linux user should recognize their skill level. Furthermore, the community should insist for people to learn and grow but not just dump their mistake onto the forum for help when they make a bad mistake. When I was a flight instructor, I would never train someone to fly a single-engine approach that has never experienced flying that airplane with the engine shutdown. That's a recipe for failure. Yet we seem to excuse that type of behavior in Linux land. Although this is only MY opinion, it is a large reason why the Linux desktop has gained so little adoption in some 30 years.

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I dont know where you get your opinion. I dont see Users demanding help, but rather asking for it.

I also think Linux desktop will get more adoption if Linux can implement more ways to change things without a command line prompt. Linux is still very heavy on users without much experience and things will break when you have to type in sudo xyz.
Another, in my opinion good example, is repairability of a phone. Yes, phones break if you try to change the battery. But they break because the user is forced to interfere with things that are beyond his level. If you look at fairphones philosophy, the users will not break the phone by changing the battery simply because the system (in this case the phone) allows users to change things without asking for much knowledge in the first place.


I love being misquoted. I specifically said "Some are realistic - many are not."

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I didn't misquote you in bad faith, I seemingly misunderstood what you meant and also wanted shared a different view on the topic.


As I pointed out above, given my years of experience on this and other forums, this is an uncommon occurrence.
In the majority of cases, a user will state in the O.P. that they did something or were trying to do something and where it went south. Most do ask quite politely for help in fixing it.

Knowing my limitations also means expanding them. I started out in this world with far more limitations than I have today.
A limitation is not necessarily a halting point, just a marker of the boundary where the learning curve begins.

Your points are valid and having different views on something is beneficial. We can use different views to achieve balance. We can also increase others understanding of views that they might not have yet considered.

The equivalency, however, is not false. My post above outlined just how similar they really are.
Users are not breaking things, hiding that they did and then coming here demanding that we fix it. The vast majority of bug reports in existence are about developer issues, not user breakages. A smaller percentage are actually feature requests, not bugs.
And if you go over the solutions provided on just this forum alone, you will find that those dealing with user self-inflicted breakages are an exceptionally tiny minority.
The majority deal with Sound issues, printer issues, wifi issues and graphics issues that are driver related.

To put this in perspective:

This never happens. Ever. This may just not be the best analogy you could think of but... In reality, users that modify their vehicles know the risks and they take precautions.

Yet, too often, I see that people simply assume that others are inept and incapable. This is the Microsoft mentality to a T and many of us on GnuLinux migrated over to get away from that mentality.

The evidence is: We just do not see a lot of cases of users breaking their systems by wild and wacky tinkering. It happens, but it happens rarely.

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