Zorin Backups

i have been using the backup program to save my home folder , is this enough ? if the system happens to die (or more like me doing something stupid ) and i need to do a clean install by a format of my ssd drive and do a fresh install will this get me back to where i last backed up or is it better to backup the compleate drive ? also i if needed to do a complete reinstall from backup is this function avaliable from the "try linux" usb boot option ?



I'm pretty sure if you backed up your data with Timeshift, then that's possible, though you would need to install Timeshift on the Live CD (correct me if I'm wrong).

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The Backup tool is only meant to automate the process of creating backup copies of your data, essentially copy/pastes the files that you tell to, but it won't restore the system to it's default or previously known working state. Therefore it's better suited to backup files that you cannot easily replace such as pictures, documents and other personal files.
You should also consider storing these backups in an external media such as a hard drive, cloud service or another computer (if your computer dies suddenly then all the backups inside it will be lost as well).

For "restoring" your machine to a previously known working state you can use other tools like Timeshift as suggested above. You would use this for when you accidentally remove some core library, or perhaps after some update that breaks something. This would allow you to "revert back" in time to the latest snapshot, sort of like quick saving in a game.
This is more appropriate for configuration files, installed applications, etc. The two methods for backing up a computer are complementary.

And lastly, yes, you would use the "Try Linux" option from a bootable USB to complete start from scratch. If you do so, and you have your personal files stored on another external drive, you could be up and running very quickly.

ok tried to install timeshift on the usb stick that i created from the zorin 16-2 core , this installs but when i reboot from that same usb stick timeshift is not present so how would i install this program to make this a usefull restore system ?



You should install it alongside your regular OS; the live USB is not meant as a permanent running OS although I know there are ways to make it so.

Are you trying to restore your system right now, or making preparations?

i am trying to make preperations but i hope i dont need to use them


Ah, I see. In that case don't worry about the live USB for now and install Timeshift just like you would with any other program. You can restore from a snapshot from the same machine, another machine or, if needed, from a live USB in which case you'd have to install it when needed.

You can configure it to take snapshots periodically, for example just before running a software update or installing a particular program. I don't want to give you any specific advice on this one as I've never used Timeshift myself.

So, to summarize:

  • "Backups" is a tool that will create a copy of your personal files. Make sure to store these copies outside of the machine so that you can recover them later should something happen to your computer.

  • "Timeshift" makes a snapshot of your system files and settings, instead. Use this to "retrace your steps" in case something goes wrong after a software update, faulty install, etc.

I recommend you check out this and other threads across the forum to see how other people implement their own backup strategies:

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