Using Snapper

Hi all, sorry this is a noob question again:
I am trying to make up my mind regarding Snapper ot Timeshift.
Of course I understand that there must be some advantages with Snapper, otherwise you would not have it as default.
However I always see it in conjunction with BTRFS. Does it not work with EXT4 volumes for example?
The only BTRFS partition I have is the Root/system partition. All my important data are on /home, which is EXT4 (and other drives. So this cannot be backed up with Snapper? And only the system partition will be backed up?
I am a GUI freak (too old to remember commands to use in the console). In Timeshift it was easy to specify WHAT was going to be backed-up WHERE. Essentially just about everything was possible. Is this also true for Snapper, though only in console/terminal?
I have been trying to read about all this, but it's not really clear to me.
Maybe someone can enlighten me or point me to a tutorial for Snapper?
Thx in advance.

Snapper is purely for btrfs snapshots. It isn't a backup tool.

To be honest, if what you want is backups of your data, timeshift isn't really the right tool either.

I would look at vorta or backintime.


I don't believe you can do a complete system restore using Timeshift if you are using BTRFS. I could be wrong here, but I think I remember reading that is the rule. If you use Ext4 filesystem instead, then you can use Timeshift as a system restore/backup (although not really intended as a system restore application) as long as your don't change your partitions (and if you do it requires some extra finagling.) However, Garuda does not support a system on Ext4 for help, so you are on your own. I would use Snapper for system restore, and a separate backup for all your files and goodies.

For a good back up system, if using GTK use Bup, if using KDE use Kup and Bup, installing both, all found in the Arch repos. Integrates well in both, has both versioning and synchronized options for backups.

1 Like

From what Tecmint says here: 25 Outstanding Backup Utilities for Linux Systems in 2023 Timeshift is really system only backup solution. Check out the link for lots of other solutions :smile:

Thanks for the very helpful feedback. While I have been using Timeshift for years, also backing up my data partitions, I understand that it's not perfect. It saved my bum a number of times, but especially when I changed the hardware (new HD) it gave me some headaches.
So I guess I will change my strategy, go with Snapper for the system partition and one of the other tools you mentioned. KUP seems fine at first reading.
Thx again from sunny Greece!


Bit OT sorry but does Vorta/Borg backup everything like timestamps and symlinks etc? Just asking as I’ve been investigating backup solutions lol

Yes. borgbackup is a legit backup solution.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.