Sunday, 15 January 2017

Timeshift v17.1


A major update for Timeshift is now available (v17.1). Changes are summarized below.

What's New

BTRFS Snapshots

Features of Timeshift BTRFS have been merged with Timeshift. There's a new tab in Settings Window to select the snapshot type as BTRFS or RSYNC.

  • Timeshift will default to BTRFS snapshots on supported systems (BTRFS filesystems with @ and @home subvolumes).
  • All snapshots created with Timeshift BTRFS are compatible with this version of Timeshift. Timeshift BTRFS will no longer be maintained.
  • Since Timeshift now includes all features from Timeshift BTRFS, installing Timeshift v17.1 will remove the package timeshift-btrfs if installed.
  • The total and unshared data size will be displayed in snapshot list for BTRFS snapshots. The "Unshared" column displays the disk space that can be recovered by deleting the snapshot.

Console Options

  • Option --backup has been replaced with option --check. This works exactly the same as before. Only the option is being renamed. Running timeshift --check will check if any snapshot needs to be created for the selected backup levels. It also performs housekeeping tasks such as deleting snapshots marked for deletion.
  • Option --backup-now has been replaced with option --create. This works exactly the same as before. Only the option is being renamed.
  • Option --tags {O,B,H,D,W,M} has been added to specify backup level while creating snapshots. Together with --create it can be used to set up custom cron jobs for creating snapshots at a specific time. For example, timeshift --create --tags W will create a new "weekly" snapshot. Users can add this command to the crontab to create weekly snapshots at 12:00 AM on Sundays (for example). Refer to the user manual for more details.
  • Options --btrfs and --rsync have been added to specify snapshot type. By default, the snapshot type selected in application settings will be used. The new options override the snapshot type selected by user in application settings.

Scheduled tasks

  • Scripts will be created in /etc/cron.*/ instead of adding entries to root user's crontab. This allows the user to create custom jobs for timeshift without creating conflicts with jobs created by Timeshift.
  • The cron service usually sends the output of scheduled tasks as an email to the current user. So if you have an email client configured on your system, you will receive hourly emails when the cron job runs. An option has been added to the Settings window to stop the cron daemon from sending emails, for tasks created by Timeshift.

Other Changes

  • /var/lib/docker will be excluded by default. This prevents recursive backups which can cause the disk to run out of space.
  • /timeshift-btrfs and /var/log/timeshift will be excluded by default.
  • Use expanded ButtonBox if GTK+ version >= 3.18

User Manual

The user manual has been updated with details for BTRFS snapshots. There's a new section on creating custom cron jobs for creating scheduled snapshots with Timeshift.

The updated user manual is available at the following link for people who have donated to this project: Download Timeshift User Manual
Please use the password that was sent to you in the last email for extracting the zip file.

If you have donated to this project in the past or contributed in any way (translations, troubleshooting, etc) but not received the user manual, please send me an email at teejeetech at gmail dot com. If you are a student or cannot afford to donate but still wish to get the user manual, please send me an email and I will send you a copy.


Ubuntu and derivatives (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc)

Packages are available in the Launchpad PPA for supported Ubuntu releases. Run the following commands in a terminal window:

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install timeshift

You do not wish to add the PPA, you can download and install from the DEB files linked below:
timeshift-latest-i386.deb (32-bit)
timeshift-latest-amd64.deb (64-bit)

These DEBs are built for Xenial and may fail to install on older releases of Ubuntu. Try downloading the debs for Trusty from the Launchpad PPA in case of issues with the Xenial DEB files.

Other Linux Distributions

An installer is available from following links: (32-bit) (64-bit)


Run the following commands in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get purge timeshift


If you want to buy me a coffee or send some donations my way, you can use Google wallet or Paypal to send a donation to teejeetech at gmail dot com. People who donate will receive a complementary User Manual by email.

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  1. Hi,

    since the update to the new version 17.1 of timeshift my daily and weekly task are dont start. I have Linux Mint 18.1. Any ideas why?

  2. yes! after update to the new version timeshift my daily and weekly task are dont start - i have peppermint os seven x64

  3. Hi, thank you so much for the dev team who built Timeshift, it did saved me a lot of time, but since i moved to Debian, i got the problem of "BTRFS filesystems with @ and @home subvolumes" issue hence i can't use it.

    I'm new to Linux and i feel that Debian is a very sturdy distro and i would like to utilize btrfs and Timeshift effectively.

    Is there a way to solve this problem?

    1. don't create section /home in case of installation of system
      subvolume @ and @home will be created automatically by ubuntu installer

  4. HI I'm running Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and like the first post neither the scheduled weekly or daily snapshots run. The boot snapshot DID run. Timeshift reports it is active and scheduled snapshots are enabled. There are no timeshift scripts in the /etc/cron.daily or /etc/cron.weekly folder.

    I am able to create a daily snapshot if I schedule or run manually "timeshift --check". I can also create a snapshot from within crontab scheduler i.e. sudo crontab -e. However scheduled snapshots remain elusive. I like this version, very compact.

  5. Good day. I am running a 32-bit version of Ubuntu 16.04 with Timeshift snapshots backed up on a separate internal hard drive.

    If I do a fresh install of Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit, will I be able to use the Timeshift snapshot generated on the 32 bit system to restore into the 64 bit system?

    I will obviously back up my Home folder containing all my docs, pics etc. separately.

    1. Yes it will work. Each snapshot is a fully self-contained system. Restoring the 32-bit snapshot from the 64-bit system will give you the previous 32-bit system. Make sure you do not format the partition containing the snapshots during installation.

  6. Thanks Tony George, then I will probably just need to make some adjustments to make all the 32 bit apps work:

    My snapshots are on a separate hard drive so there should not be a problem.

  7. Tony George I have tried several times but land up with a broken system every time, after activating Timeshift - "Cannot create /var/lib/update -notifier /fsck-at-reboot: Read-only file system and a few others

  8. Hi Tony George,
    First of all a big thank you and congratulations on TimeShift.
    It’s the best thing since sliced bread.

    Tony George I’m not sure if this is best place to post this.
    In the set-up snapshot location only the logical disk drive partition name is shown.
    I’m using one external backup drive, with multiple partitions, to backup various dualboot laptops.

    I’ve already read that you have fixed the snapshots to distinguish drive uuid – perfect thanks!
    Will have to check that it works properly..….

    Would it be possible to add the partition name or label, as well as the logical drive partition?
    The problem right now is that the partition names change from Laptop to Laptop.
    Having drive names such as sda8 etc makes it very difficult to correctly choose the right partition.

    Once again thank you very much for this superb software.

  9. Hi, the links to download the software don't work

  10. Hey Unknown, it all worked fine for me on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 64-bit and is a real life-saver that works like a charm. What OS are you using?