Using timeshift on Linux: Quick View Guide

Using timeshift on Linux: Quick View Guide

Timeshift is a popular package in the Linux ecosystem that provides system backup and restores functionality. It allows users to create snapshots of their system at different points in time and restore them when needed. This guide will walk you through the installation, usage, and benefits of Timeshift.


Timeshift can be easily installed on most Linux distributions using the package manager. Here are the installation commands for some popular distributions:

Ubuntu and Debian

sudo apt-get install timeshift


sudo dnf install timeshift

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S timeshift


Once Timeshift is installed, you can start using it to create and restore system snapshots. Here are some commonly used commands:

Creating a Snapshot

sudo timeshift --create

This command will create a new system snapshot. By default, Timeshift creates snapshots of the root filesystem, but you can specify other filesystems using the --include option.

Restoring a Snapshot

sudo timeshift --restore

This command will open a graphical interface where you can select a snapshot to restore. You can also specify a snapshot using the --snapshot option followed by the snapshot ID.

Listing Snapshots

timeshift --list

This command will list all the available snapshots along with their IDs, creation dates, and sizes.

Similar Commands

While Timeshift is a popular choice for system backup and restore, there are other similar packages available in the Linux ecosystem. Here are some alternatives:


rsync is a powerful command-line tool for file synchronization and backup. It can be used to create incremental backups and restore them when needed. However, rsync requires more manual configuration compared to Timeshift.


BackInTime is a backup tool that uses rsync and provides a user-friendly interface for creating and restoring backups. It offers similar functionality to Timeshift but with additional features like scheduling and encryption.

Benefits of Timeshift

Timeshift offers several benefits compared to similar packages:

Easy to Use

Timeshift provides a simple and intuitive interface for creating and restoring system snapshots. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Efficient Storage

Timeshift uses a combination of hard links and rsync to create snapshots, which ensures efficient storage utilization. Only the changed files are stored, resulting in significant space savings.

Fast Restores

Timeshift allows users to quickly restore their system to a previous state. It only restores the changed files, making the restore process fast and efficient.

Flexible Configuration

Timeshift allows users to configure various options like snapshot frequency, retention policy, and included/excluded filesystems. This flexibility enables users to customize the backup process according to their needs.


Timeshift also provides a command-line interface for scripting and automation. Here are some example scripts:

Automatic Snapshot Creation

timeshift --create --scripted

This script can be scheduled using cron or systemd timers to automatically create system snapshots at regular intervals.

Snapshot Cleanup

timeshift --delete --older-than 30d

This script can be used to delete snapshots older than a specified number of days. It helps in managing storage space by removing outdated snapshots.


Timeshift is a powerful system backup and restore package for Linux. It offers easy-to-use functionality, efficient storage utilization, fast restores, and flexible configuration options. It is a popular choice among Linux users for ensuring system reliability and data protection.

Package Installation Command
Timeshift sudo apt-get install timeshift
rsync sudo apt-get install rsync
BackInTime sudo apt-get install backintime

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