Hosted Virtual Computer
Streaming via NoMachine
OS: Ubuntu MATE 20.10 x86_64 
Kernel: 5.8.0-44-generic
Packages: 2576 (dpkg), 9 (snap) 
Shell: bash 5.0.17 
Theme: Ambiant-MATE-Dark [GTK2/3]
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2620 v4 (4) @ 2.1
Memory: 7947MiB

I like to be able to take a snapshot of my Ubuntu 20.10 system files and upload it to google drive and then restore my system from a Ubuntu 18.04

How do i do that (preferable from terminal)?


Installed timeshift for system backup:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/timeshift
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install timeshift
sudo timeshift --create --comments "My System Backup" --tags D

However i have no idea where the snapshot is stored. Google search didnt help much


You cannot just copy system files to a new computer and expect to have a well functioning operating system. Part of the installation involves hardware detection, and configuration as a function of the hardware. Also, do not expect that simply copying files of a more recent OS version over an older version will not lead to a successfull upgrade.

You can copy system files and use the copy to restore the operating system on the same computer to a previous "state". That is what the utility "Time Shift" is designed for.

For this to work, the system files need to be copied maintaining all their attributes, including preserving hardlinks if any. Accordingly, the files must be copied to a file system that supports linux permissions. Alternatively, the files and their permissions could be stored in a tar archive. The tar archive, which will be several gigabytes in size, can then be stored on Google Drive if you want so. To make it more managable, you can, also with tar, create incremental archives.

This will cost you a lot of efforts. On a personal note, I encourage you to do these efforts only provided you have a good backup system in place for your personal files. If not, then first dedicate your efforts to the latter. Personal files are unique in the world. Once lost, they are lost forever. An operating system can be downloaded anytime, and is installed in less than an hour. Far less effort than that required setting up a system backup. This, of course, provided that we are talking about a personal computer here. Keeping a data server up and maintaining it is another matter.

  • The computer is in a hosting center. Its a virtual computer and the image is the same. The only differnce could be the name and the mac address of the networkcard. I will see if i can make some changes in the snapshot for it to work if needed. There is alot of setup to be done, so thats why i want to make a backup. I dont have personal files stored on the local hard drive. – Powermongur Feb 27 at 14:02
  • Do not assume that all users of this site will know this by default. My answer is an answer on your current question in the context of this site, i.e., Ubuntu users on the desktop. – vanadium Feb 27 at 14:06
  • ok i updated the post with some info. Now im kinda stuck finding the snapshot files – Powermongur Feb 27 at 14:17

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