Monday, 10 December 2007


TimeVault is an automatic snapshot/backup tool for GNOME. It is similar to time machine in OS X leopard but without the cool effects. I found this little app about a month ago and it has been quietly backing up my files ever since. It works by automatically backing up files when it detects changes in them. Unlike time machine this is not designed to backup your whole system but specific folders such as pictures or documents. You are also advised not to backup up folders containing large files such as videos.
Once installed you can go ahead and set up the backup directory and add folders that you want monitored. Under the advanced option you can specify the size of the backup directory and and the maximum file size you want it to backup. It backs up your /etc/ directory by default, this directory contains commands and files which are used for system administration.

One thing I couldn't change is the default snapshot directory, this must be a bug.
When it detects a change in a folder the notification icon changes and you can click on it to view the pending snapshots window. From here you can abort any actions if you want.

To restore a file you right click the timevault icon and select snapshot browser.

The cells contain the snapshots for a certain period of time, you can manually go through them and find the file your looking for or use the search function. Once you have found the file you want simply select it and then click the revert button to restore that file. A nice little feature of timevault is that it integrates into nautilus. Whenever you are in a folder that is being monitored an icon will appear in the file browser, when you click on the icon the snapshot browser will show backups specifically for the folder you are in.

The program is currently in beta so you can expect some things not to be working perfectly. To find out more about timevault check out the links below.

TimeVault wiki


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