The following commands assume you will be creating snapshots on the default system configuration root. As mentioned above, if you want to use the non-default configuration, add the following the the snapshot commands:. Create a snapshot of the type pre and prints the snapshot number. First command needed to create a pair of snapshots used to save a "before" and "after" state.
Create a snapshot of the type post paired with the pre snapshot number Second command needed to create a pair of snapshots used to save a "before" and "after" state. Creates a stand-alone snapshot type single for the default root configuration with a description. Because no cleanup-algorithm is specified, the snapshot will never be deleted automatically. To prevent disk space full, Snapper periodically cleans snapshots up. By default, cron mechanism is in use. But there are no road-blocks to use systemd timer mechanism. Please, do not modify snapshot cleanup scripts manually to prevent incorrect snapshots cleanup behaviour!
As you can see YaST has created a snapper config called "root" for your root file system.
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You can see what snapshots exist:. Snapshot 0 always refers to the current system. There might already be several other snapshots depending on the uptime of your system and on whether you already used YaST or zypper. It's time to explain the type of snapshots. Snapper creates a snapshot before and after YaST runs, these snapshots are called pre and post respectively. The post snapshots knows which pre snapshots belongs to it. By having a pre and post snapshot we can see what changes happened to the file system while YaST was running.
Single snapshots have no special relationship to other snapshots. Using snapper, it is easy to see what has changed while YaST was running. To do so you have to pass the number of the pre and post snapshot:. But note that snapper does not tell the kernel about the change like YaST did so you must either do so yourself or reboot. In most of cases, user's troubles with Snapper can occur, when user tries to proceed some actions e.
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And, if it contains orphaned records, snapshots cleanup scripts won't work. And this is risk of disk space full! Because, if you do something incompletely, Snapper will not be able to work correctly and will exit with error-message. And snapshots cleanup scripts won't work correctly. This will save you a lot of nerve cells. But if you faced with trouble of btrfs subvolumes management, let you be aware of its mechanisms. Before a rollback is performed, a snapshot of the running file system is created. The description references the ID of the snapshot that was restored in the rollback.
Snapshots created by rollbacks receive the value number for the Cleanup attribute. The rollback snapshots are therefore automatically deleted when the set number of snapshots is reached. If the snapshot contains important data, extract the data from the snapshot before it is removed.
For example, after a fresh installation the following snapshots are available on the system:. After running sudo snapper rollback snapshot 3 is created and contains the state of the system before the rollback was executed. Snapshot 4 is the new default Btrfs subvolume and thus the system after a reboot.
To boot from a snapshot, reboot your machine and choose Start Bootloader from a read-only snapshot. A screen listing all bootable snapshots opens. The most recent snapshot is listed first, the oldest last. Activating a snapshot from the boot menu does not reboot the machine immediately, but rather opens the boot loader of the selected snapshot. Each snapshot entry in the boot loader follows a naming scheme which makes it possible to identify it easily:.
This field contains a description of the snapshot. In case of a manually created snapshot this is the string created with the option --description or a custom string see Tip: Setting a Custom Description for Boot Loader Snapshot Entries. Long descriptions may be truncated, depending on the size of the boot screen. It is possible to replace the default string in the description field of a snapshot with a custom string.
This is for example useful if an automatically created description is not sufficient, or a user-provided description is too long. The description should be no longer than 25 characters—everything that exceeds this size will not be readable on the boot screen. A complete system rollback, restoring the complete system to the identical state as it was in when a snapshot was taken, is not possible. Root file system snapshots do not contain all directories.
As a general consequence, data from these directories is not restored, resulting in the following limitations. Re-install the application or the add-on to solve this problem. If a service or an application has established a new data format in between snapshot and current system, the application may not be able to read the affected data files after a rollback. A rollback may result in non-functional code.
If a rollback removes users from the system, data that is owned by these users in directories excluded from the snapshot, is not removed. If a user with the same user ID is created, this user will inherit the files. Use a tool like find to locate and remove orphaned files.
The way Snapper behaves is defined in a configuration file that is specific for each partition or Btrfs subvolume. The corresponding default configuration is named root. It creates and manages the YaST and Zypper snapshot. The amount depends on the amount of packages installed and the amount of changes made to the volume that is included in snapshots. The snapshot frequency and the number of snapshots that get archived also matter. There is a minimum root file system size that is required to automatically enable snapshots during the installation.
Currently this size is approximately 12 GB. This value may change in the future, depending on architecture and the size of the base system. Keep in mind that this value is a minimum size. Consider using more space for the root file system.
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As a rule of thumb, double the size you would use when not having enabled snapshots. You may create your own configurations for other partitions formatted with Btrfs or existing subvolumes on a Btrfs partition. After a configuration has been created, you can either use snapper itself or the YaST Snapper module to restore files from these snapshots. In YaST you need to select your Current Configuration , while you need to specify your configuration for snapper with the global switch -c for example, snapper -c myconfig list.
To create a new Snapper configuration, run snapper create-config :. Mount point of the partition or Btrfs subvolume on which to take snapshots. To use your own set of defaults, create a copy of this file in the same directory and adjust it to your needs. To use it, specify the -t option with the create-config command:. The snapper offers several subcommands for managing existing configurations. You can list, show, delete and modify them:.
Use the command snapper list-configs to get all existing configurations:. Config needs to be replaced by a configuration name shown by snapper list-configs. Each configuration contains a list of options that can be modified from the command line. The following list provides details for each option. Granting permissions to use snapshots to regular users. Defines whether pre and post snapshots should be compared in the background after creation. Defines the clean-up algorithm for snapshots pairs with identical pre and post snapshots.
Defines the clean-up algorithm for installation and admin snapshots. Adds quota support to the clean-up algorithms. If set to yes , hourly snapshots are created. Valid values: yes , no. Defines the clean-up algorithm for timeline snapshots. By default Snapper can only be used by root. However, there are cases in which certain groups or users need to be able to create snapshots or undo changes by reverting to a snapshot:.
The corresponding. Note that all steps in this procedure need to be run by root. If not existing, create a Snapper configuration for the partition or subvolume on which the user should be able to use Snapper. Multiple entries need to be separated by Space. You can test it with the list command, for example:. You can only take snapshots of partitions or volumes for which a configuration exists. By default the system configuration root is used. To create or manage snapshots for your own configuration you need to explicitly choose it. Each snapshot consists of the snapshot itself and some metadata.
When creating a snapshot you also need to specify the metadata. Modifying a snapshot means changing its metadata—you cannot modify its content. Use snapper list to show existing snapshots and their metadata:.
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Lists snapshots for the configuration home. To list snapshots for the default configuration root , use snapper -c root list or snapper list. Lists all pre and post snapshot pairs for the default root configuration. Lists all snapshots of the type single for the default root configuration. This data cannot be changed. Number : Unique number of the snapshot.
Pre Number : Specifies the number of the corresponding pre snapshot. For snapshots of type post only.
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Description : A description of the snapshot. Snapper knows three different types of snapshots: pre, post, and single. Physically they do not differ, but Snapper handles them differently. Snapshot of a file system before a modification. Each pre snapshot has got a corresponding post snapshot. Snapshot of a file system after a modification. Each post snapshot has got a corresponding pre snapshot. Stand-alone snapshot. Used for the automatic hourly snapshots, for example. This is the default type when creating snapshots. Snapper provides three algorithms to clean up old snapshots.
The algorithms are executed in a daily cron job. Deletes old snapshots having passed a certain age, but keeps several hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly snapshots. Creating a snapshot is done by running snapper create or by clicking Create in the YaST module Snapper. The following examples explain how to create snapshots from the command line.
It should be easy to adopt them when using the YaST interface. You should always specify a meaningful description to later be able to identify its purpose. Even more information can be specified via the user data option. Creates a stand-alone snapshot type single for the default root configuration with a description. Because no cleanup-algorithm is specified, the snapshot will never be deleted automatically. Creates a stand-alone snapshot type single for a custom configuration named home with a description.
The file will automatically be deleted when it meets the criteria specified for the timeline cleanup-algorithm in the configuration. Creates a snapshot of the type pre and prints the snapshot number. The snapshot is marked as important. Creates a snapshot of the type post paired with the pre snapshot number This option is only available when using snapper on the command line. Snapper allows you to modify the description, the cleanup algorithm, and the user data of a snapshot. All other metadata cannot be changed. The following examples explain how to modify snapshots from the command line.
To modify a snapshot on the command line, you need to know its number. Use snapper list to display all snapshots and their numbers. The YaST Snapper module already lists all snapshots. Choose one from the list and click Modify. Modifies the metadata of snapshot 10 for the default root configuration. The cleanup algorithm is set to timeline. Modifies the metadata of snapshot for a custom configuration named home. A new description is set and the cleanup algorithm is unset.
To delete a snapshot with the command line tool, you need to know its number. Get it by running snapper list. When deleting snapshots with Snapper, the freed space will be claimed by a Btrfs process running in the background. Thus the visibility and the availability of free space is delayed. In case you need space freed by deleting a snapshot to be available immediately, use the option --sync with the delete command. When deleting a pre snapshot, you should always delete its corresponding post snapshot and vice versa.
Deletes snapshot 65 for the default root configuration. Deletes snapshots 89 and 90 for a custom configuration named home. Deletes snapshot 23 for the default root configuration and makes the freed space available immediately. Sometimes the Btrfs snapshot is present but the XML file containing the metadata for Snapper is missing. In this case the snapshot is not visible for Snapper and needs to be deleted manually:. If you delete snapshots to free space on your hard disk, make sure to delete old snapshots first. The older a snapshot is, the more disk space it occupies.
Snapshots are also automatically deleted by a daily cron job. Snapshots occupy disk space and over time the amount of disk space occupied by the snapshots may become large. To prevent disks from running out of space, Snapper offers algorithms to automatically delete old snapshots.
These algorithms differentiate between timeline snapshots and numbered snapshots administration plus installation snapshot pairs. You can specify the number of snapshots to keep for each type.
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In addition to that, you can optionally specify a disk space quota, defining the maximum amount of disk space the snapshots may occupy. It is also possible to automatically delete pre and post snapshots pairs that do not differ. A clean-up algorithm is always bound to a single Snapper configuration, so you need to configure algorithms for each configuration. To prevent certain snapshots from being automatically deleted, refer to How to make a snapshot permanent?
The default setup root is configured to do clean-up for numbered snapshots and empty pre and post snapshot pairs.
Timeline snapshots are disabled by default, therefore the timeline clean-up algorithm is also disabled. Cleaning up numbered snapshots—administration plus installation snapshot pairs—is controlled by the following parameters of a Snapper configuration. Enables or disables clean-up of installation and admin snapshot pairs. Valid values: yes enable , no disable. Only the youngest snapshots will be kept.
If quota support is disabled, a constant value, for example 10 , needs to be provided, otherwise cleaning-up will fail with an error. Defines the minimum age in seconds a snapshot must have before it can automatically be deleted. Snapshots younger than the value specified here will not be deleted, regardless of how many exist. Snapshots are only deleted when all conditions are met. The following example shows a configuration to keep the last 10 important and regular snapshots regardless of age:. The following example shows a configuration to only keep snapshots younger than ten days:.
Cleaning up timeline snapshots is controlled by the following parameters of a Snapper configuration. Enables or disables clean-up of timeline snapshots. This example configuration enables hourly snapshots which are automatically cleaned up. In this example, the minimum age of a snapshot before it can be deleted is set to 30 minutes seconds. Since we create hourly snapshots, this ensures that only the latest snapshots are kept. Daily: The first daily snapshot that has been made is kept from the last seven days. Monthly: The first snapshot made on the last day of the month is kept for the last twelve months.
Weekly: The first snapshot made on the last day of the week is kept from the last four weeks. Yearly: The first snapshot made on the last day of the year is kept for the last two years. In case you have not made any changes there will be no difference between the pre and post snapshots. If set to yes , pre and post snapshot pairs that do not differ will be deleted.
Defines the minimum age in seconds a pre and post snapshot pair that does not differ must have before it can automatically be deleted. Snapper does not offer custom clean-up algorithms for manually created snapshots. However, you can assign the number or timeline clean-up algorithm to a manually created snapshot. You can specify a clean-up algorithm when creating a snapshot, or by modifying an existing snapshot:.
Creates a stand-alone snapshot type single for the default root configuration and assigns the number clean-up algorithm. Modifies the snapshot with the number 25 and assigns the clean-up algorithm timeline. You can define what percentage of the available space snapshots are allowed to occupy. This percentage value always applies to the Btrfs subvolume defined in the respective Snapper configuration.
If Snapper was enabled during the installation, quota support is automatically enabled. In case you manually enable Snapper at a later point in time, you can enable quota support by running snapper setup-quota. The Btrfs quota group used by Snapper. If not set, run snapper setup-quota. If already set, only change if you are familiar with man 8 btrfs-qgroup. This value is set with snapper setup-quota and should not be changed. Valid values range from 0 to 1 0. If no clean-up algorithm is active, quota restrictions are not applied.
With quota support enabled, Snapper will perform two clean-up runs if required. The first run will apply the rules specified for number and timeline snapshots. Only if the quota is exceeded after this run, the quota-specific rules will be applied in a second run. In case these 20 snapshots exceed the quota, Snapper will delete the oldest ones in a second run until the quota is met. A minimum of five snapshots will always be kept, regardless of the amount of space they occupy. For some directories we decided to exclude them from snapshots.
To exclude a path from snapshots we create a subvolume for that path. Displaying the amount of disk space a snapshot allocates is currently not supported by the Btrfs tools. However, if you have quota enabled, it is possible to determine how much space would be freed if all snapshots would be deleted:.