Linux Mint Takes Over Development of Timeshift, the Nifty Backup Tool



Linux Mint is taking over development of Timeshift, a popular open-source backup tool.

Anyone familiar with Mint will be familiar with this utility. Timeshift is, as the distro’s own lead Clement Lefebvre says in the latest monthly update, a central plank in the system’s backup and update ‘strategy’.

Sadly, as happens, the creator of Timeshift is unable to keep working on it owing to other responsibilities. Not keen to see it stagnate, Mint says it ‘got in touch’ to see how they could help. Long story short: Linux Mint is assuming maintenance of the app henceforth.

And as part of the process Timeshift is becoming an official member of the XApp family (this is Mint’s stable of home-grown software it designs and develops to be distro-agnostic for widest possible use).

Timeshift is now an XApp

I’ve long been a fan of Mint’s attentive approach to shipping the kinds of apps people actually need and use on a day-today basis. Timeshift is one of those — but it’s not just a tool Mint users can use but one they are actively encouraged to use.

“A perfect system is a system where bugs and security flaws are fixed rapidly but where nothing that already worked ever starts to break. […] It’s a system where a a constant flow of code changes are applied to fix bugs and vulnerabilities but where a solid mechanism is in place to revert changes when regressions occur,” Lefebvre writes.

That mechanism in Linux Mint is Timeshift. Lefebvre calls it part of the distro’s “robust update strategy” that advises users to “Take snapshots, apply all updates” — regularly!

Expect further changes as Linux Mint 21 development continues.

Linux Mint project takes over development of Timeshift backup tool and makes it a XApp

There has been an interesting development in this month’s Linux Mint news segment regarding the future of the backup utility Timeshift which has become a core part of the distro in recent years. It turns out that Tony George, the developer behind the project doesn’t have time to work on Timeshift any longer and has agreed for the Mint team to take over. As part of the plans, Timeshift will now become a XApp, a suite of apps developed by the Mint team.

A core principle of Linux Mint is that things just work. To ensure things keep working after updates and upgrades, the Mint team started pushing, quite aggressively, for people to begin making system backups so they could restore their computers to an earlier state if anything went wrong. The tool of choice for backups in Mint was Timeshift and that utility has been bundled with the distro for quite a while now.

A screenshot of Timeshift

Unfortunately, the developer of Timeshift, Tony George, said he no longer has time to work on Timeshift and after reaching out to him, the Mint team says both parties agreed that the latter will adopt the project and make it into a XApp. This will allow the Mint team to better adapt Timeshift to the Linux Mint environment and integrate it more deeply into the operating system should they decide to go down this route.

We should not have to wait for any new Linux Mint releases to come out before we see the fruits of this news. The team will make whatever changes they want and start pushing them out to users through the update manager whenever they are deemed to be ready.

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