Question, do you really need to recover files from the snapshots on a
No I don't. I have never recovered anything from ZFS and hope to never
have to. ZFS is a last ditch line of defense against some of my co-authors
who have a terrible habit of working on old files, saving them out with the
same name as the current working file. More than once a changed
introduction has destroyed years of work and it has only been my paranoia
in having about 6 backups of everything that has saved the project.
I would suggest that you consider the frequency of
snapshots, and of backups. If you truly understand, and take care with
your actions, how much do you need to recover and undelete as the
snapshots enable? If you do not need quite so frequent, nor so many
snapshots, then you will have more usable space when you transfer to a
The trouble is I am often working on 4 - 5 academic papers at the same
time; some of them maybe neglected for a couple of months hence errors
won't be noticed until I come back to work on it again. In the worst case I
had to dig up files from 3 years ago to recover data.
The other matter is that the snapshots are not a backup strategy, they
too are lost along with the current copies if you have
a hard drive
I realise that. The reasons for ZFS are outlined above. I know a better
strategy would be to use GIT but as my co-authors are very smart in maths
and economics but have almost zero computer knowledge, trying to tell them
what GIT is let alone why we should be using it is impossible.
I would suggest looking at something like a Network
Storage device, with multiple drives in a suitable RAID array.
This is the ultimate plan to build a NAS from an HP Microserver. I am
leaning towards Nas4Free on an SSD or internal USB and 3, 6TB mirrors. This
is a project that has to wait because right now due to Covid19 and Brexit
we are not sure where we are. I am here and can't leave but expecting to
be out of work (which won't stop my research), my husband is
British/Australian, resident in Austria to avoid Brexit but is stranded by
Covid in Greece. When it all settles down and we have a home again building
this NAS is going to be pretty high on the list of things to do.
There are others on the LUV lists who can better advise on which strategies
will actually provide a reasonable measure of security
Remember that there are repositories from which you can restore the OS
and applications, but that your data, including particular
configuration, can only be recovered from a suitable backup on another
device, and best often stored on a separate site.
Much of the data is on external disks located in 3 different countries so
hopefully it is safe.
These are pointers to think about as to what is important, and what
can you afford to loose, possibly because you can
because it is not really that critical. As to life, yes the data has
meaning to each of us, but it is not food and water even if it can be
used in exchange for such.
First things first ZFS is choking due to lack of disk
space. However, I
have a lot of totally unused diskspace on a
windows partition so how can
reduce the windows partition and increase the ZFS
to stop it choking. It
has 560GB of which I do not need more than 200max to leave for Windoze.
From this I gather that you find a need to have the Microsoft malware
available. I have problems now and then when I have to deal
interactively with a Microsoft Word document in the newest format. I
usually point out that Word may well be widespread, but that is not
universal, and a PDF can be locked to prevent being tampered with.
Windows certainly is malware. I have it to run Scientific Workplace (SW) as
some of my co-authors are unable to deal with Latex. In an ideal world I
would only use Kile or Eclipse but sometimes I don't have the hours / days
necessary to edit the perverted abomination that Scientific Workplace
thinks is a tex file into an actual tex file, hence the need to have the
windoze to run SW.
Gparted apparently doesn't like ZFS but does this
matter? I can I assume
use it to shrink the Windows partition and free
up about 360GB, then how
I expand the ZFS to use that free space?
Second, I have checked /etc/cron and find auto snap shot commands for
hourly, daily, weekly & monthly
hourly = 24, daily = 31, weekly = 8, monthly = 6. It seems I could change
that to hourly = 24, daily = 7, weekly = 4, monthly = 6 and get pretty
the same coverage with a lot less snapshots.
Listing snapshots shows some from 2019, where are they coming from as
monthly only storing 6 months there shouldn't
be anything newer than
February 2020 or am I not understanding something here?
I would think that if the computer was not in use at the critical
time, the snapshots could remain. Cron cannot do things while the
computer is off. I know that there is an alternative, anacron, that is
coded to cope with doing the actions that fell while the computer was
off, when it is next booted. It would be worth checking which is
installed and used.
I didn't know about anacron, but it makes sense that it could be installed,
I will have to check.
The computer is a Lenovo W541 laptop, the longer term
plan is to double
memory to 32GB and put a 2TB SSD in this box.
Does that sound sensible?
In the meantime, a thorough backup is running in at least two external
drives (one incremental and one fresh).
Again, consider backups on a separate device. Again, look to your use
patterns and practices so that you have less need for the snapshots
and recovering deleted files, and as such can use less snapshots. Look
at what you are trying to achieve, and ask how to be reasonably
effective. Try to make the most of the resources you can afford,
rather than spending too much to compensate for suboptimal habits and
Good advice. Find new co-authors? LOL
Thanks again for your help.