Using Linux Guest or VB Snapshots for Backup

Discussions about using Linux guests in VirtualBox.

Using Linux Guest or VB Snapshots for Backup

Postby dEhiN » 22. Apr 2019, 05:40

Hi all, I just installed Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 on my Windows laptop. As part of the welcome suggestions, system snapshots are recommended to set up. I was wondering though if anyone else has had experience with this. Would it make more sense to use VB snapshots instead? Or is there a point to using the Linux OS system snapshots? In this case, due to not having a lot of free space on my laptop, I've started small and given my Linux guest a 24 GB sda and 30 GB sdb. So, I don't really want to use up that space with system snapshots, if I can avoid it. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance.
Host: HP EliteBook 8470p -- Windows 10 Pro -- 8 GB DDR3-1600 RAM -- 464GB SATA-3 HDD -- Intel Dual-Core i5 3220M
Guest: VirtualBox 6.0.6 r130049 (Qt5.6.2) -- Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 -- 2 GB RAM -- 4 GB swap -- 20 GB / -- 30 GB /home
dEhiN
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 21. May 2010, 00:23
Location: Canada
Primary OS: MS Windows 10
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Linux Mint Debian Edition 3

Re: Using Linux Guest or VB Snapshots for Backup

Postby mpack » 22. Apr 2019, 09:47

VBox snapshots have nothing to do with making backups. If you don't believe me then try deleting a snapshot VDI, and see how easily you can recover the VM (answer: you can't, unless you have a real backup of the VM folder to a second drive).

I wasn't aware that Linux guests now have a volume snapshot feature. If it works like the Windows VSS service then you don't "take snapshots", the system does it automatically when some app needs a virtual frozen disk state, and usually that state is discarded when the app no longer needs it. A common use is to create a virtual disk image which is then backed up to secondary storage and then discarded from the primary drive.

Personally I would use neither feature. I back up my VMs by shutting down the VM and copying the VM folder to a backup drive: a NAS in my case, but a USB or non-RAID network folder is fine too.

I entirely distrust the VBox snapshots feature: if you understand how the feature works then you know that each snapshot creates a new single point of failure for the entire VM, which is really the opposite of what a backup does.
mpack
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 29817
Joined: 4. Sep 2008, 17:09
Primary OS: MS Windows 10
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Mostly XP


Return to Linux Guests

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests