Create System Restore Points in Ubuntu 16.04

Since Ubuntu does not provide Windows’ System Restore feature by default, an open-source software TimeShift is created to protect Linux system files and settings by taking incremental snapshots and then using the snapshots to restore system to its previous state.

TimeShift is a free tool that is designed to protect only system files and settings. User files such as documents, pictures and music are excluded. This ensures that your files remains unchanged when you restore your system to an earlier date.

TimeShift system restore utility

Install TimeShift in Ubuntu 16.04:

TimeShift is available in its official PPA for all current support Ubuntu releases and derivatives.

1. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to add PPA:

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa

Type in your password when prompted and hit Enter.

TimeShift PPA

2. Update system package index and install TimeShift via command:

sudo apt update; sudo apt install timeshift

Once installed, launch the software from Unity Dash:


TimeShift Usage

The first time launching the utility will estimating system size and this may take a few minutes.

Once TimeShift is ready. Click the Backup to start backup your system.

Note that there’s no confirm dialog and/or cancel button available. So once you click Backup, you can not stop the process until it is done.


The snapshots (System Restore points) will be listed in the box, choose one, and then you can “Browse”, “Restore”, and “Delete” the snapshot.

To restore your system a previous state, select a snapshot and click Restore and the default settings will be OK:

TimeShift system restore

For those who want to automatically create and delete old snapshots on schedule, go to the Preferences window.

  • GS

    Thanks ML!