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I have an existing Ubuntu installation, it has ext4 filesystems in it. I'm trying to use Timeshift to backup its data to an external hard drive.

The Timeshift utility is only able to take either btrfs snapshots, or use rsync to backup to an external drive that has a Linux filesystem. But the external hard drive I own has a single NTFS partition, and I plan to keep it that way. So the second best method would be to:

1. Edit fstab to automount the external NTFS partition on system startup.

2. Create a disk image on the said external partition, this disk image will have a Linux filesystem.

3. Also edit the fstab to automount that disk image at system startup.

Now I can use Timeshift to schedule backups to that disk image which resides on the external NTFS partition, which has a Linux filesystem, and which was automounted on system startup.

But the problem is, I don't know how to correctly and efficiently do above steps, as I'm still a newbie in Linux, and I'm also not a developer. I use Linux because I like its, not because I'm a programmer or anything.

So my questions are basically these:

  1. How can I create and automate the mounting of a disk image on Linux?
  2. Is the method described above viable, efficient, and data-safe?
  3. Is there any other backup methods that I can use?
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  • A pretty good writeup on creating a filesystem-in-a-file here. Can't tell if just adding things in /etc/fstab is sufficient, but in any case it can be scripted. – xenoid Mar 26 at 22:20

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