Time Warp

Welcome to the wiki pages for Time Warp - the easy to use real-time backup system for Ubuntu, which is currently in development, and slated for Beta Release later in 2014.

Timewarp Archives only the files that change, when they change, and is highly configurable so that you can control what gets backed and how the backup uses your system.


Installation instructions will be entered here when the Timewarp suite is ready to install.

Ease of use


TimeWarp is easy to use. A default configuration requires only two setting before it will safely start backing up your files : i.e. what to back up and where to back up to. See Minimal configuration Settings for the only two mandatory options


Recover individual files using the TimeWarp recovery tool using the click and drag interface, or using the command line tool.


A command line tool - TWMonitor is provided to show current progress of the backup, and what is pending. An indicator applet will also be provided for GUI users to watch progress of their backups.


TimeWarp is a highly configurable : For Details on the full configuration of TimeWarp - Configuration by Category

In particular users can configure :

Source directories

TimeWarp can watch for file changes in many different directories, or even specific files.


Timewarp can be configured to ignore directories and files based on their file names, suffixes or file sizes, conversely in can be configured to only backup files, ignoring all others in the directory. See Filtering configuration settings for details of the available filters settings.


Timewarp can be configured to tune that amount of rescources that it uses while executing, including tuning the average CPU Time and Bandwidth used by the backup operation. See Performance configuration settings for details of the performance settings

Per user configuration

Individual users can be given the ability to define their own backup settings - including their own directories, filters etc. See Enabling User specific configuration for details of the settings to enable user specific settings.


TimeWarp has several advantages over "Traditional" backup systems :


Traditional - Full/Incremental



A traditional system will do a full backup typically once a week, Saving every file whether it has changed or not, and then an incremental backup every day, saving those files which have changed that day

TimeWarp only saves files the files that change as they change.


A recovery involves searching though a tyoically large archive file from the previous day, and extracting the file from that archive, typically this can be a time consuming operation.

Recovering a single file in timeWarp is a very quick operation, extracting the most recent version from a small file.

Elapsed Time for Backups

Traditional backups take a long time to create as all the files are scanned, and then saved.

TimeWarp takes a very small amount of time (typically a few seconds) each time a file is saved.

Elapsed Time for Backups

Traditional backups take a long time to create as all the files are scanned, and then saved.

TimeWarp takes a very small amount of time (typically a few seconds) each time a file is saved.

Resources (CPU/Bandwidth)

Typically High CPU usage while both types of backup are generated. High Network Bandwith if the backup destination is a network Drive

Timewarp only backups those files which change, reducing CPU and bandwidth usage to a minimum. TimeWarp can be tuned (via configuration) to control the average CPU usage and bandwidth usage so that the system remains usable.

System Shutdown

Typically traditional systems advise strongly against shutting down the system during the backup operation, as this will abort the current operation and will often result in corrupted archives with little or not valid data.

It is perfectly safe to shutdown the system while Timewarp is running. Timewarp is designed to make all operations short, and to restart where it left off. Even it's backup files are backed up to reduce the risk of interruptions causing failures.

Power Interruptions

Even small interruptions of the power could cause fatal network interruptions or disk glitches which could prove fatal to any open archive file currently being written to; Invalidating all the data stored in the archive.

Although TimeWarp (like all other software) is still susceptible to power interruptions; because the archive files are much smaller, and only contain one file's data and are only open for a very small time period, the chances of significant damage are very much smaller. In addition, Timewarp protects itself by creating backup copies of it's archives before they are opened - making error recovery very easy.

More details

Advanced Information


TimeWarp is developed by anthony.flury@btinternet.com

TimeWarp (last edited 2014-04-02 08:27:07 by anthony-flury)