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Thread: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Z View Post
    Note that discarding from bottom up has a very, very different effect, and a confusing one.

    Regards,
    /Chris Z.
    For other peoples benefit, I just made the mistake of not deleting snapshots in the top to bottom direction, and had the opposite effect of what I wanted. Basically, I lost all my most recent setup/install, and was reverted back to the 2nd last state. Thankfully in an odd round about way this reverted the SP3 update that had happened, which I wanted, and now things are okay... but it could have been a lot worse.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    The manual says just this text (on more 200 pages...), but it clearly explains what does the “Revert to current snapshot” choice. This si not so clear about the last sentence:

    To revert to an earlier snapshot, you right-click on the “Current state” item and
    select “Revert to current snapshot”. This will bring the VM back to the state of the
    nearest (most recent) snapshot. Similarly, you can merge several earlier snapshots
    into one by right-clicking on a snapshot and selecting “Discard snapshot”.

  3. #13
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    Lubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    I'm trying to understand all of this as I lost some work (only installed AV, FF3, other progs etc) myself.

    I have re-installed VB 2.1.0 after some initial shutdown problems but all is working fine now.

    This time I haven't made any snapshots but just have the 'Current State' of Windows XP. In my .VirtualBox folder I just have my 'XP.vdi' in the Harddisks folder. Is this the .vdi that I backup so that I can re-use it if I have to re-install Intrepid and VB 2.1.0? This would give me back my activated XP install, correct?'

    For now I am just backing up the whole .VirtualBox folder.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Z View Post
    This is not entirely correct.
    Merge works just fine.

    What you do is "Discard"ing snapshots, one by one, by discarding always the *topmost* one until you have only the "Current state" entry left. Done.

    Everything is now merged into a single file.

    Note that discarding from bottom up has a very, very different effect, and a confusing one.

    Regards,
    /Chris Z.
    Now the sickening irony is that I have ruined a good number of VMs and I have still to figure out whether you are (a) plain wrong (b) what the heck you mean by 'top' or 'bottom'. Top could mean: top of the window, top of the tree (ironically, the 'trunk'), the top of the snapshot stack (in the LIFO sense of the word, so: the actual leaf-node or treetop to be completely confusing)... mirror that for bottom.

    It couldn't be more unclear. IMHO

    Seth

  5. #15
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Hi,

    Snapshots are much like differential backups. Very useful for making large changes to the system and then reverting back.

    It is important not to manually delete them, because this can break virtual machines.

    Another useful methods is to simply copy over the entire virtual machine hard disk file. This is an effective clone. And there's also the clone feature.

    Dedoimedo
    Linux Systems Expert / Systems Programmer, LPIC-1, LPIC-2(WIP), GSEC, CCHD, CCHA
    http://www.dedoimedo.com - A place to learn a lot about a lot!

    Pangolin Review | Ringtail Review | Linux Games | My books

  6. #16
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Is it possible to revert to an old snapshot without discarding a newer one, like in VMWare?

  7. #17
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Hmm, on both VMware and Vbox, I stop the VM and then make a tar ball of the directory. In my humble experience, that is the the only sure fire way to know what you got and be able to revert back to any saved version. When debugging problems I sometimes run multiple versions (effectively clones) of the same system which allows me to compare results.

    Cheers,

    Herman

  8. #18
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Hi,

    I am sorry, but the original post is still too confusing.

    Found this blog which explains perfectly how to manage VirtualBox snapshots and cloning a VDI which has snapshots:

    http://srackham.wordpress.com/clonin...tual-machines/

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    I am running virtualbox from Vista (hope I'm still welcome on this forum and have made a snapshot of Windows7. Someone told me I can use the snapshot to run/boot win7 directly from an external source like a usb-stick on any machine, independent of virtualbox. Is this correct? I have copied the snapshot vdi file to a stick but no surprise - I can't run it just by clicking on it..
    Any experiece with this?

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Re: HOWTO: VirtualBox Snapshots. The Ins and Outs of Snapshots.

    Is there a way to have a "tree" of snapshots instead of a "line" of snapshots? The way the VBox GUI presents it, it leads me to believe I can build a whole hierarchy of snapshots, but I can't find how. Here's an example of what I would want:

    Code:
    base ---> snap1 ---> snap2 ---> snap3
          |          |
          |          |
          |          --> snap2.1 --- snap2.2
          |
          |
          --> snap1.1 ---> snap1.2 ---> snap1.3
                                    |
                                    |
                                    --> snap1.3.1
    The Snapshots tab in the VBox gui displays the snapshots in a tree-like fashion, which makes it appear that such a tree is possible. When I'm at snap3, I would like to go back to snap2 and "fork" a new state to make snap2.1, then go back to base and "fork" yet another state to make snap1.1.

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