Interactive, file-level Time Machine-like tool for ZFS

Interactive, file-level Time Machine-like tool for ZFS

I adore addons, because they are adorable!

The dream of a CLI ZFS Time Machine is still alive with httm.

httm prints the size, date and corresponding locations of available unique versions (deduplicated by modify time and size) of files residing on ZFS snapshots, but can also be used interactively to view and restore such files. httm might change the way you use ZFS snapshots (because ZFS isn’t designed for finding for unique file versions) or the Time Machine concept (because httm is very fast!).

httm boasts an array of seductive features, like:

Search for and recursively list all deleted files! Ooooooooo!
List file snapshots from all local pools (httm automatically detects local snapshots as well as locally replicated snapshots)!
List file snapshots from remote backup pools (you may designate replicated remote snapshot directories).
For use with even rsync-ed non-ZFS local datasets (like ext4, APFS, or NTFS), not just ZFS.
Specify multiple files for lookup on different datasets
3 native interactive modes: lookup, select and restore
ANSI ls colors from your environment
Non-blocking recursive directory walking (available in all interactive modes)
Select from several formatting styles. Parseable … or not … oh my!

Use in combination with you favorite shell (hot keys!) for even more fun.

Inspired by the findoid script, fzf and many zsh key bindings.

The httm project contains only a few components:

The httm executable. To build and install:

curl –proto ‘=https’ –tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh
git clone
cargo install –path ./httm/

The optional zsh hot-key bindings: Use ESC+s to select snapshots filenames to be dropped to your command line (for instance after the cat command), or use ESC+m to browse for all of a file’s snapshots. After you install the httm binary, to copy the hot key script to your home directory, and source that script within your .zshrc:

httm –install-zsh-hot-keys

The optional man page: cargo has no native facilities for man page installation (though it may in the future!). You can use manpath to see the various directories your system uses and decide which directory works best for you. To install, just copy it to a directory in your man path, like so:

cp ./httm/httm.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1/

Right now, you will need to use a Unix-ish-y Rust-supported platform to build and install (that is: Linux, Solaris/illumos, the BSDs, MacOS). Note, your platform does not need to support ZFS to use httm. And there is no fundamental reason a non-interactive Windows version of httm could not be built, as it once did build, but Windows platform support is not a priority for me right now. Contributions from users are, of course, very welcome.

On some Linux distributions, which include old versions of libc, cargo may require building with musl instead, see the linked issue.

Example Usage
Print all local file snapshots of your history file:

Create tar archive of all versions of your /var/log/syslog:

httm -n /var/log/syslog | tar -zcvf all-versions-zshrc.tar.gz -T –
Create git archive of all file versions of /etc/sysconfig/iptables:

# create variable for file name
# create git repo
mkdir ./archive-git; cd ./archive-git; git init
# copy each version to repo and commit after each copy
for version in $(httm -n $file); do
cp “$version” ./
git add “./$(basename $version)”
git commit -m “$(stat -c %y $version)”
# create git tar.gz archive
git archive –format=tar.gz -o “../archive-git-$(basename $file).tar.gz” master; cd ../
Print all files on snapshots deleted from your home directory, recursive, newline delimited, piped to a deleted-files.txt file:

httm -d -n -R –no-live ~> deleted-files.txt
Browse all files in your home directory, recursively, and view versions on local snapshots:

Browse all files deleted from your home directory, recursively, and view versions on all local and alternative replicated dataset snapshots:

Browse all files in your home directory, recursively, and view versions on local snapshots, to select and ultimately restore to your working directory:

I know what you’re thinking, but slow your roll.

To be clear, httm is not a H__ T__ T___ M______.

httm is licensed under the MPL 2.0 License – see the LICENSE file for more details.

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Charlie Layers

Charlie Layers

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