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Time Machine Backup

Okay, so after a few days of messing around, and reading various forums, I happened across a method of setting up Apple’s Time Machine software to work on my Ubuntu network share. I just wanted to document here for anyone else, who may have a hard time coming up with a solution.

I’ll start off with documenting my server-side setup a bit:

  • I have LVM set up on my Ubuntu box thats formatted as ReiserFS.
  • I also have Netatalk compiled and installed (with SSL libraries).
  • The various required ports for AFP have been opened in my firewall.
  • I created two shares under Netatalk, called “Fileserver” and “Zeke Backup”

And now, the steps I took to make it all work:

  • Find a USB or Firewire drive, plug it in and format it (I called mine “Zeke Backup”). Alternatively, you could partition your drive, but I’m not going to get into that.
  • Open up the Time Machine preference pane and configure it to use the drive you formatted.
  • As soon as it starts its first backup, turn Time Machine off
  • Close System Preferences and Time Machine if you have then open, then mount your network share (Fileserver in my case).
  • Open a terminal and copy all the files (including hidden “dot” files) to your fileserver.
  • Unmount your network share (“Fileserver”)
  • Unmount the USB Drive
  • Mount your network share (that should have the same name as your USB drive had)
  • Open System preferences and turn Time Machine on.

Note: I do not recommend doing this if you aren’t on a lan with your fileserver, as the first backup will backup your whole hard drive and take a significant amount of time.


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