Friday, August 1, 2008

Time machine Backups on FreeNAS

Please read this new post!

It is possible to use a NAS-Volume for Apples Mac OSX 'Time machine' backups! As described on many websites you have to enable this function. But I've only found one howto that really works!

Here are the steps...

1. Enable the function that allows Time machine to do backups on Network-Volumes in the terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal)
defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
2. You have to create a growing Sparsebundle that will be used by Time machine

It is necessary that this Sparsebundle has a special name.
The name must be COMPUTERNAME_SOMECHARACTERS.sparsebundle. The SOMECHARACTERS are the MAC-Address of the en0 network interface (without : ).
For example name.domain.something_001122334455.sparsebundle

The Parameters for this sparsebundle:
- Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
- Partitions: No partition map
- Volumesize: As much as you want to use for your Time machine backups (the size will grow over the time to this value)

4. After you've copied this sparsebundle to your Network Volume you want to use, open the Time machine system preferences and choose the Volume you want to use. It is not necessary to choose the sparsebundle.

I use this method on two Macs at home on a AFP-Share since several months without any problem!


Steve said...

fantastic, will give this a try once I have FreeNAS setup and running

Fernando Reyes said...

Thanks a lot! Works perfect!

Benjamin said...

for some reason when I do this it just "the backup disk image could not be created". Did I do something wrong?

harryd said...

@Benjamin: Do you've read also the new post? ( ) This is definitely the better way to use FreeNAS as a time machine backup device.

BTW: Maybe you need to change the permission and give the user write access to the share 'chmod' will help you. ( )