TimeMachine backups on FreeBSD-10

I usually work on a Macbook, and I use keyless ssh with a cron job to do nightly backups.  It works very well.  However, I decided to try backups with Time Machine, using my FreeBSD-10 server as the host.

The first step is to install netatalk3, and nss_mdns

pkg install netatalk3
pkg install nss_mdns

avahi needs mDNS, so that needs to be configured in /etc/nsswitch.conf.  Ensure that this line exists:

hosts: files dns mdns

Finally, configure netatalk.  My configuration in /usr/local/etc/afp.conf looks like

vol preset = default_for_all_vol
log file = /var/log/netatalk.log
hosts allow =
mimic model = TimeCapsule6,116

file perm = 0640
directory perm = 0750
cnid scheme = dbd

basedir regex = /storage/home
time machine = yes

You'll need to start dbus, avahi, and netatalk, like this:

/usr/local/etc/rc.d/dbus onestart
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/avahi-daemon onestart
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/netatalk onestart

The next step takes place on your OS X client machine.  On each host that will perform backups, enable Time Machine to see non-TM volumes:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Then, mount your user's share using afp://.  This will make the share visible to TimeMachine.

After this, you should be able to see your Netatalk shares in Time Machine, and perform backups

9 Responses to "TimeMachine backups on FreeBSD-10"

  • anon
    August 25, 2014 - 11:01 pm Reply

    defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1 is not needed for netatalk volumes. Only for SMB shares.

  • hilbert
    August 28, 2014 - 2:08 am Reply

    There is no mention that it is necessary to create something like a HFS+ formatted (growing) sparsebundle disk image to write the TimeMachine data to. Is this not necessary any more? I had to do that on my 10.7 machines.

    In fact i’m just testing this myself here with a Mavericks install.

    • tom@khubla.com
      August 28, 2014 - 8:57 am Reply

      I did’t need to do that. In my case I used a UFS disk. In this later article, I used ZFS.

  • Reverse Takeover | the BSD report
    September 15, 2014 - 5:42 am Reply

    […] in the roundup include a puppet master-agent installation on FreeBSD, some pfSense items, using ZFS with your Apple Time Machine backups and a Lumina Desktop […]

  • Preston Garrison
    February 6, 2015 - 8:07 pm Reply

    Don’t forget to add the following to /etc/rc.conf so it starts on reboot


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