Recently I wanted to be able to backup my Mac via TimeMachine, but unfortunately I did not have a large enough HDD to back up, so I’ve decided to backup to one of my servers. Not until recently that was not an option until I ran into a blog post that produced an step by step configuration to run successfully, but what I did find out was that my server was getting full and TimeMachine did not do a good enough job deleting old backups. So, I found a single command to limit the backups, but what I found was that if the
plist has been already copied (meaning a backup was already ran), the new limits won’t be recognized. So you will need to run a new backup with carrying the limits on the new
plist to the server.
Below are the steps to successfully be able to config a TimeMachine backup server with limits on your backups so you don’t run out of storage 😉 .
- Ensure that you have a ubuntu 20.04 LTS image running with enough storage to perform the backups
sudo apt install -y netatalk avahi-daemon
sudo vi /etc/netatalk/afp.conf
- Add a section for your Time Machine:
path = /media/path/to/backups
time machine = yes
- Create a directory to act as the Time Machine:
sudo mkdir -p /media/path/to/backups
sudo chown nobody:nogroup
sudo chmod 777
- Restart netatalk:
sudo service netatalk restart
- Now, on your Mac, before doing anything else, might be smart to put a limit on your backup. The command below will put a 100GB limit.
sudo defaults write ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine MaxSize 102400
- At this point… you should be able to open the Time Machine settings in System Preferences and use Select Disk… to pick your new Time Machine backup drive. Where
/media/path/to/backupsshould show up on the path.
- Enjoy your Time Machine backups 🙂