Time Machine backups on regular SMB drive

Fri 13, Mar 2020 macos smb timemachine

I just set up my Mac to save Time Machine backups to a regular SMB share. Doing this is actually quite easy:

Step 1: Create a .sparsebundle

Open Disk Utility and choose File => New Image => Blank Image.

Give the image a name and size (check the Time Machine settings first to see how large your backups will be).


Now click Create.

Step 2: Copy the .sparsebundle to your server

Unmount the .sparsebundle by clicking the eject icon next to the image's name in the Finder sidebar. Now copy the .sparsebundle onto your server. You can now delete the original version from your Mac, just make sure that the copy is on your server.

Step 3: Configure Time Machine

Open up a new Terminal window and type

sudo tmutil setdestination "/Volumes/NameOfYourImage"

(replace NameOfYourImage with the name of your .sparsebundle image)

Congratulations, you're done! Now you can start a new backup in the Time Machine settings.

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