Sunday, January 3, 2010

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Using Apple Time Machine with FreeNAS (4)

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Attaching Time Machine to FreeNAS

By default, Time Machine does not attach to networked storage (other than Time Capsule, of course). Fortunately, it is very simple to change that default setting. First, ensure that Time Machine is turned off (System Preferences->Time Machine). Next, open a terminal window on your Mac and execute the following command.

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Finally, a sparse bundle must be created and copied to the FreeNAS server. Sparse bundles are where Time Machine does all its work. Sparse bundles can also be configured to limit the size that backups will consume (very useful if you want to use your NAS server for more than just backing up a single Mac).

Creating a sparse bundle requires that you first discover the name of your Mac (System Preferences->Sharing) and the en0 MAC address. To discover the en0 MAC address, open a terminal window and execute the following command.

ifconfig en0 | grep ether

Sample output: ether 00:24:ab:df:83:a4

Assuming that your machine name is MacBook and your MAC address is given by the sample output above, the following command executed in a terminal window will create a valid sparse bundle with a maximum size of 320GB.

hdiutil create -size 320g -fs HFS+J -volname "Backup" MacBook_0024abdf83a4.sparsebundle

Once the sparse bundle is created, access the share on FreeNAS through Finder (Go->Connect to Server). Remember the protocol is AFP, so the server address is afp://<FreeNAS IP Address>. Browse to the appropriate share; in my case it was Apple.

Transfer the sparse bundle to the share by opening a terminal window and executing the following command.

rsync -avE ~/MacBook_0024abdf83a4.sparsebundle /Volumes/Apple

Where MacBook_0024abdf83a4.sparsebundle is the name of the sparse bundle you created and /Volumes/Apple is the FreeNAS AFP share.

Once the sparse bundle is transferred, the Apple share on the FreeNAS server should be available when you hit the Select Disk button in the Time Machine Preferences window.

Apple Time Machine can now be used with FreeNAS.

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vmedinskiy said...

Did you try to make full system restore from freenas?
I can't do this.

Anonymous said...

get an error stating that my FreeNas does not support the correct version of AFP?

FreeNAS version is 0.7.2 Sabanda (revision 5422)
running MB air with OSX Lion.


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