I recently replaced a Windows 2003 box with an OSX Leopard server; the users are now 90% mac users and long file names are always a problem for mac users on a windows file share so it makes sense. I installed the OSX server and setup the file shares required. Being an OSX Leopard server Time Machine is the obvious choice to backup the server. So it seems out of the box you can only use Time Machine with another OSX server or so it seems. I have always been keen on FreeNAS having used its cousin m0n0wall for some as a firewall.
A bit of quick digging round lead me to an article on ReadyNAS by DavidB
. The instructions are for ReadyNAS but they work just as well for FreeNAS and I’m sure any other server you may want to use.
A quick summary of the process I followed based on the above article:
- Setup your FreeNAS backup server, I installed FreeNAS on a small 20 GB drive and setup 2 x 1TB sata drives with Raid 0.
- Create your file share, I used AFP and named the fileshare ‘Backups’ to match the default name other Time Machine backups use. I ended up with a 1.6TB backup file share.
- Create a local FreeNAS user to authenticate with.
- Create your ‘sparsebundle’ as if you are not using a mac formatted HFS+J drive Time Machine will fail to create the sparsebundle and you will get an error. To create the spasebundle use the following command. The format of the sparsebundle's name is _.sparsebundle .
hdiutil create -size 1500g -fs HFS+J -volname "Backup of server" server_0015dda324e3.sparsebundle
NOTE : if you do not make the maximum size of the backup large enough the Time Machine backup will fail. The first time I did a backup it failed because the backup was larger than the maximum size of the sparsebundle.
- Connect your share and copy over the sparsebundle into the Backups share.
- Open console on your OSX Leopard server and execute the following command.
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
- Open Time Machine preferences and choose ‘Change Disk’ you should see your Backups file share, select it, you will be prompted to authenticate, enter you username and password and close the Time Machine preferences
- Disconnect your file share.
- You can either wait for Time Machine to do a backup or run a backup to test.
Good luck this worked for me, hopefully it will be a reliable backup, we will see over the next few weeks.