Best server software for TimeMachine backups

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by v04bvs, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. v04bvs macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2012
    I have few Macs in my home. Also I have HP MicroServer with few HDDs for my files. They are on the same LAN. I'm using Linux on the server.

    I want to setup a server software to enable TimeMachine backups for my Macs. For that I have to configure a network AFP shares. I'm seeing two options to do that:
    1. Install netatalk software on Linux.
    2. Install OS X as a KVM guest using OSK from my Mac, buy and install OS X Server and use its AFP implementation.
    I'm not sure that netatalk support is perfect for TimeMachine. I'm seeing mixed responses on the internet about it. Also it seems not very good supported in Linux distributes, I have to build it manually, etc. Though I know that it's used in consumer NAS devices, so probably it does work. I know that TimeMachine requires good AFP support from the server and I wonder if netatalk provides that? I definitely don't want to find out that my backups are corrupted when I need them.

    OS X Server probably have good AFP implementation, it's from Apple after all. I found a lot of guides, how to install it on a KVM. I know that I have to extract OSK information from a real Mac, no problem here. I can run both real OS X and virtual OS X at the same time, right? What I don't like is that OS X requires at least 2 GB RAM and my server has only 4 GB, so it's kind of constrained, but I guess, I can live with that.

    I'm trying to choose which way to follow. If netatalk is perfectly supports AFP, I'll use it, I don't want to tinker with virtual hackintosh unless I absolutely need to. On the other hand, if there are known issues about TimeMachine support with netatalk, I'll use OS X Server. That's what I want to find out.
  2. AppleNewton, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    Not sure about you're route, but the built in time machine server on OS X Server works just fine without any additional configuration otherwise you can set up crash plan on your server, Mac, Windows, Linux.
  3. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    Netatalk works great, until it doesn't. Once it decides to 'thin' the image you will run into problems with failed verifications. At the end of the day Netatalk is just an emulation that can't keep up with the changes Apple makes to Time Machine. Some have had better luck than others but my opinion is that a backup is something you don't want to find out has problems when you need it. If you're not using Apple hardware, Carbon Copy Cloner is probably a better solution.
  4. hobowankenobi, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    Another vote for Server TM. It just works...or at least it has in previous versions. I am not using it currently. Also adds features well worth the price of admission, such as allocating the amount of space each Mac can use, plus a dashboard view of backups. Check it out.

    If you want the easiest, hassle free solution that is truly cross platform, check out something like CrashPlan, which you can run on one box (your server) and use to backup other boxes (your Macs). Not a bootable clone, but a good, reliable, data backup with versioning, email notifications, and cloud backup if you want it....but local backups if you don't. Or both. Local only is free....which is pretty hard to beat.

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