Time Machine and ignoring a folder

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,513
2,317
Shropshire, UK
I was just reading this thread http://communities.vmware.com/message/776770#776770

Has anyone tried that workaround by ignoring your VM folder? Also any issues with running Time Machine and VMware concurrently, does it absolutely have to be closed while Time Machine is doing its backup?
Just trying it now with the folder excluded (which makes sense given the explanation from VMWare). If it's excluded I don't see why you'd need to have Fusion closed down to be honest.
Only thing to remember if you do exclude the VM folder is that (obviously) none of the VMs are getting backed up...
 

tyr2

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2006
801
83
Leeds, UK
With any backup tool backing up a VM whilst it's running isn't going to be that reliable, you risk filesystem corruption within the VM itself when you come to restore it. This is caused by the filesystem not being quiesced before it is backed up.

With Time Machine it'll be even worse, if it's taking a backup each hour you'll end up backing up the whole VMDK each hour as the file will have changed.

If you want to backup the VM either power it down first and copy the files to a different location, or investigate a backup tool appropriate to the VM you are running.

If you're running Linux in the VM you could consider rsyncing the filesystem to a directory on Leopard and then using Time Machine to back that up.
 

shinji

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 18, 2007
1,316
1,508
With any backup tool backing up a VM whilst it's running isn't going to be that reliable, you risk filesystem corruption within the VM itself when you come to restore it. This is caused by the filesystem not being quiesced before it is backed up.

With Time Machine it'll be even worse, if it's taking a backup each hour you'll end up backing up the whole VMDK each hour as the file will have changed.

If you want to backup the VM either power it down first and copy the files to a different location, or investigate a backup tool appropriate to the VM you are running.

If you're running Linux in the VM you could consider rsyncing the filesystem to a directory on Leopard and then using Time Machine to back that up.
I'm running XP Pro and it's really just one windows I app I use, my VM is pretty simple. I was going to set Time Machine to run every morning at 5 am. If I just excluded the folder containing the actual virtual machine, and then time machine ran at 5 but I had forgotten to close VMware before I went to sleep, do you think I'd be ok?

I actually don't mind the VM itself not getting backed up, there isn't really much to backup and I could do that manually myself anyway...no need for different versions of it etc. I just don't want to mess up anything else, like you said.

On Tiger I just used SuperDuper but I did the backups manually myself so I'd know to close everything including vmware beforehand. Shame there's no Leopard-compatible version of that yet.

Time Machine has no hidden on-demand functionality does it?
 

tyr2

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2006
801
83
Leeds, UK
Backing it up whilst it's running shouldn't cause any problems with the VM you are running. The problem arrises when you try to restore that backup. At the very least you'd need to delete the lock files before it'll boot and you might get filesystem problems.

If you want to back it up occasionally how about excluding the normal VM folder from Time Machine, then just copying the VM to a different (included in Time Machine) folder each time you want to back it up. Shut the VM down first obviously. In that case it Time Machine will back it up in due course and you shouldn't have any problems restoring it.
 
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