Linux Time Machine with netatalk (AFP)

I have an old mac mini that I want to back up, and of course I want to use Apple’s fancy Time Machine backup. Thing is, it’s old, from early 2009 and the newest OS X it can run is 10.11.6 El Capitan. Apparently, older versions of OS X can’t backup to Samba, which is what I use for serving files.


Newer OS X can actually backup using Samba for Time Machine but older ones can only use Apple File Protocol (AFP). There is a project to run a AFP daemon on linux:

In Debian 10 you can do the typical apt install netatalk, systemctl enable –now netatalk.

Config file: /etc/netatalk/afp.conf

; Netatalk 3.x configuration file

mimic model = TimeCapsule
zeroconf name = fileserverafp
log file = /var/log/netatalk
log level = default:debug

[FS Backup]
mimic model = TimeCapsule
path = /storage/bu/timemachinebackup
time machine = yes
force user = rushworx
force group = rushworx
guest account = rushworx
valid users = rushworx

Surely I do not need all of this stuff but it works, and I don't use it for anything else so why fiddle with it. 

time machine

The missing piece of this puzzle is Bonjour / Avahi. I had issues with it but it turns out if you don’t have it all you have to do is mount the share once first, then it becomes available under Time Machine settings.