Migrating time-machine from AFP to SAMBA

Great news on the 3.9.2-55 release. I have been using the time-machine facility over AFP for some time and I am willing to test the smb based time-machine backups. Has anyone migrated from AFP to SAMBA shares? Are there any issues I need to be aware of? Is it as simple as unexport and re-share, or is it recommended to simply start a new time-machine backup?


@Bazza Hello again. Re:

Thanks for the encouragement. I’d really intended to announce the pending death of AFP within Rockstor for some time but just about managed not to do this. Oh well.

That would be a great help, thanks.

I’d say hopefully the former, but if you have the space I’d go with the latter. Latter also less risky as then wont mess up your existing TM backups. But I don’t actually know. As stated in the release notes we are some what compromised on appropriate Apple hardware. Apologies all around on that I’m sure but was just unavoidable currently. So yes if you could give it a try that would be great. There may however be interference between the 2 when run concurrently so I’d disable the AFP before setting up the TM over SMB.

@Flox is the main contact on this one as is more up on this stuff but again we are both short on real hardware to fully test this. I had fully tested our AFP with TM way back but that gear, although still working and around, is now deprecated by Apple and so essentially useless for testing this new feature.

Thanks again for offering to help on this one.

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Thank you immensely for your words, they’re extremely motivating and encouraging!

I wish I could have done more testing on this feature to give you more information but as @phillxnet explained, it was unfortunately not possible for me to get access to recent Apple hardware and couldn’t really get some just for that. That’s why your prompt offer is wonderful news and very motivating!

Now as to your questions: I completely agree with what @phillxnet has said and I would disable AFP before trying to use Samba for your timemachine. This is because I’ve seen several reports of people running into compatibility with Netatalk, and given it is not supported anymore, these problems unfortunately are not likely to get fixed.

Here’s what I would thus do:

  1. Go to System > Groups and create a new group dedicated for a new user: let’s call that group macosusers for instance.
  2. Go to System > Users and create a new user and choose the group created above for its group membership. I’m not sure whether this is necessary given you may already have a dedicated group and user from your AFP setup, but that might be something to keep in mind in case of problem.
  3. Create a new share.
  4. Edit access to this share and set the user in step 2 as owner, and also give read/write/exec access to the group level (these steps are similar to what is already described for AFP in our documentation, by the way).
  5. Make sure the Samba service is turned ON. If not, configure it and turn it ON from Rockstor webUI.
  6. Go to Storage > Samba, and create a new Samba export.
  7. In this dialog, select the share you just create for your Time Machine backup in step 3 above, and set the user mentioned in step 2 as admin.
  8. Make sure to check the checkbox for “Is this export for Time Machine?”.
  9. Leave everything else with default values and then submit to create the export.
  10. From your Mac, you should be able to see and select this share in the list of available Disks in the Time Machine preferences. If not, you may need to connect to this server first, either by selecting it in the sidebar of Finder (and select “Connect as” using the credentials for the user you created in step 2 above), or “Go > Connect to server” and then entering smb://rockstorIP/share_name. Once you’ve done this, the share should appear in the list of Disks for Time Machine. This is the same as for your AFP setup as was described in our documentation: http://rockstor.com/docs/samba_ops.html#from-a-mac

Again, I agree with @phillxnet’s recommendation of setting a separate share for that at first to make sure everything works fine so that you don’t risk your existing Time Machine backups.

I hope this helps, or at least will guide you towards what’s needed to get it working just the way you need and want.

Oh, and would it be possible to let us know your mac OS version for reference?

Thanks again!

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Many thanks for the detailed and enthusiastic responses. My partner had until two weeks ago a Macbook Air running macOS 10.14 Mojave, sadly this died after a meeting with a spilled drink :frowning:

This has now been replaced with a Macbook Pro running macOS 10.15 Catalina. As I’m not sure on the compatibility of time-machine backups is between operating systems versions. I will go with the suggested option of creating a new share. As its not my laptop, I’ll have to wait for it to become free before I can start testing various things.

I will update here with my experiences.