Originally published at Dom's Blog. You can comment here or there.
There are many posts online regarding the fact that you can allow Mac OS X’s built-in backup software, Time Machine, to backup to an NFS volume, but what is not mentioned on many of these pages is the fact the format of the sparsebundle has changed, so an additional step is necessary in order to create the file manually which is to be used for the backup.
I connected my Mac to the same switch as the NFS server for the initial backup, in order for it to proceed much faster and potentially more reliably than if they were only connected through my wifi router.
You may also need to set your hostname in the system preferences ‘sharing’ dialogue to something without spaces nor quotes.
Set the option to allow backing up to unsupported filesystems, namely NFS in my case:
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
Create the file on the desktop using hdiutil at first, my example creates a sparsebundle capable of holding up to 320 GB of data, although the file doesn’t take up that much space initially. The name should include the system’s hostname and MAC address.
hdiutil create -size 320g -type SPARSEBUNDLE -nospotlight -volname "Backup of Dominic-MBP" -fs "Case-sensitive Journaled HFS+" -verbose /Users/dominic/Desktop/Dominic-MBP_f81defec32e3.sparsebundle
Next, create an XML file which describes the package itself and replace “YOURUUIDHERE” with the system’s hardware UUID (from the system profiler), save the file as com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
Now copy it into your disk image directory:
cp /Users/dominic/Desktop/com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist /Users/dominic/Desktop/Dominic-MBP_f81defec32e3.sparsebundle/
Make sure you can write to the NFS filesystem as root from the Mac (because Time Machine will run with sudo), and that you have your Mac plugged in and the option set not to sleep within a short space of time in case you walk away whilst it’s doing the first backup.
References: Macworld; rajeev.name; levelofindirection.com; Apple Clinic