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HowTo: Make Ubuntu a Perfect Mac File Server and Time Machine Volume

13/01/2016 Comments off

ubuntu time machineFor quite some time I use my Ubuntu machine as a file and backup server for all Macs in my network which is perfectly accessible from the Finder in Mac OS X. There are some instructions available in the web for this task but all failed in my case so I wrote my own tutorial with all the steps needed for it to work properly.

So here’s my little Tutorial for connecting Mac OS X Leopard with Ubuntu and using your Ubuntu machine as a backup volume for Time Machine but all steps can be reproduced on every Linux box and they work with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger too. At the end of this tutorial you will have a server which shows up in the Finder sidebar and behaves just like a Mac server when accessing it from your Macs. To be perfectly integrated with Mac OS X we’re going to use Apple’s Filing Protocol (AFP) for network and file sharing.

Although this Tutorial involves using the Terminal in Ubuntu and looks a bit geeky it’s very easy even for beginners. I have tried to explain all steps and Terminal commands so you may learn a bit about the Terminal too. At the end of the article you can download my Server Displays icon pack quickly made by me with custom icons for a Mac, Ubuntu and Windows server.

Personally I use a fresh installation of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Desktop version (32bit on one machine, 64bit on the other) and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.3 and later) to connect to them. On my Ubuntu boxes there’s no other file sharing protocol like samba (Windows sharing) or NFS activated.

Rumors are Apple will add some undocumented AFP commands with the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update which therefor won’t be supported by the current Netatalk package (and maybe never will). So be sure to check the latest comments on this article when the 10.5.6 update is out to see if this rumor is true and if there are problems caused by that.

Here are the steps involved in setting up your Ubuntu box as a Mac file server:

  1. Modify and install Netatalk (Open Source AFP implementation)
  2. Configure Netatalk
  3. Configure shared volumes (and Time Machine volume)
  4. Install Avahi (Open Source Bonjour implementation)
  5. Configure Avahi and advertise services
  6. Configure TimeMachine
  7. Conclusion, Problems and more informations
  8. Downloading and using the Server Display Icons
  9. Translations Of This Article

Lire la suite…