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10.5: Use an unsupported local filesystem with Time Machine System 10.5
Leopard only hintI have a good sized ZFS volume on my desktop machine which I'd like to use for Time Machine backups for all my systems. This is no problem with backing up my other systems over the network thanks to this command:
defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
Works like a champ backing up my portable to that volume shared over AFP. But I also wanted to keep the boot drive on the desktop machine backed up to that same volume, which turns out to be almost unfeasible until Apple decides to let us use Time Machine with the mounted HFS+ disk image of our choice.

Apple also doesn't let you mount AFP or SMB shares on the machine you're sharing from, so that wasn't an option either (they should, though -- it would be great for testing purposes, as well as something like this).

I did a lot of research and only came up with one solution. It's not ideal, but it appears to work. Please don't bug me about ZFS's better uses and more advanced features; ZFS is unsupported and may break at any moment, so I'm just using it to provide some fault tolerance for seven 250GB drives. Also be aware that my desktop machine is a G5, and therefore is limited to OS 10.5.8.

Basically, the solution is pretty simple but requires an internet gateway or router which doesn't filter NAT redirects. Just share the volume you want to use, and then open up port forwarding on the gateway for AFP (port 548) to the IP of the machine you're sharing from.

Connect to afp://yourWANIP/yourShareNAME (get your WAN address, if necessary) from that same machine, and then select it in the Time Machine destination prefs. Run the defaults command above if it doesn't show up.

Because of the latency of gateway devices, it is super-slow but it does work. Of course, security, blah blah blah: make sure you don't have an easy-to-hack usernames or passwords on your system. If need be, add a second gateway behind your internet gateway if you're really worried.

I had looked into doing an NFS share, re-mounted locally so I would only have to go through my local NIC, but I couldn't get that to show up in Time Machine's destination list. If someone else has a proven method which doesn't involve the network, I'd love to hear it.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: Use an unsupported local filesystem with Time Machine
Authored by: glusk on May 03, '10 09:15:24AM

This works for Back to My Mac also. I never really made backups over the internet since it's slow, but I have poked around looking for a file to restore once or twice from a remote location. The drive was originally mounted it via: afp:// and after 10.6.3 Time Machine no longer found it. The defaults command at the top of this hint fixed this.


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10.5: Use an unsupported local filesystem with Time Machine
Authored by: digitist on May 07, '10 05:19:45AM

If you're handy with Linux you can make a afp server from an old computer.

Here's described how:

I have the afp server up and running based on Ubuntu 10.04LTS on an AMD machine. Bonjour did see it one time only, but that will take some fiddling and reading up on all the comments posted on the before mentioned site.

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10.5: Use an unsupported local filesystem with Time Machine
Authored by: jay_cee on May 14, '10 02:11:24PM

That page is a bit outdated.

I found this one to be up-to-date and useful:

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