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10.5: Set the Time Machine backup interval
Authored by: st601486 on Oct 19, '10 08:03:30PM

Kind of an old thread, but I've only been playing around with it again recently.

I haven't totally figured this out, but for those that don't want to mess with com.apple.backupd-auto.plist, you may try something like the following:

1. Select a Time Machine disk, but turn Time Machine "Off" in the System Preferences Pane.
2. Create a folder called ~/Library/LaunchAgents if it doesn't already exist.
3. Create a text file with a unique name, e.g. com.macworld.hints.timemachine-kludge.plist in that folder (I used Unicode UTF-8 with Unix line feeds)
4. Type something like the following:

<?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">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>Label</key>
<string>com.macworld.hints.timemachine-kludge</string>
<key>LowPriorityIO</key>
<true/>
<key>ProgramArguments</key>
<array>
<string>/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/backupd-helper</string>
</array>
<key>StartCalendarInterval</key>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>4</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>15</integer>
</dict>
</dict>
</plist>

5. Log out and log back in.

Note 1: In this case, I'm trying to trigger at 4:15 am every day. You really want to specify a minute (even if it's zero) or else the command seems to execute as many times as it can within the hour (e.g. backups at 4:00, 4:06, 4:12, 4:18, 4:24, etc) . If you want it to trigger at multiple arbitrary times, it seems like you can use an array for StartCalendarInterval. For instance:

<key>StartCalendarInterval</key>
<array>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>5</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
<dict>
<key>Hour</key>
<integer>17</integer>
<key>Minute</key>
<integer>0</integer>
</dict>
</array>

Note 2: If you want to use an interval instead, use a key named StartInterval to define a number of seconds instead of dictionary named StartCalendarInterval.

Note 3: I haven't tried it yet, but you might be able to move the plist to /Library/LaunchDaemons/ One thing I found made it sounds like /Library/LaunchAgents would only run once someone logged in?

Note 4: Not sure how I feel about the LowPriorityIO and Nice keys. I made it low priority (maybe a mistake for a backup ... hm), but left nice at the default.

References:
http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=200710291721156
http://www.afp548.com/
http://plist.spotmac.de/
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1447594
http://hohle.net/scrap_post.php?post=217



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