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Delete Time Machine backups from the command line
Authored by: jaydisc on Apr 06, '13 05:52:30PM

Actually, it's using the Finder that's safe as it prevents you from doing anything you shouldn't. Due to the nature of hard links, there's no problem deleting an entire snapshot, which is the only thing that the Finder will let you do.

The only reason I ever had to rename Backups.backupd is that for each snapshot, the capacity (not the usage) is stored in the metadata of the volume's backup folder (check it out with xattr). When you try to restore that snapshot to a smaller volume (regardless of whether the contents fit or not), you are blocked. I had to alter that metadata once, and was only able to do it by renaming Backups.backupd, and then successfully restored that backup to a smaller drive.

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