Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We're setting up Mac OS X Server on a Mac Mini Server for the first time an just getting to grips with it. Now I'm trying to sort out a good backup solution for both the server and the user's home directories.

I've setup Time Machine in the System Preferences to back up the server, however looking at the manual it says that service data isn't backed up, only the preferences & whether services are on/off. Would the best option to just be to clone the server HD and then use that should anything need recovering that isn't covered by Time Machine?

Another issue is backing up our user's home directories. Our user accounts are set up and their home directories are being stored on the server's internal HD via an auto-mounted sharepoint. The problem is that the server admin user doesn't have permission to read any of the files/folders in the user's homes, and therefore cannot read them to perform a backup. Why is this? And how would this be overcome so proper backups can be made of all the user's home directories?


share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For the server, I use to make the backups from a MacOS server with rsync. It did involve manual steps but at least I was sure I was backing up everything I needed to recover!

For the home directory:

If the users are all using Mac as well, I would setup Time Machine on their computer. Since Time Machine can use a shared drive it pretty easy to setup (

share|improve this answer

rsync is definitely the way to go, there is also LBackup, which is worth mentioning. If you're interested in commercial packages as well, don't forget to check BRU by Tolisgroup, especially if you're thinking about backups to LTO.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.