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Under Mac OS X 10.6 Server (and perhaps older), when setting up a share I had an option I could check to make the share available as a TimeMachine backup location. By doing so, I could have multiple separate TM backup destinations on a single server, thereby preventing one machine from filling up the backup destination to the detriment of any other machine.

Under 10.7 server, however, I can't seem to find this option. There doesn't seem to be such an option when setting up shares, and under the TM server settings I can only select a single backup destination. Is there any way under Lion server to have multiple TM backup destinations to choose from on the client side?

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Same problem here - except I upgraded from 10.5, not 10.6. I asked this question here: apple.stackexchange.com/q/31492/1818 but haven't got an answer yet. –  glenstorey Nov 17 '11 at 20:15

2 Answers 2

My headhurts from fixing this. I found this discussion thread which allowed me to enable Time Machine Sharing for more than one volume. It's not as tricky as it sounds, but you do need to go step by step.

The only things I had to do that weren't in this discussion thread were:

  • I had to log in as root. Root was disabled in my server, so I had to enable it.
  • I couldn't be bothered downloading xCode, so I used pListEditPro to edit the pLists.
  • If you use Server.app's Time Machine service as suggested by the discussion it renames the Time Machine Share to "Backups" which is annoying if you're upgrading from a previous set up.

I have figured out a way to enable multiple backup targets. However, it's one of these things I wouldn't want to describe to anyone except true programmer types, because everyone else has a 90%+ chance of messing up their system if they do something wrong. It involves turning off file sharing, and then editing the plist files in /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/sharepoints/

The gist of it is this:

a) first create all the share points you later want to use for TimeMachine, and set them up for afp-only file sharing, also create one TM target, which you can either use later, or have there so the system has one entry it knows how to handle. I just made a bogus one that I'm not actively using.

b) turn off file sharing in Server.app

c) turn off TimeMachine in Server.app

d) now you can edit the files, the easiest is with Xcode, so you may want to install that first

e) for each sharpoint you made in a) there will be a corresponding .plist file in the location indicated, these are the files that need to be edited.

f) for each of these files 1) the item0 string property in the timeMachineBackup array must be switched from 0 to 1 2) a new key of type array with the name timeMachineBackupUUID must be created 3) in the newly created array an item of type string must be placed with the value of a UUID, which can be created with the shell command uuidgen

g) make sure all the edited plist files are saved

h) turn on TimeMachine in the Server.app again

Big thanks to Ronald C.F. Antony who found this fix on Apple's Discussions.

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The solution that glenstory found can be distilled down to these steps:

  1. Turn off File Sharing in the Server application.

  2. Run these two commands in an OS X Terminal window, replacing MyShare in each line with the name of the network share you want to enable for TimeMachine:

    sudo defaults write /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/sharepoints/MyShare timeMachineBackup '(1)'
    sudo defaults write /private/var/db/dslocal/nodes/Default/sharepoints/MyShare timeMachineBackupUUID $(uuidgen)
    

    You'll be prompted for your password when you run these commands.

  3. Turn File Sharing back on in the Server application.

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