OSX 10.5, Time Machine and Linux shared drived

I’ve been playing with Leopard over the last couple of days and just now figured out how to get Time Machine to work with unsupported shared drives (such as those shared by netatalk).

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

What this seems to do is to create a sparse disk image on the shared drive, then mount it across the network. It’s not quite as nice as I would like, but it is a start.

Incidentally my inbox has been flooded with emails asking for a Leopard version of my httpmail plugin. I have been looking into it, but as to when I could have something I couldn’t really say.

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  1. I heard this should also be working – but could not test it so far:

    Anyone got it to work this way?

    1) Mount your AirDisk so it appears on your Mac
    2) Open Terminal.app
    3) change directories to the AirDisk’s root folder located in “/Volumes”
    ie: cd “/Volumes/AirDisk Name”
    4) execute this command to “bless” the drive to be used with time machine:
    touch .com.apple.timemachine.supported
    5) Start TimeMachine and if all went well, it should recognize your AirDisk drive and use it for TM.

  2. Regarding the httpmail plugin for Leopard, I am heartened to hear that you are looking into it! I see that you have supported and updated this plugin through the previous iterations of OS-X, and thus have every confidence that you will continue to support it with Leopard as well. I know that it is of vital importance to many many users out there, so I would just encourage you to make it a priority! (If nothing else, it would help save my hide from my wife, who is a bit furious that I upgraded to Leopard without first making sure that she would still be able to get her MSN mail on Apple Mail – not to put added pressure on you, but an update would go a long way in SAVING MY MARRIAGE….thanks!)

  3. hey thanks for the hint about AirDisk, I recently bought an airport base station for two reasons : the speend, and airdisk. Being able to backup over airdisk is extremely useful to me and to all the nomad users!!

    As for the httpmail plugin, your plugin is so good that we don’t notice it is present in the system. Until the next system update, when all our world brakes appart! Thanks for this dedication.

  4. Yeah, we want httpmail now!!! Just kidding. Like the other guy said, we have greatly appreciated this utility for many years, and I want to send a big thanks your way. I have wanted to switch to gmail for a while now, but it’s just so nice to have the same e-mail address for a very long time. You have allowed me to keep the same address for 7 years (dating back to my Windoze days… before I saw the light!). If you ever discontinued httpmail, it would probably just force me to finally make the switch, but I’m so glad I don’t have to make that choice.

    Thanks again, and I will be checking back multiple times every day to see how the progress is going on our favorite little tool.

  5. I want to add my voice to the chorus of folks saying thanks and looking forward to the updated plugin. I would be happy to contribute a couple bucks to speed along the development and I know that there are thousands of others who feel the same way. Thanks again and I’m looking forward to that plugin!

  6. Hi Daniel… I’m sure you have a lot of requests for an upgrade to the httpmail plug-in. Let me add myself, my wife, my daughter and my son to the long list of users hoping for the upgrade soon. We only left Windows behind about a month ago, and for the past couple of weeks were getting our msn mail using your plug-in. As noted by Ryan, I’d be happy to contribute a few bucks to you (or the charity of your choice). Thanks again!

  7. Just adding my name to the list of people for whom httpmail is an essential part of their OS X experience. I won’t be upgrading until httpmail is Leopard-compatible. Good luck with the coding, I hope it goes smoothly!

  8. Also adding to the list, are you feeling the pressure? 🙂

    Happy to kick in a few bucks as well, this utility is essential for fishing email out of my horrible old hotmail account.

    Good luck with the coding.

  9. Hi Daniel,

    I noticed that you do not actually have a donation for HTTPMail plugin, you only have one for Blog Thing. I made a donation for USD $40 to danielparnell@hotmail.com, and I put in the subject that this was for HTTPMail, not Blog Thing. If you want to consider doing donations for HTTPMail, now might be a good time to set it up for that purpose. I think the utility is probably worth around USD $20 if it was sold as a proprietary product (I am aware that the HTTPMail is an open source project, but it doesn’t mean I can’t donate towards your OS X port).

    To those who have passively offered to make donations, PayPal says that Daniel has only received one payment since he set up a donation account. Now it should say 2 donations have been made. If you appreciate his work, now would be the time show it in a more active sense.

  10. Bonsoir,

    je m’exprime en français, ne voulant pas faire l’offense à quiconque de me risquer à le faire en anglais.
    Le plugin HTTPMail me manque tant… j’ai donc trouvé naturel de verser une modeste participation via Paypal mais l’option n’existant pas, je l’ai donc versée au registre Blog Thing…


  11. I’d much rather give you $20.00 for the Hotmail plug in than to MS for the Hotmail Plus.
    Time is a premium, for sure. Thank you for yours.

  12. I was the first one begging you to do it, so just reading your comment about it makes me more and more thankful.

    Thanks, and looking forward to hear some more news about it!

  13. I am happy to find your blog on the net, and it’s great to see the activity around httpmail. I also have been using your utility for years, and I hope you find the time to make the update for Leopard!

  14. Your utility is great, I’ve used it for years. Sent a contribution through PayPal. I’m holding off on upgrading to Leopard until your version is ready. Thanks for the super work.

  15. I didn’t realize you took donations… and I will be more than happy to do a £30 donation for the Leopard HTTPMail Plugin. I have used the HTTPMail Plugin for years now and it has proved invaluable.. Keep up the GREAT work.

  16. I’m yet another fool who didn’t check if the new mail client would work with httpmail.

    Best of luck with the port!

  17. I am running a TM first backup to Buffale Terrastation 1TB drive. It seems to be working. I have created a partition for TM, set the default as you mentioned, mounted the partition and I could see the TM partition when I change to disk for TM.

    I will report tomorrow if it works or not – it will take me few hours to backup the MBpro HDD over the wireless network

  18. I tried this last night (word of advice to all: CONNECT TO WIRED ETHERNET for the initial backup) with a netatalk share, and everything seemed to work properly. The odd part, however, is that I brought my Macbook into the office this morning, and while I can connect to and mount the AFP share from here ,TM reports an error mounting the sparsebundle and fails. I can perform other file operations, so it’s not a firewall problem. Will report this evening whether or not I can mount the sparsebundle once I’m back behind my firewall again.

  19. Sorry, please tell me how it’s possible to do a backup to a Linux AFP (netatalk) share? I’ve tried to touch the file to no avail. Does the partition have to be formatted in HSF+ also?

    I thing this is a major dissapointment actually. All developer seeds allowed this and suddenly it’s gone. Anyway, which “normal” user is having both Leopard as desktop and as server? Plain stupid.

  20. Hi, so last night I started my first backup (to NAS as I wrote above). I had to stop in the middle, and tried to continue today. When I reached certain size of the backup file I got a error message that the backup cannot be done, because it requires 69GB space on the drive and I have only 559GB :).

    So it looks like that they still have some issues with backing up on the NAS and that is why they left it out from the final build.

  21. Gabe, perhaps the filesystem you are backing up to doesn’t support individual files over 69 GB. The fatal flaw of the one file backup system. For example wikipedia says that for EXT3 with a 1kb block size you are limited to 16GB files. FAT32 is limited to 4GB Files. This would perhaps be the reason it is unsupported. See if you can use a more modern filesystem on your NAS, e.g. reiserFS or JFS



  22. Joel, I looked into it and that should not be a problem. My NAS is Buffalo Terrastation Live and hardrives are formated to XFS. In wikipedia they say that max file size is 8 exabytes.

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