Use any network share for Time Machine backup


Creative Team
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7 Jan 2019
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Follow through this guide to use Time Machine backup on any network location.

Create the sparsebundle:
(just need to type the red command, the other commands are just for reference only)
Rich (BB code):
mm:MM andy$ ls -al
total 80
drwx------  1 andy  staff  16384 16 Sep 09:43 .
drwx------  1 andy  staff  16384 16 Sep 09:01 ..
-rwx------@ 1 andy  staff   6148  5 Sep 16:37 .DS_Store
mm:MM andy$ pwd
mm:MM andy$ hdiutil create -size 300g -type SPARSEBUNDLE -fs "HFS+J" tmcontainer.sparsebundle
created: /Volumes/500GB/MM/tmcontainer.sparsebundle
mm:MM andy$ ls -al
total 112
drwx------  1 andy  staff  16384 16 Sep 09:44 .
drwx------  1 andy  staff  16384 16 Sep 09:01 ..
-rwx------@ 1 andy  staff   6148  5 Sep 16:37 .DS_Store
drwx------@ 1 andy  staff  16384 16 Sep 09:48 tmcontainer.sparsebundle
mm:MM andy$ du -sh tmcontainer.sparsebundle
757M    tmcontainer.sparsebundle
mm:MM andy$

Then mount the newly created tmcontainer.sparsebundle

Put a 'TimeMachine' label, and use the command below to tell Time Machine to backup to your mounted drive:
sudo tmutil setdestination /Volumes/TimeMachine

And your sparse bundle will be available for use with Time Machine:

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 10.00.28 AM.png


You can perform Time Machine just like usual, however, if you need to perform a system restore (i.e. rebuilding your Mac using a Time Machine backup) there's a slightly different way of doing it:

To do a system restore, install a fresh macOS from recovery mode (use Option-⌘-R or Shift-Option-⌘-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet), setup a temporary account (don't associate/link with any iCloud at this point.)

Once logged in to the macOS session, open up your network share (launch Finder and press ⌘-K to connect to a server), and mount the sparsebundle, then launch Migration Assistant and restore from there.

I have done this myself and was able to restore my Mac system from a sparsebundle Time Machine using this method.

If you have any question or comment, feel free to post them down below 👇
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