Knowledge Base

How to back up data from Mac to Synology NAS with Time Machine (DSM 4)

Overview

This article will guide you through the process of backing up data from your Mac to Synology DiskStation with Apple's Time Machine , the backup utility included in Mac OS X 10.5 and later.

Contents

  1. Set up DiskStation to support Time Machine
  2. Perform Time Machine Backup to DiskStation
  3. More Information

1. Set up DiskStation to support Time Machine

Before setting your DiskStation as the destination for Time Machine backup, you'll need to log into DSM and change a few settings. This section will guide you through the following:

Note: You can use a single DSM user account and a shared folder to back up multiple Macs with Time Machine.

1.1 Create a user for Time Machine backup and set quota limit

  1. Log into DiskStation Manager with an account belonging to the administrators group.
  2. Go to Main Menu > Control Panel > User and click Create.
  3. Enter a username (such as "tm") and password. Then click Next.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In this example, we would like Time Backup to save data to Volume 1. However, we don't want Time Backup to use up all our space, so we'll enable a quota. Check the corresponding box under Enable quota to enable the storage quota. Then enter a quota value in the Quota field. For example, we'll set a quota limit of 400 GB on Volume 1.

    Minimum Volume Space: It is recommended that you set quota limit to prevent Time Machine from using up all of your volume space. In general, the quota should be at least two or three times the size of your Mac's hard drive or the amount of data which should be backed up.

  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Now we have a user "tm" allowed to use up to 400 GB on Volume 1. Please proceed with the following section to create a shared folder on that volume.
  11. Important: After the user is created, you should keep its information unchanged to make sure Time Machine can always use the user's credentials to access DiskStation.

    You can, however, set a higher quota limit to allow more space for Time Machine backup. To do so:

    1. Log in to DiskStation Manager with the admin account.
    2. Go to Main Menu > Control Panel > User and double-click the user created for Time Machine backup.
    3. Click the Quota tab and enter a higher value under the Quota column. Please don't enter a lower value to prevent any possible errors during backup.
    4. Click OK.

1.2 Create a shared folder for Time Machine backup

  1. Log into DiskStation Manager with an account belonging to the administrators group.
  2. Go to Main Menu > Control Panel > Shared Folder and click Create to create a shared folder that will be used for storing Time Machine's backup data.
  3. Enter a name for the shared folder and select a location (only if multiple volumes exist). Please note the location should be the same volume you specified above. In this example, we'll create the shared folder on Volume 1 so that Time Machine will be restricted by the user's 400 GB quota limit.
  4. Make sure the user "tm" is assigned Read/Write privileges for the new shared folder. Click OK.
  5. Now you'll be able to see the newly-created shared folder.

1.3 Set the shared folder as Time Machine's backup target

  1. Go to Main Menu > Control Panel > Win/Mac/NFS.
  2. Click the Mac File Service tab. Check the box Enable Mac file service, and choose the shared folder you just created from the Time Machine drop-down menu.
  3. Click Apply to save settings.

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2. Perform Time Machine Backup to DiskStation

This section will show you how to configure Time Machine to set DiskStation's shared folder as the backup destination. This process allows Time Machine to easily locate your DiskStation on the local area network and regard it as the backup disk. When the setup is complete, Time Machine will be able to start backing up data to the DiskStation.

2.1 Configure Time Machine to set DiskStation as its backup disk

  1. On your computer, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and click Time Machine.
  2. Slide the switch to ON if Time Machine is off.
  3. Select the shared folder you just created and click Use for Backup.
    Shared folder doesn't appear? If your shared folder does not appear, try connecting to and mounting the shared folder via AFP. For instructions, please see this tutorial.
  4. Enter the username and password of the user you just created, and click Connect.
  5. Time Machine will start backing up data soon after.

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3. More Information

If you would like to learn more about Time Machine, you can consult Apple's Time Machine support page.

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