Netatalk 3.1.8 on Ubuntu 15.10 via PPA en

By Gerco on Thursday 4 February 2016 05:25 - Comments (7)
Category: -, Views: 3.869

(This post serves mostly as personal documentation and as a place to host relevant links)

Netatalk is a daemon that runs an Apple File Protocol (AFP) service on a Linux or other *nix machine that will allow Macs to use it as a file server and Time Machine backup target. This is great if you have a few Macs in your house and don't want to buy a big enough Time Capsule to back them all up. With Netatalk you can back them up to your Linux file server.

Ubuntu only provides Netatalk version 2.x in their repos and that version has some issues with Time Machine reliability. Because of that I was looking to install the latest version of Netatalk on my Ubuntu 15.10 server (to, hopefully, see the dreaded "Time Machine must create a new backup for you"-message a little less often). To my great surprise there were some PPAs for older Ubuntu versions but none for 15.10 that I could find.

I found some instructions to install from source, but I didn't want to do that. Installing from source requires installing a boatload of build dependencies that I don't want on my "production" server. Besides, on a system that is based on a package manager, installing from source should be avoided if at all possible. It's asking for trouble down the line.

I decided to try and create my own PPA for this Netatalk/Ubuntu combination and to limit the cruft I had to install on my server tried to create a Docker-based environment for building the package based on an existing PPA for an older version. Fast forward 2 days of digging into the depths of the Ubuntu/Debian build system, how PPAs work and a few hundred builds failed for whatever reasons and here is the result.

PPA: https://launchpad.net/~gercod/+archive/ubuntu/netatalk
Source: https://github.com/gerco/netatalk-ppa

To install:

code:
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2
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$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:gercod/netatalk
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install netatalk


See http://netatalk.sourcefor....1.8_on_Ubuntu_15.10_Wily for initial configuration advice. Make sure to enable the service at boot:

code:
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$ sudo systemctl enable netatalk

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Comments



By Tweakers user Gerco, Thursday 4 February 2016 13:38

Netatalk is a daemon that runs an Apple file server service on a Linux or other *nix machine that will allow Macs to use it as a file server and Time Machine backup target. Ubuntu only provides version 2.longago in their repos and that version has some issues with Time Machine reliability, hence the desire to upgrade to version 3.x.

By Tweakers user himlims_, Friday 5 February 2016 12:55

can't you achieve the same result by using smb:// ?

By Tweakers user matty___, Friday 5 February 2016 14:28

Didn't Apple announced AFP is deprecated in favor of SMB?

By Tweakers user Gerco, Friday 5 February 2016 14:35

Yes and no. afp:// is deprecated and will eventually be replaced by SMB2 (CIFS) but Time Machine still won't work on SMB without hacks and instabilities. Eventually Time Machine will be fixed or replaced (probably with iCloud Backup) but that day is not yet here.

[Comment edited on Friday 5 February 2016 14:36]


By Tweakers user himlims_, Friday 5 February 2016 18:03

Gerco wrote on Friday 05 February 2016 @ 14:35:
Yes and no. afp:// is deprecated and will eventually be replaced by SMB2 (CIFS) but Time Machine still won't work on SMB without hacks and instabilities. Eventually Time Machine will be fixed or replaced (probably with iCloud Backup) but that day is not yet here.
typical :+
i have an allergic reaction when it comes to apple, since it's just overprices linux/bsd (whatever). Anyway, according to livehacker Time-Machine should be able to use smb/cifs-mounts
- http://lifehacker.com/569...etworked-windows-computer
- http://www.heystephenwood...e-machine-backups-to.html

Could Barracuda be an option? Which is pretty versatile and dynamic
https://techlib.barracuda.com/bbs/installlxagent

Nevertheless, you already solved the situation with Netatalk

By Tweakers user Gerco, Friday 5 February 2016 18:09

Exactly what I mean, hacks are necessary to make it work (show unsupported network volumes, manually creating the sparse bundle, etc). The AFP protocol (and Netatalk) actually has some specific support to make Time Machine work safer, that checkbox isn't just for show.

I'm not saying that there is no way to do the same things with SMB, there very well might be, but Time Machine doesn't support using SMB servers in that way even if it were possible. The reality is that, at the moment, Time Machine works best over AFP.

I'm afraid that there will never be proper support for network backups through Time Machine to a non-Apple device. Time Machine is just too convenient for the user and iCloud Backup would be very profitable for Apple. I'd say it's almost inevitable. Whenever iCloud Backup does happen I'll investigate alternative solutions but for now this works fine.

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