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Thread: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    I would like to be able to backup files from my Mac Book Pro (macOS High Sierra 10.13.6) over the internal network to my server which is running Ubuntu 20.04.

    The server HDDs (WD Red CMR) are formatted as ext4.

    I tried to backup my personal data on the Mac to the HDD in the server using tools like rsync and Carbon Copy Cloner, but these seem to fail because the Mac drive is APFS formatted and the server drive is ext4 formatted.

    I used to run Ubuntu 16.04 on my server which had netatalk installed, this allowed me to use TimeMachine on the Mac and backup to the server.

    When I view the Time Machine backup folder on the server, there is a .sparsebundle folder, then in that folder there is a bands folder and this is full of files named in hex.

    Therefore I am unable to access my personal data within the Time Machine backup, unless I run Time Machine from the Mac. But this is not much use if my Mac stops working (as it has in the past)

    So I don't want to use Time Machine anymore, I want to use something more generic like rsync, rdiff-backup or Carbon Copy Cloner etc

    Also I am not interested in backing up OS files, I only want to backup personal data such as media e.g. video, pictures, documents etc.

    If a HDD fails I can always re-install an OS, unlike personal data which would be lost forever.

    Is there are way to resolve this ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Chicago
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    253
    Distro
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    I think you should try rsync again. here's a guide: https://eshop.macsales.com/blog/4518...chive-systems/
    As far as I know, if the ubuntu drive (destination) can be mounted, it can be used for backup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Switzerland
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    2,907
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Quote Originally Posted by freeflyjohn View Post
    I tried to backup my personal data on the Mac to the HDD in the server using tools like rsync and Carbon Copy Cloner, but these seem to fail because the Mac drive is APFS formatted and the server drive is ext4 formatted.
    Please be more specific? What exactly fails? Because I use "rsync" between my MacBook (running macOS "Catalina") and my Linux server and it works tip top. "it seems to fail" is very vague. Show us what command you tried? Maybe there's something wrong with it and we find the exact reason why it really failed. Or maybe it didn't even fail and you are misinterpreting something? Please show us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    841

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Format shouldn't matter on the ends. My Windows machine can backup files direct to a samba share that is formated ext4 with zero difficulty. The file system type is quite irrelevant unless it's in the same machine. Of course Apple has been known to do their own thing forcing people to buy their special stuff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    101

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Thanks all, I managed to get it working.

    I stripped back the command to the very basic and started added options one by one, there must have been a syntax issue.

    Code:
    rsync -a -v -b --backup-dir="deleted_$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d)" --delete --exclude-from /Users/myusername/rsync/rsync-exclude-list.txt /Users/myusername/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync
    I came across the -b option which will be useful seeing as rsync accidentally deleted some files on the destination.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    101

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Nope.... spoke to soon


    I have only performed rsync on the Download and the Documents folders on the Mac so far, but the size difference is vast so something is not right...


    Downloads folder on the Mac: 21.02GB
    Downloads folder on the sever: 2.5GB


    Documents folder on the Mac: 47.02GB
    Documents folder on the Server: 3.8GB


    This the exclude list...

    Code:
    .Spotlight*
    .Trash*
    .AppleDouble*
    .*
    $RECYCLE.BIN
    *.ini
    iperf3
    
    
    Applications (Parallels)
    Desktop
    Documents/Microsoft User Data
    #Documents
    #Downloads
    Library
    Movies
    Music
    Nextcloud
    Parallels
    Pictures
    Public
    Trash
    rsync
    I then commented out the Pictures folder (using a #) in the exception list and got the following error...


    Code:
    
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/TrashFolder.apfolder
                455 100%    0.53kB/s    0:00:00 (xfr#26, ir-chk=1091/4274)
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/Changes/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/Changes/0000000001.plist
              7,116 100%    8.22kB/s    0:00:00 (xfr#27, ir-chk=1089/4274)
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Places/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Vaults/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Versions/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Volumes/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/
    myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/BigBlobs.apdb
             32,768  33%   35.24kB/s    0:00:01  rsync: [generator] readdir("/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync/myusername/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Attachments/d/dc"): Not a directory (20)
    
    
    rsync: [sender] write error: Broken pipe (32)
    rsync error: error in socket IO (code 10) at io.c(823) [sender=3.2.3]
    rsync error: received SIGUSR1 (code 19) at main.c(1612) [generator=3.2.3]

    I even installed Homebrew on the Mac so I could install a later version of rsync (3.2.3)


    The version of rsync on Ubuntu 20.04 is 3.1.3.

    No wonder people don't bother to backup when its such a head ache !
    Last edited by QIII; July 26th, 2021 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Removed interfering BBCode

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    That's super strange.

    Can you try running it with these arguments?

    Code:
    rsync --archive --verbose --itemize-changes -b --backup-dir="deleted_$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d)" --delete --exclude-from /Users/myusername/rsync/rsync-exclude-list.txt /Users/myusername/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync 2>&1 | tee -a /path/to/logfile.txt
    Maybe that will help you see if there are any permission denied errors or other issues during the transfer.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    101

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    That's super strange.

    Can you try running it with these arguments?

    Code:
    rsync --archive --verbose --itemize-changes -b --backup-dir="deleted_$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d)" --delete --exclude-from /Users/myusername/rsync/rsync-exclude-list.txt /Users/myusername/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync 2>&1 | tee -a /path/to/logfile.txt
    Maybe that will help you see if there are any permission denied errors or other issues during the transfer.
    Thanks CharlesA, I ran the command you suggested. Below is the last part of the log file on the Mac...

    Code:
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/tmSync.plist
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/HJw6IjUsQBOpU6r%Z+RW6w.apalbum
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/allProjectsAlbum.apalbum
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/lastImportAlbum.apalbum
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/libraryFolderImplicitAlbum.apalbum
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/rotationAlbum.apalbum
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Albums/trashAlbum.apalbum
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Faces/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Faces/Detected/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Faces/DetectedExternals/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Faces/FaceExternals/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Faces/FaceNames/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/AllProjectsItem.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/LibraryFolder.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/PublishedProjects.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/RKPhotostreamFolder.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/TopLevelAlbums.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/TopLevelSlideshows.apfolder
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Folders/TrashFolder.apfolder
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/Changes/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/History/Changes/0000000001.plist
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Places/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Vaults/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Versions/
    .d..tp...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/Volumes/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/BigBlobs.apdb
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/Faces.db
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/Faces.db.iplmbak
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/History.apdb
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/ImageProxies.apdb
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/Library.apdb
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Database/apdb/Properties.apdb
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Masters/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Previews/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/Thumbnails/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/iLifeShared/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/iLifeShared/AlbumData2.xml
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/2006.photolibrary/iLifeShared/ApertureDatabaseTimestamp
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/Monosnap/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Recents.plist
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Backdrops/
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Contents/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Contents/PkgInfo
    .d...p...... myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #10 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #11 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #12 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #2 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #3 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #4 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #5 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #6 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #7 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #8 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 #9 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.42 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #10 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #11 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #12 (original).jpg
    rsync: [generator] stat "/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync/myusername/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Attachments/v/vc" failed: No such file or directory (2)
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #2 (original).jpg
    rsync: [generator] recv_generator: mkdir "/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac/rsync/myusername/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Attachments/v/vc/vcUJVDPLQV+pkYyUa4blrg" failed: No such file or directory (2)
    *** Skipping any contents from this failed directory ***
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #3 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #4 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #5 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #6 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #7 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #8 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 #9 (original).jpg
    >f++++++++++ myusername/Pictures/Photo Booth Library/Originals/4-up on 09-03-2013 at 17.43 (original).jpg
    rsync: [sender] write error: Broken pipe (32)
    rsync error: error in socket IO (code 10) at io.c(823) [sender=3.2.3]
    rsync error: received SIGUSR1 (code 19) at main.c(1612) [generator=3.2.3]

    I am trying to understand rsync ,having read somewhere that rysnc needs to be installed on both the source and destination machines.

    I always thought rsync only needs to be on the source machine ?

    So does this mean that if rsync was not installed on the Ubuntu server, then rsync on the Mac would not work when backing up to Ubuntu server ?

    I was reminded of this question when I found a different logfile.txt on the Ubuntu HDD which is different to the logfile.txt on the Mac.

    The complete logfile.txt on the Ubuntu HDD is below:


    Code:
    sending incremental file list
    rsync: [sender] change_dir "/Users/myusername/Volumes/Storage/Backup/Mac" failed: No such file or directory (2)
    
    
    sent 19 bytes  received 12 bytes  62.00 bytes/sec
    total size is 0  speedup is 0.00
    rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors) (code 23) at main.c(1350) [sender=3.2.3]
    sending incremental file list
    Last edited by freeflyjohn; July 25th, 2021 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Removed interfering BBCode

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    UK
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    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    @freeflyjohn, I've edited your last two posts to remove a mass of interfering BBCode. Every single line in the code boxes had its own pair of BBCode font and color tags, which damaged the formatting of the text in the code boxes. Code boxes default to a monospace font. Specifying a non-monospace font (in this case Helvetica), destroys the neat columnar formatting.

    Are you using some sort of software to compose and edit your posts? I cannot imagine adding all those BBCode tags by hand, or from the message editor toolbar.
    Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop Guide - Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop Guide - Forum Guide to BBCode - Using BBCode code tags - IRC #ubuntuforums

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    101

    Re: Is it possible to backup Mac APFS personal data to Ubuntu server ext4 HDD ?

    Thanks coffeecat, sorry I've no idea what BBCode is ? I have no idea what happened ?

    I opened the logfile.txt using the TextEdit app on the Mac, then copied the text from TextEdit and pasted into the post (Im using the Chrome browser) and put the code boxes at the start and end.

    I also notice that the formatting screws up if I edit a post, it seems to add additional line spacing ?

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