Netatalk is an OpenSource software package, that can be used to turn a *NIX machine into an extremely high-performance and reliable file server for Macintosh computers. Using Netatalk's AFP 3.3 compliant file-server leads to significantly higher transmission speeds compared with Macs accessing a server via SaMBa/NFS while providing clients with the best possible user experience (full support for Macintosh metadata, flawlessly supporting mixed environments of classic Mac OS and OS X clients)
This guide will walk you though the steps of installing the required packages and settings up linux users on the LEDE device so your Mac(s) can securely connect over the network to your Time Machine server.
In order for this guide to work you will need to meet the following prerequisites:
opkg update && opkg install avahi-utils netatalk
These packages are optional although recommend. nano will make editing text files super easy and the shadow packages make user and group managment a breeze, otherwise you'll have to manually edit user, group and password files by hand. The downside these packages will use precious space on your root partition. If your working with limited space consider using extroot.
opkg update && opkg install nano shadow-groupadd shadow-groupmod shadow-useradd shadow-usermod
Many of the Netatalk goodies such as Spotlight search, Zeroconfig, ACL and LDAP support have been disabled. That was probably a wise decision to save space and provide a broader range of hardware support. The good news Time Machine support is available. With a simple command
afpd -V we can check what features have been compiled into Netatalk.
afpd 3.1.10 - Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) daemon of Netatalk This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. Please see the file COPYING for further information and details. afpd has been compiled with support for these features: AFP versions: 2.2 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 CNID backends: dbd last tdb Zeroconf support: No TCP wrappers support: No Quota support: No Admin group support: Yes Valid shell checks: No cracklib support: No EA support: ad | sys ACL support: No LDAP support: No D-Bus support: No Spotlight support: No DTrace probes: No afp.conf: /etc/afp.conf extmap.conf: /etc/extmap.conf state directory: /var/netatalk/ afp_signature.conf: /var/netatalk/afp_signature.conf afp_voluuid.conf: /var/netatalk/afp_voluuid.conf UAM search path: /usr/lib/uams// Server messages path: /var/netatalk/msg/
The current Netatalk package
(netatalk - 3.1.10-1) has minor posix permission issues.
Use the following
chmod commands to fix this bug.
chmod 644 /etc/afp.conf chmod 644 /etc/extmap.conf
The afp.conf file contains all AFP specific configurations and AFP volume definitions. Let's edit ours with
nano /etc/afp.conf and setup our Time Machine Server; we'll be using the nano text editor in this tutorial. Netatalk has a lot of great features not covered in this guide. Make sure to checkout the documentation for more Time Machine options and other possible AFP uses. http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/3.0/htmldocs/afp.conf.5.html
vol size limit = size in MiB (V) Useful for Time Machine: limits the reported volume size, thus preventing Time Machine from using the whole real disk space for backup. Example: “vol size limit = 1000” would limit the reported disk space to 1 GB. IMPORTANT: This is an approximated calculation taking into account the contents of Time Machine sparsebundle images. Therefor you MUST NOT use this volume to store other content when using this option, because it would NOT be accounted. The calculation works by reading the band size from the Info.plist XML file of the sparsebundle, reading the bands/ directory counting the number of band files, and then multiplying one with the other.
; ; Netatalk 3.x configuration file ; [Backups] path = /mnt/sdb1/Backups time machine = yes vol size limit = 250000 valid users = @users
The default avahi-daemon configuration
/etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf works perfect with stable LEDE 17.01.0+ and no chages are required.
[server] #host-name=LEDE #domain-name=local use-ipv4=yes use-ipv6=yes check-response-ttl=no use-iff-running=no [publish] publish-addresses=yes publish-hinfo=yes publish-workstation=no publish-domain=yes #publish-dns-servers=192.168.1.1 #publish-resolv-conf-dns-servers=yes [reflector] enable-reflector=no reflect-ipv=no [rlimits] #rlimit-as= rlimit-core=0 rlimit-data=4194304 rlimit-fsize=0 rlimit-nofile=30 rlimit-stack=4194304 rlimit-nproc=3
Learn about other configuration options here https://github.com/lathiat/avahi
The LEDE implementation of Netatalk was not compiled with Zeroconf support; so we must advertise the required afpovertcp, device-info, and adisk text-record properties manually. We previously installed avahi-daemon (via avahi-utils) for exactly this purpose. Let's create a service file
nano /etc/avahi/services/afp.service using the template below.
<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*--> <!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd"> <service-group> <name replace-wildcards="yes">%h</name> <service> <type>_afpovertcp._tcp</type> <port>548</port> </service> <service> <type>_device-info._tcp</type> <port>0</port> <txt-record>model=TimeCapsule</txt-record> </service> <service> <type>_adisk._tcp</type> <port>9</port> <txt-record>sys=waMa=0,adVF=0x100,adVU=00000000-AAAA-BBBB-CCCC-111111111111</txt-record> <txt-record>dk0=adVN=Backups,adVF=0x81</txt-record> </service> </service-group>
model=TimeCapsule this determines the hardware icon that appear within macOS Finder. Some available options are Xserve, PowerBook, PowerMac, Macmini, iMac, MacBook, MacBookPro, MacBookAir, MacPro, MacPro6,1, TimeCapsule, AppleTV1,1 and AirPort.
adVU=00000000-AAAA-BBBB-CCCC-111111111111 must be changed to a uniquely generated UUID. You can create a UUID in LEDE by writing
cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/uuid (each time generating and displaying a new UUID).
adVN=Backups should match the virtual volume name of your
timemachine = YES share from
/etc/afp.conf. If you used my example settings above; leave this set to
Backups. Most online guides use “TimeMachine” however “Backups” is more traditional since it's the default when using macOS Server or Time Capsule; although it realy dosen't matter what you call it, as long as they both match.
Some helpful links
In this section we'll create two (2) new users on the LEDE system for file sharing purposes. Create as many or as little as you like, the principles are the same. We'll also accomplish the following:
1. Create a place for the users home folder with
mkdir /home/. The default location for most Linux distros.
2. Add the new user(s). In my example users anne & brian will be created. They will receive a home folder
/home/username and become members of the group
useradd --create-home --groups users --user-group anne useradd --create-home --groups users --user-group brian
3. Add passwords for the newly created user(s).
passwd anne passwd brian
4. Change the permissions of the Backups directory. You will have to improvise and use your systems own mount and or backup location.
cd /mnt/sdb1/ mkdir Backups chmod 775 Backups/ chgrp users Backups/
5. Verify the permission changes with
root@LEDE:/mnt/sdb1# ls -alF drwxr-xr-x 5 root root 4096 Apr 25 18:48 ./ drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 224 Apr 25 21:49 ../ drwxrwxr-x 2 root users 4096 Apr 25 21:01 Backups/ drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Apr 25 18:48 Shared/ drwx------ 2 root root 16384 Apr 25 16:35 lost+found/
users group is very important because the
valid users = @users option in the Netatalk configuration. All members in this group have access to Time Machine services. Lets check what members makeup the
users group with
grep users /etc/group. You should see somthing similar to my results.
root@LEDE:~# grep users /etc/group users:x:100:mrengles,anne,brian
I'm not sure if this section is required.
The default LEDE firmware upgrade procedure might not backup some of our configuration files. That would be a horrible waste of hard work.
Add them to the list of custom backup files at
echo and the command line:
echo '/etc/afp.conf ' >> /etc/sysupgrade.conf echo '/etc/avahi/ ' >> /etc/sysupgrade.conf echo '/etc/extmap.conf ' >> /etc/sysupgrade.conf echo '/home/ ' >> /etc/sysupgrade.conf echo '/var/netatalk/ ' >> /etc/sysupgrade.conf
This can also be accomplished via LuCi > System > Backup / Flash Firmware > Configurations > Backup file list and simply append the following:
/etc/afp.conf /etc/avahi/ /etc/extmap.conf /home/ /var/netatalk/
For more information, please check the Upgrading LEDE from the Command Line
Settting up Time Machine on the Mac is a very simple process:
Apple can explain how-to use Time Machine much better then myself, so I'll let them. If you completed this guide successfully, chances are you wont need help. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201250
Depending on your storage requirements the initial backup could take several hours.
If you have questions, post them in the OpenWrt Forum so that myself and others can respond. https://forum.openwrt.org
Please update this user guide if you have a better way of doing things or notice typos and errors.