Time Machine backup drive with a Pi


A Resin application for a DIY Apple Time Capsule.

As a lazy developer, I wanted a wireless Time Machine backup solution without breaking the bank for
an overpriced NAS drive. This
app assume a Raspberry Pi 3 with a USB disk drive.


There are three parts to this setup.

  1. Signup at Resin, create an app, and follow the
    the instructions to install to a Raspberry Pi 3
  2. Either give your Pi a static IP or configure a static IP for it via your DNS
  3. Format a USB drive (preferably external hard disk) to “Mac OS Extended”, also known as HFS+.
  4. Ensure that
  5. Fork (and star!) this repository, and push it up to your resin app repository.
  6. In Finder hit ⌘ K, enter afp://your.pi.ip.address
  7. Enter username and password (defaults ‘tmuser’, ‘password’)
  8. Open System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Disk > Time Machine
  9. All done


Settings via environment variables:

  • USERNAME: username for the time machine user.
  • PASSWORD: password for the time machine user.

Travis CI

Because I’m extra lazy, I let Travis deploy my code instead of pushing manually. Go ahead and enable Travis on your project.

Create and copy a deploy SSH key:

ssh-keygen # Will prompt for a file name, input one like 'id_rsa'
echo -n "\""; cat id_rsa | awk 1 ORS='\\n'; echo "\""
# Don't forget to copy the quotation marks!

Add the following variables to your travis build (keep them secret):

  • RESIN_DEPLOY_KEY - the SSH key you copied above
  • RESIN_REMOTE - the git repository to deploy your resin app

My Hardware

I mean, you don’t really need the exact hardware I used, but I have:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3
  • A 1 TB Transcend External HDD

Remember to star / upvote

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