Encrypted Apple TimeMachine Backups (eg on TimeCapsule)

June 21, 2011 Comments Off on Encrypted Apple TimeMachine Backups (eg on TimeCapsule)

Awesome – the sequence is here. Explanations see source

<create backup mb.sparsebundle>

mv mb.sparsebundle mb0.sparsebundle

hdiutil convert -format UDSB -o mb.sparsebundle/ -encryption AES-256 mb0.sparsebundle

<mount disk, enter password and store it in the keychain>

<move password into System keychain>

<unmount disk>

hdiutil resize -size 200g mb.sparsebundle/

cp mb0.sparsebundle/com.apple.TimeMachine.MachineID.plist mb.sparsebundle/

The non-trivial part of course is (a) copying the MachineID file, and (b) moving the password into the System keychain so that backup uses it automatically. Keep in mind that the initial mb.sparsebundle is only created on a network drive (eg TimeCapsule), not on a local drive. However, the sparsebundle can then be copied onto an attached drive and still works

Another interesting aside: the “hdiutil resize” command limiting the size of the backup disc – important if you want to use your TimeCapsule for backups and data and want to keep some space free.


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