SAMBA Time Machine Backups

I recently have been looking at replacing one of my QNAP NAS units which I have had for many years due to exceeding its capacity. This one hosted my Time Machine backups among other things. My replacement was a DAS unit attached to a ESXi host, rather than doing a network connection by a single link. My concern was how to move these backups without running additional devices.

I replaced the QNAP just with a simple CentOS 7 VM running SAMBA for fileshares. Easy peasy (I even copied over the QNAP SAMBA config for all the awesome tweaks they did). 20 minutes and was up and running (+Data copy time of a few days [20TB of data]). But the question remained – Time Machine backups.

Now there are 100s of tutorials (Just like this one) online that go through it all. But they all wanted to compile and use netatalk (usually from source). I hate doing this. It is a PITA to update, manage with repos, dependencies break…. It’s just, work. Surely this has to be able to be done in SAMBA natively, just like QNAP did.

As mentioned, I copied the QNAP config but no dice on making it show up in Time Machine on my mac. Enter KervyN on Reddit.
Solved in 5 minutes! Easy simple config! Installed avahi and was up and running in 10 minutes. (At the time I found this, SAMBA 4.8 was well and truely stable and released, no source required)
Now you might remember I copied the QNAP config – yeah, something in that breaks Time Machine, I’m not sure what, but in the end I decided to KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! and just used KervyN config and added my shares.

What I really wanted to add to this was some fun errors I hit while doing this as there was not a huge amount of info online:

“<disk> not offered as a Time Machine destination because it does not have the correct capabilities”
Stuffed if i know WHICH setting exactly, but something in the QNAP config I copied caused this. Dropping it back to the config on that Reddit post (linked above) got past this. So I would suggest using a very stock standard config to test and then adding in your other needed config until you find whats breaking it

The operation couldn’t be completed. (OSStatus error “-1073741275”.)
This one was a bit easier – it turned out to be a permissions error. I fixed up the permissions and tested manually via opening the SAMBA share and making sure I could write into the share and then retried.

How the heck do you view the logs on Mac!?
log stream --style syslog --predicate 'senderImagePath contains[cd] "TimeMachine"' --info

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