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Time machine not backing up user home directories

231 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 16, 2013 5:57 AM by Pondini RSS
HeinrichFromBremen Calculating status...
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Aug 15, 2013 6:42 AM

Hi All,


I set up my users to have their home directories on a seperate partition: /Volumes/Data/homes/<name>.

I confogured time machine to back up to an external USB hard drive. The exclude list is empty, exept for the backup disk, of course.

When i do an initial backup with TM, i notice that /Volumes/Data/homes is skipped, whereas /Volumes/Data/kits is backed up.

I also see a console message:

8/15/13 3:21:29[621]Backup content size: 119.8 GB excluded items size: 113.6 GB for volume Data


Why is this? How can i force TM to backup all files?


Thanks for your help,



Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    HeinrichFromBremen wrote:

    . . .

    Time Machine will not backup any top level directory called "home". After renaming /Volumes/Data/home to /Volumes/Data/homedirs", it was no longer excluded.


    Although i am glad that it is working now, this is really weird. Is this behaviour documented anywhere?

    Not by Apple.   



    Do i always have to monitor the log files to be sure that the system really does what i expect it  to do?

    No OS or app is perfect.  It's prudent to occasionally spot-check things, especially backups.  How to do that varies, of course.  Sometimes just looking at the data is fine, sometimes logs are helpful.  With a backup app, actually experimenting with restoring a few things may be helpful (also to get a bit familiar with something you don't normally do, and will probably be in a bit of a panic when needed).

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    HeinrichFromBremen wrote:

    . . .

    Of course not. But there is a difference between lack of perfection and deliberately building bugs into the software.

    It's not really deliberate.  The number of folks who do what you are is very, very limited. 


    How can i know that homeis the only omitted directory?

    It isn't. As noted in the other thread, dev and net are also omitted.  Many other things, are, too - see the tan box in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #11 for details.



    With this behaviour, i simply cannot trust TM backups.

    A bit of an overreaction, I think, but your choice.


    What would be the alternatives? tar? dittodump does not seem to exist.

    See #27 in the FAQ link above.  As far as I know, they all omit some things. 


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