6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 30, 2008 5:28 PM by Chris Howe.au
Chris Howe.au Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
Hi All,
I have an iMac at home with multiple user log ons. I'm about to get the Time Capsule and start using Time Machine (currently I use backup).

When I switch on Time Machine, does it switch on for all users, or will each user need to turn on Time Machine?
If I have to switch on Time Machine for each user, will each user's time machine back up the entire computer (so I'll have two complete copies on my computer on the external drive)?
If this does occur, can I control what Time Machine backs up so TM only backs up user specific information?

Thanks in advance,
Chris

24" intel iMac, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,735 points)
    It will by default back up your entire system, including all user files. This is not duplicated for each user account, as Time Machine treats the whole system as one backup. As such, if you add users their home directories will be backed up (preserving permissions, so other users cannot browse their backups) but it wont create another whole system backup for that user. Time Machine's preferences are at the system level, not at the user level. To restrict specific files and folders you can go to the Time Machine system preferences and set up some "exclude" folders so Time Machine will ignore those folders.
  • Chris Howe.au Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi Topher,
    Just to clarify, you are saying that my entire computer is backed up once (when the first users starts using), and as each user turns Time Machine on, the backup is updated to allow that user to access the back up.
    No extra data is stored.

    Is that correct?
    Cheers, Chris
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,735 points)
    When you first backup it will backup your whole system (user directories, system directories, applications, etc) unless you specify folders to exclude. When a user account is added to the computer, their home folder will be added to the backup in a similar way to if you added a new application. It will back up the directory structure exactly as it is on your main hard drive. The backup will essentially keep a copy of the whole hard drive on the backup drive.

    The Time Machine will either be on for the whole system, or off for the whole system. It is not on or off for a specific user account. Users (depending on if they've got admin privileges) may have control over turning time machine on or off, but this does not change who can access the backups. All users will be able to invoke Time Machine to get to their backed up files.

    Time Machine does not make separate backups for individual users. Instead, it preserves the permissions for backed up files, so while every user can access the backups, they cant just browse other users' files on the backup. The same restrictions on the main drive are carried over to the backup. Still, a standard user who's lost a file will be able to go into Time Machine, access a backed up version of the file, and restore it. Unlike standard users who are restricted from seeing other users' files in the backups, Admins are also restricted but they can be authenticated to view other users' files if they want to.
  • Chris Howe.au Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi Topher,
    So I only have to turn on TM once? And everyone will be able to access the data (permissions allowing) automatically?
    Cheers, Chris
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,735 points)
    Yes, you got it.
  • Chris Howe.au Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Gold. Thanks for your time.