How to Use Your Buffalo Linkstation Duo for Mac OS Backups with Time Machine

Since I’ve decided to install Kali Linux as a second OS on my MacBook Pro, I had to find a way to backup my data, using my Buffalo Linkstation Duo beforehand so I wouldn’t have to worry about messing up something.

Unfortunately, I left my external hard drive at the office, and I do not own an Apple Time Capsule (yet) which limited the options for me to create a backup of my current system. However, we’ve got a Buffalo Linkstation DUO with 1.5TB space in our flat so I decided to check if there is enough free space on it, and if there is a way to use it with Apple’s Time Machine app in order to solve my current backup problem. 

After some time I stumbled upon a german blogpost, “Rakekniven” might have used and older Mac OS version or an older firmware on his Buffalo Linkstation Duo since I didn’t need to follow all his steps–in fact I only need to do the following in order to get it working.

Since Apple intends to sell the Air Capsule for your backup problems they prevent Time Machine from recognising you 3rd Party NAS. To change that, all you need to do is open a Terminal and execute the following command in order to lift that restriction.

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

From now on Time Machine is going to list your third party drives as well as long as they are viable to be used as storage location. So if you check the Time Machine app now it’s probably not going to show your Buffalo Linkstation in the list of possible backup destinations. In order to change that you need to do the following.

  1. Login to your Linkstation Duo using a browser of your choice and navigate to http://<IP of your Linkstation>/
    In case you have a brand new device or just didn’t change the credentials, the default user is “admin” and the default password is “password”.
  2. Navigate to “Shared Folders” > “Folder Setup” and click on the “create Folder” button in order to create a new folder that is separated from your other shares. Depending on who you wish to grant access to the folder select the appropriate settings in the “Shared Folder Support” (you can leave out the Windows checkbox though) sections and make sure to disable the “Recycle Bin” setting.Note: Since Time Machine is using all the available space to store as many backups as possible you probably want to create a user or group beforehand. To do that navigate to Users/Groups > Local Users and click the “Add User” button.
    There define username, password and make sure to check the “User Quota” checkbox and define how much space you want to grant Time Machine for backups, to ensure there is still space left for your other files.
  3. Once that’s done navigate to Extensions > Time Machine and click the “Modify Settings” button. Choose your newly created folder and enable Time Machine as shown in the picture below (my Time Machine folder is named “backup” and not “time machine”).

That’s it! Now Time Machine should list your newly created shared folder and start with your first backup after asking you for the credentials to access it.

Note: If Time Machine is still not listing your shared folder go ahead and open a Finder Window and press ⌘+K to add your shared folder like smb:///timemachine and click “Connect”. You should be prompted for credentials and enter either your default credentials, your newly created Time Machine user or simple the guest account depending on your selection in the “Access Restrictions” area while creating the folder. Select the “save password” option in case you are not using the guest account to ensure Time Machine doesn’t bother you every time.

If you run into any issues or have further questions or improvements regarding this, feel free to leave them in the comments below.


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