How to set up Time machine backup on Synology NAS

Steps to set this all up

Create NAS user for time machines access only

If you want to be able to run timemachine backupe remotely over the internet, consider using Tailscale or nConnect VPN:

How to access your NAS remotely? A Comparison of NKN nConnect and Tailscale

 

To create a NAS username for use only with Time Machine on DSM 7 (Synology DiskStation Manager 7), follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the DSM web interface as an administrator.
  2. Go to the “Control Panel” and click on “User.”
  3. Click on the “Create” button to create a new user.
  4. Enter a username and password for the new user.
  5. Click “Apply” to create the new user.

The new user will now be able to use Time Machine to back up their data to the NAS, but will not have access to any other parts of the DSM system.

Create a separate shared folder to be used for time machines only

To create a separate shared folder for use with Time Machine on DSM 7 (Synology DiskStation Manager 7), follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Control Panel” and click on “Shared Folder.”
  2. Click on the “Create” button to create a new shared folder.
  3. Enter a name for the new shared folder and select a location for the folder on the NAS.
  4. Under the “Privilege” section, select the user  that you want to have access to the shared folder (e.g. the Time Machine user you created earlier)
  5. Click “Apply” to create the new shared folder.

The new shared folder will now be available only to the user or group you specified and can be used for Time Machine backups.

Additionally, you may also want to enable the option “Enable Time Machine backup” in the advanced settings of the shared folder for better compatibility.

 

Set shared folder quota

To set a shared folder quota in DSM 7 (Synology DiskStation Manager 7), follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Control Panel” and click on “Shared Folder.”
  2. Select the shared folder for which you want to set the quota.
  3. Click on the “Edit” button.
  4. Go to the “Advanced” tab.
  5. Check the “Enable Quota” checkbox.
  6. Enter the desired quota limit in the “Quota Limit” field. This can be entered in MB, GB, or TB.
  7. Click “Apply” to save the changes.

 

If you do not have BTRFS file system enabled you can only create user Quotas and not Shared folder Quotas.

 

 

 

Configure your time machine backup on your MAC

  1. Set the shared folder as Time Machine’s backup target.
    1. Go to Control Panel > File Services.
    2. Do the following depending on your DSM version:
      • DSM 7.0 and above: For SMB, go to the SMB tab and tick the Enable SMB service checkbox.2 For AFP, go to the AFP tab and tick the Enable AFP service checkbox.
      • DSM 6.2 and below: Go to the SMB/AFP/NFS tab. Tick the Enable SMB service checkbox for SMB2, or tick the Enable AFP service checkbox for AFP.
    3. Go to the Advanced tab and tick the Enable Bonjour Time Machine broadcast via SMB or Enable Bonjour Time Machine broadcast via AFP checkbox, according to the file service you use. Then, click on the Set Time Machine Folders button.
    4. Choose the shared folder that you just created from the Time Machine menu and save your settings.

Perform Time Machine Backup to your Synology NAS

  1. On your Mac, open System Preferences from the Dock, and click Time Machine.
  2. Click Select Backup Disk.
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  3. Choose the shared folder that you created (i.e., Time Machine Folder on “Server name of your Synology NAS.local”) and click Use Disk.
  4. The system will prompt you to provide your account credentials. Enter the username and password for the user that you have just created and click Connect.
  5. Time Machine will soon start backing up your data.

Notes:

  1. If you want to encrypt your backups, use the encrypt backup option in Time Machine on your Mac instead of encrypting your shared folder.
  2. For macOS Sierra (10.12) and later, Time Machine uses SMB as the default protocol. Therefore, we recommend you to perform Time Machine backups via SMB.

 

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