BackupPC on Mac OS X

BackupPC on Mac OS X works by fetching or restoring backups via SSH using tar as transport format. See below for detailed instructions how to configure your computer.

Install GNU tar

BackupPC relies on the GNU tar archive tool, which is no longer included in OS X since 10.9 Mavericks. You need to install the binary by executing the following commands in a terminal:

sudo curl -k -o /usr/bin/gnutar https://backuppc.phys.ethz.ch/key/gnutar-osx
sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/gnutar

Enter your computer's admin password when prompted.

Power users may decide to install gnutar in any other way (eg MacPorts), but need to make sure that a symlink exists at /usr/bin/gnutar.

Configure SSH

The BackupPC server logs into your computer using a private SSH key. Therefore you need to activate remote login and install the public key of our server.

Activate Remote Login

Go to System Preferences -> Sharing and check the box labeled Remote Login. You may need administrator privileges to change these settings. You may additionally restrict SSH logins to the user whose data should be backed up.

|Sharing Preferences Dialog

You might also need to change your computer's name, so that it doesn't contain any whitespaces.

Also check in the Energy Saver settings, that the computer does not enter sleep mode when connected to the power supply - otherwise the backup process may be interrupted.

Install the public key

Add the public key to the .ssh/authorized_keys file of the user owning the files which should be backed up, by following the steps explained below. You find the Terminal under Applications -> _Utilities -> Terminal.

...for a given user to back up a single directory

The default case is to back up a single directory containing ETH data or the home directory of a single user working on that machine.

Being logged in as the user whose data should be backed up, issue the following commands inside a terminal:

mkdir -pv ~/.ssh
curl -k https://backuppc.phys.ethz.ch/key/authorized_keys_backuppc.phys.ethz.ch >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod -R go-rwx ~/.ssh/

...for root to back up multiple home directories

Alternatively you may add the key for the root user, to provide full access to all files. Open a terminal and type in the following commands:

sudo mkdir -pv ~root/.ssh
sudo curl -k https://backuppc.phys.ethz.ch/key/authorized_keys_backuppc.phys.ethz.ch -o ~root/.ssh/authorized_keys
sudo chmod -R go-rwx ~root/.ssh/

Finally register the computer with us

After you've done all the steps above, you need to send us all the relevant information.