I want to remove the need of connecting my Time Machine USB disk directly to my MacBook. I don't need any other functionality which Apple Time Capsule offers.

  1. Is it possible to use my router with a connected USB disk (already working with Time Machine) and installed OpenWRT as network Time Capsule?

  2. Can I use a Samba share as Time Capsule disk?

  • This also seems like it has a good answer.
    – Cajunluke
    Sep 24, 2012 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


HFS+ will get you nowhere since Linux cannot write it reliably. I don't know how to configure your OpenWRT hardware exactly but here is my solution used on both x86 Ubuntu and Raspberry Pi (I think the latter is close enough to an router - at least a smartphone)

  1. You need some packages to make AFP and mDNS/DNS-SD work:

    apt-get install avahi-daemon netatalk
  2. Now configure your netatalk to share the volume on your Linux box. The filesystem does not make any difference, I used ext4 as it is close enough to modern HFS+ systems. (On my RPi, the only way to access files on it is to use either SSH or AFP, I uninstalled Samba)

  3. At this point, you can hack your mac to force it to use your Linux box as Time Capsule, or you can find a real Time Capsule (or OS X Server) and replicate all its extra DNS-SD records using Avahi.


To #1, yes you can do that, it doesn't need to be formatted to "Time Capsule" format, what you would do is format the drive to HFS+, "bless" the drive with your mac then connect it to your openWRT router.

For #2, yes you can do that, here is a brief guide on how: http://blog.xemantic.com/2008/04/timemachine-backups-on-smb-share.html

  • Wrong. HFS+ will not work in a linux router.
    – mspasov
    Apr 18, 2011 at 8:08
  • Depends on how he wants to go about it, it can be done.
    – edude05
    Apr 19, 2011 at 0:20
  • He just cannot use journaling (which sucks for large drives): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HFS_Plus#Linux
    – XQYZ
    Jun 17, 2011 at 5:42

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