So I used to use CCC to clone my external drive to another external drive for a backup copy.

What I realized is that I want incremental backup that is versioned. So I can go back to a copy that is on a specific date in the past.

I don't want to use time machine for this because right now TM is already being used to backup my main drive to a time capsule.

As far as I know, I can't setup TM to backup my main drive to time capsule while choosing to backup an external drive to another location.

I guess I'm looking for 3rd party solution here?

  • code42.com
    – tron_jones
    Jan 12, 2015 at 4:05
  • CCC keeps copies - see the target directory and the directory _CCC SafetyNet in that. Also TM can backup to two (or more) separate drives
    – mmmmmm
    Jan 16, 2015 at 13:39

6 Answers 6


Mac Backup Guru is the only 3rd party software that can make incremental snapshots on a Mac.

The main advantage that it has over Time Machine is that the backups it makes are bootable. It also gives you control so that you can use the backup disk for other purposes besides backup. You can control how much data gets stored on it, and it can automatically delete old backups if you specify it.

Full disclosure: I wrote it.


Take a look at Crash Plan. It allows you to backup to a disk, machine on the network, or the cloud. It has options for how long to retain items and what to ignore.


Well, if you are not afraid of the command line, you could use rsnapshot (also based on rsync). This blog post explains very nicely how you can set it up and use it on OS X.

To install you can use homebrew:

brew install rsnapshot
brew install coreutils

Next you will need to create a config file. A config file template will be located at /usr/local/Cellar/rsnapshot/1.3.1/etc/rsnapshot.conf.default. Make sure you use the alternative copy command from coreutils: cmd_cp /usr/local/bin/gcp in the config file.

To create a snapshot you will do something like:

rsnapshot -c /Users/username/rsnapshot/rsnapshot.conf hourly

If you want to automatize it you can also create a cron job for it.


If you're not opposed to using the command line and a configuration file, MacLemon is essentially Time Machine that you can trigger via cron. It's excellent, supported, free, and since it's based on rsync, solid as a rock. It "just works."



Get Backup Pro (http://www.belightsoft.com/getbackup/) is an awesome tool. Great value for money, and really great features like bootable and encrypted backups, disk cloning, folder sync, backing up mounted disks, choosing which files to backup and compress folders – Time Machine simply can’t do some of these things! Also, incremental/versioned archives and other stuff. For me it’s almost a perfect tool.


I have been using for a long time, and still using satisfactorily, SuperDuper! by Shirt-Pocket: http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html. I recommend it.

  • How would you implement the OP's requirement for "incremental backup that is versioned" with SuperDuper?
    – nohillside
    May 27, 2015 at 12:04

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