I have this configuration: a NAS and a local hard drive on my Mac I want to backup incrementally, like Time Machine does.

When I do this rsync command:

rsync -va --exclude=.DS_Store --delete /Volumes/Drive/Folder /Volumes/RSYNC/Test

A folder "test" on my NAS (so the remote) will be deleted if it doesn't exist on my local hard drive.
I would like to keep the possibility to add more content on the remote folder without having it on my drive (more like a shared folder, other users can add content, but I come with my possibly updated data to backup everything).

Any idea how to do incremental backups (in another folder, with file versions, etc — like Time Machine in some way), without deleting non-existing content on remote from local?

  • rsync is designed for syncing or data transfer, not for version control (like Time Machine). Version control is an whole other ball-game. Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 21:48
  • ha, ok. The fact is I can't use Time Machine anymore because I would like to run different backup actions (one for music, videos, specific work folders on different remotes, etc). What tool can I use? I'm currently using ChronoSync but the sync duration is damn long (11mn to check every single folder and copy only 100mb…)
    – flks
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 21:54
  • You CAN use time machine for this. Just alter your question, ask what you are trying to achieve, and I will try to answer it. Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 9:24
  • From now, Time Machine is not the best tool for my use. I need multiple backup tasks for specific folders on my NAS. I would like to have a clean folder root structure with backups in a folder and not this date + latest folders from TM.
    – flks
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


Folder selection in Time Machine

You can specify folders to be excluded from your Time Machine backup, specifically, you could specify everything BUT your specific files.

system preferences > time machine > options.
  • Yeah, already did that to exclude my SSD drive from the Mac. But, here, I need to sync these excluded folders to another remote folders, so, Time Machine is not the best tool to do multiple backups tasks.
    – flks
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 18:18
  • @flks I see. Commercial software might help you out. Like: econtechnologies.com/chronosync/overview.html (I have no experience with this software) or see forums.macrumors.com/threads/… Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:09
  • I'm already using ChronoSync but it's quite slow to copy everything (11mn for almost 0 copied octet). Was wondering about something better and speeder.
    – flks
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 20:25

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