I've been using an HFS+ drive for Time Machine, but I recently formatted a drive in APFS as my Time Machine backup drive on macOS Monterey. Now I find the implementation with APFS very confusing.
If I list things on the root directory of the drive with
ls, the results are as follows:
.fseventsd .Spotlight-V100 2022-12-03-020353.previous backup_manifest.plist
And upon further inspection,
2022-12-03-020353.previous only contains the latest version of files, older backups are not visible. On an HFS+ TM backup drive, there should be a
Backups.backupdb that contains all the backups with timestamps, which to my understanding is no longer the case for APFS since Big Sur. Now if I do
tmutil listbackups, I still get a list of backup timestamps instantly, which looks like the following, though I don't know what to do with them:
…… 2022-12-02-151624.backup 2022-12-02-171818.backup 2022-12-03-000232.backup 2022-12-03-020353.backup
From what I found online, the older backups are stored as APFS snapshots, the question is though, how do I restore specific files from them? I mean, without the Time Machine GUI, but in the command line with
tmutil? On HFS+ drives I can simply do
tmutil restore /Volumes/TM/Backups.backupdb/<timestamp>/Macintosh HD/<src> <dst>, how do I do the same thing with an APFS drive? Do I need to mount a specific snapshot first before restoring? How to do that in the command line with timestamps gathered by
tmutil listbackups? Because waiting for snapshots for the backup hard drive to appear in
Disk Utility.app takes forever.
Apologies if this has been asked before, but search engines haven't been kind to me, all I could find about APFS TM backups were about local snapshots and deleting a backup by timestamp.