OS X Lion and Time Machine on your NAS

by Volker Weber


When OS X Lion ships, it will require AFP features that your NAS probably has not implemented yet. Those boxes are using NetAFP Netatalk, and there is a small problem:

many corporations are using and making money from Netatalk, but in the past none of these cared that the cow they’re milking gets fed, Netgear Inc. being the one exception, thanks for that.

You will need an update to NetAFP Netatalk 2.2. And the only company likely to have access to that is Netgear:

Now in order to stir things up, we’ve released NetAFP Netatalk 2.2.0 to customers only, without pushing to Sourceforge. Sourceforge Netatalk will stay at 2.2-beta4 until we’ve convinced enough OEMs that working with us is in their own interest, until we generate enough revenue to pay our bills.

Netgear has not shipped the update to RAIDiator 4.2.18 yet, but they could do that when Apple ships Lion. Netatalk has been available to customers since June 9. The good news is that Netgear is likely to ship an update for their X86 based NAS machines. The bad news is they have not updated their older Sparc-based NAS machines for a while. Lets hope those get an update for the older 4.1.7 as well.


How is that supposed to work? Netatalk is licensed under the GPL, so every Netgear customer has the right to obtain the source code and do with it what they want, e.g. publish it somewhere.

Thomas Muders, 2011-07-03

@Thomas : So - that does not force the *authors* to license new versions the same way and provide access to new versions... I actually appreciate this step. Too few authors are taking this approach and too many companies are getting a free ride.

Jan Tietze, 2011-07-03

Thanks for letting us know - TM backups are important to me so I'll have to watch how this continues. This could mean to wait with the Lion upgrade until this is resolved or to return to a zoo of USB discs - which I just replaced with the NAS boxes...

I can understand where they are coming from with this move though, TANSTAAFL.

Tobias Hauser, 2011-07-03

Isn't OpenSource just the greatest thing since sliced bread? ;-)
For me this is a great example, that OpenSource does not work. If there is a business modell around it, it can, however a big enough, sustainable business modell around an OpenSource Software is quite rare.

Martin Hiegl, 2011-07-03

What about the point, Apple making it impossible to use TM with most NAS-Systems being around at the moment? Doesn't that bug anyone? Allthough i understand this blog as one of the most read geek blogs, i assume that apple knows about the issue and that, if this thing will not change before Lion ships, there will be quite a lot of people who won't be able to use their TM anymore?!

Kai Schmalenbach, 2011-07-03

I suggest you wait a few weeks before deploying Lion. Look at at this table. Buffalo, LaCie and Synology have not been updating their stack for years. Netgear is involved with the vendor, QNAP could step up their game. Talk to your vendor.

Volker Weber, 2011-07-03

Not a fan of Time Machine, so I haven't looked, but...
is it not still almost too easy to use NFS or CIFS rather than AFP?

@Kai: How is it Apple's problem that third parties don't keep their network protocol stacks current?

David Richardson, 2011-07-03

At least for the ReadyNAS products from Netgear there will be updates to support the new DHX2 protocol as well as time machine backups. This is for both, the Intel and the Sparc boxes.
For other NAS boxes one can try to make Lion use DHCAST128 again as outlined here. This will at least provide AFP connectivity to shared folders but won't allow for time machine backups.

Stefan Rubner, 2011-07-04

Hi there,

Synology already published DSM 3.2 beta which will support OS X Lion & TM backup.



Michael Schnatmann, 2011-07-20

Intel-based ReadyNAS devices are back in the running as Netgear released the firmware update. No such joy (yet) for those of us running on SPARC. Apparently something is in development though.

ReadyNAS and Apple OS X Lion.

Ben Poole, 2011-07-21

Hi there,

does anybody know what the situations with Drobo?
I am using an Drobo FS, which works OK under Snow Leopard, but sucks under Lion:
Initial TM backup was taking more than 9 DAYS (yes DAYS - not hours)

Cheers Winfried

Winfried Tilke, 2011-12-02

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