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Mac and annoying hourly Time Machine

Those with Macs and running Time Machine know all too well how it runs on an hourly basis with no control over how frequently it runs. While it's a great feature (and I have used it to restore files back in time successfully), I really don't need it to run every single hour. Also my drive is a bit noisy, so all the more reason for it not to run that often.

A little digging last week and I found out how to have more control over it. There are little apps out there you can install that will manually control it, I prefer to put my basic system administrator skills to work and just use cron to manage it. Effectively, all you need to do is go into the GUI for Time Machine and disable it first. Then create a crontab entry (your personal one--not root) that calls the following...


I set mine up to run once every 6 hours and it works like a champ. However, if you don't know what a crontab is, I advise you not to try this. :) If you know what cron is and can manage in the vi editor, then you can handle it. If someone is in between, let me know and I can help you out.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for this. I used one of the GUI apps to change it 'cause I'm lazy but it didn't seem to work. I'm about to get a new Macbook Pro 13" and I'll be changing it right off the bat. I will probably dig into scheduling using launchd. I'd have to refresh my memory on setting it up with cron, so I might as well spend the time figuring out launchd.
Jun. 30th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Next time I see you I'll let you cast this spell for me!
Jun. 30th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
My new Mac Pro runs every hour and gets on my last freakin' nerve! Please help me Obi Wan! You're my only hope! :-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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