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Is it possible use Dropbox as my OSX Time machine backup drive?

I am thinking of getting Dropbox Pro.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Dropbox themselves say it's not possible.

Time Machine uses a special way of "pointing" files to each other, which means that every snapshot of your system as available in Time Machine is not the same on the disk. For example, a file you created a month ago will not be duplicated in your current backup, but there's a "pointer" to the old file in another folder.

Dropbox however doesn't offer a way to represent these file links in their system. That means you can only upload actual files to their service, and not those links.

As a consequence, you can't recreate the file system layout of a Time Machine drive in the Dropbox when pulling it from another Mac or looking at it online, even though your Mac would appear to create the backup just fine.

If you want to spend money on online backup services that fit well with OS X, check:

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cool thanks for this and I can't use iCloud? –  TheLearner Jun 11 '12 at 13:59
To my knowledge, iCloud only backs up data from iOS devices. –  slhck Jun 11 '12 at 14:03
What about creating a disk image in Dropbox? –  daknøk Sep 13 '12 at 7:52
@RadekSlupik Time Machine uses Sparse Bundles and I'm rather sure they don't translate well to the Dropbox system – that being said, I've never tried it and it could be worth a shot, but I could imagine that it won't work out of the box. –  slhck Sep 13 '12 at 8:03
@slhck you can put the sparse bundle in a non-sparse disk image. :) –  daknøk Sep 13 '12 at 10:32

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