Time Machine Reservoir Sampler
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Time Warp

Time Machine Reservoir Sampler

Time Warp is a tool for modifying Time Machine's backup behavior using weighted reservoir sampling. Please see this blog post for an explain of the project prior to setup and use.


  • OS X 10.7+

Setup Instructions

  • Verify that the desired Time Machine Drive is mounted:

    If you don't know how to do this, see here.

  • After cloning the repo, ensure Time Warp is in your path and executable:

    $ chmod 755 timewarp.py

  • Modify the default config file (safe-warp.json) to point at the desired Time Machine volume.

    Here's an example of what the configuration file should look like:

    "mode": "safe",
    "volume": "/Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/computer_name/",
    "threshold": 1024, 
    "log": "timewarp.log"
  • Run Time Warp in safe-mode using the modified config file from step 2:

    $ ./timewarp.py safe-warp.json

  • Verify Time Warp is working by examining the log file, timewarp.log. This file contains the backup snapshot(s) that would have been deleted if the mode was set to live.

  • Change the mode value to "live".

    DO NOT CHANGE THE THRESHOLD VALUE UNLESS YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES. Setting the mode to live and changing the threshold value to a large size could potentially delete every backup on a Time Machine hard drive.

  • Move the provided plist file, org.drbunsen.timewarp.plist to the LaunchAgents folder and change the owner:

    $ mv org.drbunsen.timewarp.plist /Library/LaunchAgents/
    $ sudo chown root /Library/LaunchAgents/org.drbunsen.timewarp.plist
    $ sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchAgents/org.drbunsen.timewarp.plist