how to use rsync to restore Time Machine data

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  • Mac OS X v. 10.7 or newer
  • basic command line knowledge


Creating the backup path:

If you are restoring from a TimeMachine backup (USB) the backup path is structured as follows:


If you are restoring from a TimeMachine backup (network, TM server) the backup is incapsulated into a .sparsebundle writable image. You will have to mount the image before you can access backed up data. The backup within is structured as follows:


Creating the restore path:

After you figured out the path to your backed up data (patha) you must know where you will restore your data, usually is something like this:


Now open terminal app and issue the following command (replace the patha and pathb with the actual paths in your machine):

#sudo rsync -av patha pathb

The above command will copy all your data from the Time Machine backup to your drive. This will keep all permissions and ownership intact.

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