Space quota for Time Machine

I am using Time Machine to backup my 3 apple computers on my new My Book Live. The way Time Machine works, it will keep previous states of my computers, until the backup drive is full. For example, if I delete one 2GB movie, time machine will keep it in the backups (in case I deleted by mistake).

This way, Time Machine is going to fill My Book with old backups and leave no space for my other files.

Is there a way to put a quota on the MyBookLive backup share in order to restrict Time Machine from claiming all the space?

I have the same problem. Have you find a solution ?

The device does not have a way to set a quota limit for backups.

This is however an interesting idea.

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Is it planned to be implemented? Or somebody knows the hack?

Quotas forTime Machine is a great idea.

Thanks for the input. Keep up the suggestions!


I noticed that Time Machine backup can not be accessed through Finder, and there is a separate network device “MyBookLive-backup” showing on the network device list.  However, it can not be mounted or modified on the desktop.  Is that normal? 

If this “backup” space can not be accessed, there is no easy way to impose the TM size limit, such as those being suggested on Apple Support sites using a modified sparesbundle files.  Will future program update through WD be able to allow size limit? 

Having the same issue… Any idea if there is a plan to add quotas to the backup folder?

Hello all,

I haven’t found a solution, but I must say the problem was not as big as I had initially thought. After 3 months of using Time Machine, my 3 backups did not grow significantly. They did grow a little, but as much to create a problem.

If they keep like this, they will fill my disk in maybe 2 years, which is not so bad.

Things you can do to make them grow less fast is to exclude folders that hold temporary files, like the Download folder. Also, once a year, you can delete the backups and start over.

 Also, once a year, you can delete the backups and start over.

That way, you loose, once a year, the benefit of having timemachine (over rsync or other non-version-based backup soft)

I second the question. I would also love to have quotat. Not just for time machine.

Maybe the answer lies there : 


Really welcome if this gets implemented. I don’t want to dedicate my MyBookLive space completely to TimeMachine. I understood you cannot do partitions easily with the MyBookLive? Because that would solve the problem too. 

Well, that’s not exactly it.

Actually, you *could* change the partition setup of the drive. But then you would have to reconfigure all running daemons (services) to take into account the new configuration (samba, nfs, twonky, trustee, etc…) so you can use the new drive.

Also, there is one major risk: skrewing up when messing with the partition setup. Indeed, the current hardware setup is weird, to say the least. The MBL has a RAID setup with two of the disk partitions. And you get a warning from the kernel that this is useless and will not protect you in case of total disk failure. 

To throw some suggestion to avoid reconfiguration of the sharing services:

  1. mounting one of the partition as /shares/xxxx or /shares

  2. using symbolic links…

Indeed, if one adds new partitions, and mounts them as




one actually achieve space quota. However, these quota are written in stone. So, maybe useful for timemachine. But not-at-all versatile for users. Also, it lacks scalability.

I suggest to pull up an idea:  Set partition size for TimeMachine

Maybe it could help something.