Created: 2012-08-21 07:57
Updated: 2017-06-15 14:28
License: mit



Extract directories and files from an Apple TimeMachine external drive.

Ever moved from a Mac to a Linux machine and have to get some old content out of your Apple TimeMachine?

This script allows you to copy a specific file or a directory and it's contents from the TimeMachine to a destination on your local machine.


  • I don't know how well it works on a Windows machine as I developed it in Ubuntu, it has also come in handy when I'm pulling files after moving to a new mac.
  • On occasion, you may get a permission denied error. When that happens you should run this with root access (sudo) as you will need it to access the protected files.
  • This only copies Files and Directories. It does not follow links.


  • Plug in your external HD
  • Launch a terminal
  • python timemachine/init.py --help

timemachine --mount_path PATH [--host HOST] [--version VERSION] [--partition PARTITION] [--path PATH] [--dst_path PATH]

REQUIRED: --mount_path PATH Location where the timemachine HD is mounted. Usually something like "/Volumes/EXTERNAL_HARDDRIVE".

OPTIONAL: --path PATH Source path (Directory or File) as it would have appeared on your old computer. E.g. /Users/USERNAME/Desktop/work.odt If a --dst_path is provided with this path, then we'll copy this source to the destination. If no --dst_path is provided then we'll enter interactive mode and you'll be prompted for commands. --host HOST Name of the host who's timemachine we want to access. Defaults to one with the most recent version. --version VERSION The name of the timemachine versions we want to access. Defaults to "Latest". --partition PARTITION The name of the partition in the timemachine we want to access. Usually "Macintosh HD" --dst_path PATH If provided we just copy path to dst_path, no interactive folder walking.


  • Copy/Follow symlinks.

Issues and suggestions:

Fire on any issues or suggestions you have.

Copyright and license

Copyright 2017 David Higgins

MIT License

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