[vbox-dev] Using xattrs to exclude disk images from time machine under OSX

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Fri Sep 18 16:20:23 GMT 2015

Hi Andrew,

On 11.09.2015 05:00, Andrew Melo wrote:
> Hello,
> I am looking to implement enabling a setting for Virtualbox to
> automatically set the
> "com.apple.metadata:com_apple_backup_excludeItem" xattr for newly
> created disk images, most probably hooked into the global/per-VM
> extradata somewhere under the VboxInternal tree. This xattr will cause
> time machine to ignore the file when backing up, without having to
> manually add the directories where Virtualbox is storing the images.

Sounds like a nice option to me, but not something which should happen 
unconditionally (as some people might wan to have their VMs handled by 
time machine).

> Why don't I just add ~/Virtualbox\ VMs to the exclusion? Because
> there's some applications which integrate kicking off a VM for
> testing, and the images are stored next to the rest of the application
> state.

I don't follow why you think 'time machining' VM configs without the 
corresponding disk images makes any sense.

> Looking through the source tree, the change looks to be
> straightforward, but I don't want to take the time to make a patch if
> this feature wouldn't be considered for inclusion.

The real challenge from my perspective is to make this configurable in a 
sensible way. I'm almost certain that a significant number of users 
would complain if for all newly created disk images VirtualBox would 
automatically exclude them from the backup. Feel free to give arguments 
which support the opposite :)

I do agree that the basic feature isn't complicated. The tricky part is 
finding a sensible way to configure this, as no other platform so far 
needed a similar configuration.

Thanks for your proposal, we'll see what comes out of it...

> Thanks!
> Andrew

More information about the vbox-dev mailing list