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Netatalk v2.2.2 is a free, open-source implementation of the Apple Macintosh network protocols, including AppleTalk (ATalk), Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), and Printer Access Protocol (PAP). It allows Unix-like operating systems to serve as file, print, and time servers for Macintosh computers.


Use the netatalk package available in AUR, which has initscripts tailored for ArchLinux.

Choosing Features

With the deprecation of DDP (ATalk, PAP, timelord, and a2boot to be removed in v3.0), netatalk has been divided into netatalk and netatalk-ddp, albeit in one (split) package. DDP is only necessary to support Mac OS <= 9, but OS X <= 10.3 will also benefit from the integration of SLP since it does not fully support Bonjour/Zeroconf. DDP would network older Macs which ran on AppleTalk instead of TCP/IP, and timelord and a2boot were for time-synchronization and Apple II booting. PAP may still be necessary for users with LaserWriter printers without TCP/IP support.

A normal build of the AUR package will only build the "modern" features cnid_metad and afpd, with Bonjour/Zeroconf support only.

To build the full complement of features with SLP support, run makepkg --pkg netatalk-ddp instead. The necessary dependencies will be added and resolved. When v3.0 is released, netatalk-ddp will branch to a separate maintenance package.


Install your finished package with pacman as usual, and remember to add "netatalk" to the daemons list in /etc/rc.conf.

Besides the configuration files that are installed (and checked during upgrade), netatalk may generate two files /etc/netatalk/afp_signature.conf which holds the system UUID, and /etc/netatalk/afp_voluuid.conf which holds volume UUIDs for TimeMachine. These files may remain after package removal and should be kept in most cases to disambiguate the services broadcast over the local network.


To emulate the init functionality of the systems fully-supported by netatalk, one initscript "netatalk" is responsible for starting and stopping the individual daemons. The script checks for the binaries available on the system, and starts them in a specific order, skipping those that are already running. The stop process occurs in reverse. To prevent ambiguity, only "netatalk" registers as a daemon with the system, but is silent, it doesn't echo any messages. The individual initscripts echo to the terminal, but don't register as daemons to prevent confusion.

The individual scripts are provided for users who may want to manage the daemons at runtime or add specific arguments, but don't worry, they will obey the necessary dependencies for proper operation. If a daemon is required by others, it won't stop until its children aren't running; if a daemon has dependencies it won't start until these are met.



Edit the afpd configuration file (/etc/netatalk/afpd.conf), and add a line similar to

- -mimicmodel TimeCapsule6,106 -setuplog "default log_warn /var/log/afpd.log"

This tells netatalk to use the system's hostname, mimic a TimeCapsule, and log warnings and errors to file.


Edit the volumes configuration file /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.default, and append the following to add a TimeMachine-like share

<path_to_share> <sharename> allow:<username> options:usedots,upriv,tm
  • The volsizelimit:<limit_in_whole_mebibytes> argument can be useful here to limit the total space reported to TimeMachine.
  • If you wish to turn off "home" shares, change the ~ line to #~.
Warning: Avoid nesting volumes, and do not share directories by any other protocol. All file changes must be made via afpd only

IP Tables

If you use the iptables package for firewall services, consider adding the following: (replace -I with -A as necessary)

iptables -I INPUT -p udp --dport mdns -d -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT -p udp --dport mdns -d -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport afpovertcp -j ACCEPT

Enable Bonjour/Zeroconf

Bonjour/Zeroconf is now a requirement of netatalk and is compiled by default. No configuration is necessary, netatalk will register its own services using the dbus link. Make sure you set -mimicmodel to the desired string (see /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Info.plist on a Mac for a full list).