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Netatalk is a free, open-source implementation of the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP). It allows Unix-like operating systems to serve as file servers for Macintosh computers.


Netatalk v3 is availabe as netatalkAUR in the AUR.

The older version of netatalk, v2, is distributed as netatalk-ddpAUR and supports the Apple Macintosh network protocols, including AppleTalk (ATalk), Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), and Printer Access Protocol (PAP).

Choosing Features

With the deprecation of DDP (and therefore ATalk, PAP, timelord, and a2boot), netatalk also dropped these features in netatalk>=3.0. The legacy 2.x branch with DDP support is still available in the AUR as netatalk-ddpAUR. 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.

  • Install netatalkAUR if you only need the "modern" features cnid_metad and afpd, with Bonjour/Zeroconf support only.
  • Install netatalk-ddpAUR to build the full complement of legacy features with SLP support.


Enable and/or start netatalk.service using systemd.

Besides the configuration files that are installed (and checked during upgrade), netatalk may generate two files /etc/netatalk/afp_signature.conf or /var/state/netatalk/afp_signature.conf which holds the system UUID, and /etc/netatalk/afp_voluuid.conf or /var/state/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.


Netatalk 3.x uses a single configuration file, /etc/afp.conf, and a single service, netatalk. Users moving from 2.x to 3.x should be aware that CNID data is no longer stored in .AppleDB directories alongside the hosted data, but in /var/state/netatalk/CNID. To upgrade a share, remove any .AppleDB directories and rebuild with dbd -r <path>.

See man afp.conf and the following example (ensuring processes have write access to afpd.log):

mimic model = TimeCapsule6,106
log level = default:warn
log file = /var/log/afpd.log
hosts allow =

path = /mnt/timemachine
valid users = tmuser
time machine = yes

path = /srv/share/media
valid users = joe sam
Warning: Avoid using symbolic links in afp.conf



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
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport slp -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT -p tcp --dport slp -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p udp --dport slp -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT -p udp --dport slp -j ACCEPT
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dport at-rtmp,at-nbp,at-echo,at-zis -j ACCEPT
iptables -I OUTPUT -p tcp -m multiport --dport at-rtmp,at-nbp,at-echo,at-zis -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).