External drive with Mac backup

There’s an SSD that’s partitioned as a Mac time machine + storage and I’d like to change it to Manjaro timeshift + storage. Is it possible without touching the storage partition? Should it be formatted or erased on Mac or Linux PC?

Assuming it is two partitions - you can format one without touching the other.


Yes, it’s 2 partitions, what’s a good way to do it? Can I do it with Partition manager by changing file system from properties, should I choose ext4?

Based on my experience… :sob: … I wouldn’t touch any mac partitions (file system hfs+ or APFS?) from within linux. All changes on those partitions should be made using mac’s disk utility.


It’s hfs+

If both partitions were created and used from within mac os (hfs+) you have to do any resizing on mac’s disk utility. Even the usual cleanup before changing partition sizes is better be done in mac os.

Once you’ve shrank the partitions with disk utility and created enough ‘unused space’ to the right of them, you can switch back to manjaro’s partition manager and format that space for linux use, eg ext4.


Yes, both were created in Mac, but the storage one is exfat. This is how it looks: https://i2.paste.pics/8f16fab16aa5bab8c171b7c9fdddf8a7.png?trs=2bcaa655772cb19b4025a039b83e33f49c7386a752967eb0009f4132846a2a29
Also, is it better to have timeshift and /home backup on the same partition or have /home backup on the storage partition?

If you do not need or care about the data that is already on it
just re-partition, reformat the whole thing. ?

Then shrink them in mac os.

That depends if you want the new storage to be accessed by linux machines only or if you want the storage accessible to others, eg Win or Mac.

For linux only you could use a single ext4 partition. For shared use, eg your mac can use the two mac partitions (hfs+ and exfat) for its own use but can also access the ‘linux storage’, you’d need 2 new partitions, ext4 for timeshift, and fat for storage. Fat is the file system usb sticks come formatted in; that’s why they work on linux, win and mac.

  • for linux only ext4
  • for linux and Win ntfs or fat
  • for linux and mac and win fat

I know this is simplified but this should be a safe way to achieve your goal.

Keep hfs+ and exfat, add a ext4 for timeshift and a fat for storage and both machines can save their respective snapshots, can backup to their respective storage but can also access each others storage.

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I won’t be using Mac backups, so I want to format just that partition to store Manjaro backup. Thanks a lot!

If you don’t use or want or care about any of what is there already …
just re-format it completely?
Treat the drive as a new one.

There’s data on the storage partition, I’d like to save it there.

Yes, if you want to use the drive exclusively on linux you can use manjaro to erase the mac hfs+ partition whilst keeping the mac exfat storage, it’s accessible to linux.
Then reformat the new space to one or two ext4 partitions.

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You know that.
And that’s just fine.
That there is data on a existing partition.

But you can’t alter/re-format the other one?

perhaps before you respond:

I have never in my life owned any Apple hardware.
I have zero experience with it.

… except for the demand of connecting those devices to a Linux system
in order to at least gather and store their photos/pictures

That’s good, thanks!

I tried, but probably did it wrong, I hadn’t unmounted it, now it says ext4, but the old files are there. Should I unmount and delete?

I have no idea of what you did and what the result was.

I now deleted the hfs+ partition, and created a new one from the unallocated part that was between the two partitions, do I need it or can I apply this action? https://i2.paste.pics/fd0b42af45ba292de335e38e5fc052ea.png?trs=2bcaa655772cb19b4025a039b83e33f49c7386a752967eb0009f4132846a2a29

That looks good.

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