I set up my Pi 3 to serve an external drive with Netatalk to access it from my Macbook. Works well, but I can't create directories with Finder. Creating files, renaming, deleting files and directories work, but not creating them. Do you know whats wrong?

> ls -l /mnt
drwxrwxrwx 1 dikti dikti 131072 Nov  3 11:14 BM

> cat /etc/afp.conf
hosts allow =

path = /mnt/BM
valid users = dikti
; also tried what follows below:
file perm = 0666
directory perm = 0777
rwlist = dikti

Edit: I use Archlinux for ARM, so Netatalk is current:

> uname -a
Linux alarmpi 4.9.59-1-ARCH #1 SMP Sun Oct 29 20:24:30 UTC 2017 armv7l GNU/Linux
> netatalk -v
netatalk 3.1.11 - Netatalk AFP server service controller daemon
  • netatalk sharing is defined in /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.default (the normal default is HOME directory only).
    – Milliways
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:41
  • Was correct with 2.x, they changed to afp.conf with 3.0 (netatalk.sourceforge.net/3.0/ReleaseNotes-3.0.html)
    – Dikti
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:45
  • Did you compile 3.0? If so you should specify in your question; the supported version is 2.2.5.
    – Milliways
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:51
  • sorry, forgot mentioning I'm not using Debian, see Edit
    – Dikti
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:56
  • I'm using netatalk on a RPi 3B running raspbian stretch with no issues. I do have settings in /etc/netatalk/AppleVolumes.default which read ~/ "$u's home directory" for home directories and /data/backup/TimeMachine/MacBookAir "MacBook Air Backup" allow:myname cnidscheme:cdb options:usedots,upriv for TimeMachine backups. Interestingly, on my debian desktop machine, also running netatalk serving home directories and TimeMachine volumes, all of the configuration is done in /etc/netatalk/afpd.conf. I'm not sure why I did that, but both are working.
    – bobstro
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


I was able to solve this problem by adding: unix priv = no

to the [share] section in /etc/netatalk/afp.conf.

Inspirational source: http://www.gattis.org/Work-and-Tech/operating-systems-and-applications/backup/time-machine-ubuntu

Situational details:

Client: macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 
Server: Raspberry Pi model 4B running Raspbian 10.

You should not be using netatalk at all. Apple has deprecated AFP in favor of SMB. So samba is the way to go. As of OS X 10.11 Yosemite I also experience issues with other AppleTalk devices. On my old Lacie EthernetDisk mini I could not even connect using AFP any more.

  • I know, but Time Machine won't backup to a samba share without crude hacks, while netatalk has direct support for it. Also, AFP is much faster in my experience listing directories, time till a movie starts etc.
    – Dikti
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 12:11
  • I think you have misleading information. Maybe you can point out your sources. Using Time Machine over Network always leads to the creation of a Sparse Image. This is how TimeCapsule or expensive Enterprise Synology NAS provide Time Machine backups over the network. This is independent of AFP or SMB. To run Time Machine natively you will need the backup volume to be HFS+ and have a client that is able to take advantage of it. So only using another computer with macOS / OS X / MacOS X is capable of doing this.
    – kwasmich
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 12:28
  • (But even here I am not 100% certain and have to check at home. Perhaps it does a sparse image anyway.)
    – kwasmich
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 12:28
  • I'm backing up to my debian server running netatalk configured to provide a 2 TB TimeMachine volume on my 4 TB ext4-formatted drive. I've been using it for years, and have successfully restored my iMac from it more than once (thanks to a failing iMac). There may be other ways of configuring TimeMachine with Linux, but this has been by far the easiest approach I've found.
    – bobstro
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 16:32
  • @kwasmich - Have to agree as the Files app on iOS only supports SMD v2.0 or above but SAMBA is significantly more pain to get running and is slower.
    – user115418
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 14:23

In your macbook terminal do:

cd (drive name)

than try

mk (directory name)

If it doesnt work try using sudo before the command.

  • > cd /Volumes/BM; mkdir foo results in mkdir: foo: Permission denied
    – Dikti
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:46
  • did you try doing sudo before the command? if so it look as if the drive is locking you fron creating a directory Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:49
  • did, permission denied either way
    – Dikti
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:53
  • not sure then, my basic knowledge hasnt gotten me far. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 11:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.