APFS take a snapshot


I'm giving APFS a testdrive and I was wondering if there is a way already to create snapshots of a disk? In the WWDC intro from last year it was said that the snapshotUtil exec would be available in the open beta release.

I installed macOS 10.13 High Sierra and wasn't able to find that or anything else that would allow me to take snapshots.

Did I miss something?

Post not yet marked as solved Up vote post of Tzeejay Down vote post of Tzeejay


I am also interested

The binary in 10.12 was at /System/Library/Filesystems/apfs.fs/Contents/Resources/apfs_snapshot but that's no longer there.

Apparently the APIs still exist and the 10.12 binary works on 10.13 but not sure of the future status making manual snapshots.


In WWDC session, it has been told to request for entitlement in order to get snapshot API support. However, the APFS documentation is not up to date. Where I can ask for such entitlement?

Another feature that is not accessible, AFAIK, is Fast Directory Sizing. It event looks like the Finder is not using this feature. Is there someone at Apple readint this post that can confirm that an API will be available for those features?

This is not about the APIs, this is about the exec by Apple in order to take snapshots manually. I'd guess you can obtain the entitlements on the certificates page

I watched session 715 from last Friday and they demonstrated APFS snapshots through Time Machine with `tmutil snapshot` if I recall correctly. I will investigate a little more and report back, but I would love to hear from someone on the APFS team!

I have been playing with tmutil snapshots here https://github.com/vimalloc/apfs-auto-snapshot. It does let you take snapshots which is great, but it also silently deletes the snapshots you have created without any input from you, which is less great. I want to setup a system where I can keep 4 quater hourly snaphsots, 24 hourly snapshosts, 7 weekly snapshots, etc (configurable of course). This setup has proven very helpful for me with btrfs in linux, and has saved me quiet a few headaches. Unfortunatally, it just doesn't work here. Something (probably time machine) keeps deleting the snapshots I have created.

I would really like to have an API where we could make and mange our own APFS snapshots, or a setting to keep explicitly created snapshots until they were explictly deleted. As it stands, I cannot get more then 4 or 5 snapshots over a one hour period without the invisible force coming in and deleting all older snapshots.

Being able to create snapshots with no guarentees that they will actually be there when you need them seems like a broken implementation, in my opinion. Hopefully Apple will fix this soon.