AirPort Time Capsule ssh access

I’m trying to copy some Time Machine backups from one Time Capsule to another and permissions seem to be getting in my way. I’m hoping to circumvent this by using scp to copy files from one Time Capsule to another. Before I can do that, I need to get ssh access to each of the Time Capsules and I was having a heck of a time before I figured out a couple things.

Following these instructions (converted to English) and this thread helped, but the acp and airpyrt scripts would error out. This thread helped me learn that the airpyrt script cannot handle a number IP address, it must instead use the Time Capsule’s mDNS hostname AND for either acp or airpyrt the Time Capsule cannot have a password with special characters – I’ll report this back to Samuel in he or the other developers care to address it.

If you’re hoping to use airpyrt and your Time Capsule’s local IP address is “” (adjust to your fit in command below) you can obtain its mDNS name through the following command:

dig -x @ -p 5353

(the output from this command will show a Time Capsule name that ends in .local)

In my case it was “Basement-Shop-AirPort-Time-Capsule.local” (I skipped the period after local).

After revising my Time Capsules passwords to omit special characters, I then used the following commands to install acp or airpyrt (take your choice although acp should be newer and can roll with number IP addresses). I’ll refine the commands below when I try again from a Mac that is not yet configured to make these connections.

First, I’m pretty sure we have to do this with Python 2, not 3, so use brew to install pyenv and enable it in Bash shell:

brew install pyenv
eval “$(pyenv init -)”
pyenv versions
pyenv global 2.7.18
python –version
pip install acp (might be able to skip this?)
npm install –global node-acp (might be able to skip this)

Or, if you prefer to use airpyrt, follow these instructions.

I followed some additional advice here:

To do cute things like get a list of all MAC addresses connected to an AirPort, Josh has a ruby script. And Jörg is trying to mount the hard drive. Ray has all kinds of good stuff.

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