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Old 10-07-2007, 12:39 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: New Jersey, USA
Distribution: SuSE
Posts: 492

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Help with Bacula OR choosing backup software

I'm looking to setup a good backup infrastructure. I know that Amanda and Bacula are the most popular. I didn't particularly like Amanda, so I decided to try Bacula.

Well, I've been working on config files for 8 hours, and have gotten pretty much nowhere.

So... Question #1 - does anyone know of a program that will generate Bacula config files for me?

Or... #2, does anyone know of a simpler package that also works well over networks?

Essentially, all I want is:
*define a list of files per-host to be backed up
*do a differential or incremental backup 6 nights a week
*do a full backup 1 night per week
*write everything to disk on a network machine, making sure it has enough free space
*delete oldest backup to make space, if needed
*write the full backup to tape once a week

As you can see, Bacula is a bit heavy-weight for what I need. It wouldn't be as bad if I didn't have to define pools, volumes, and devices just to write to a partition that's already shared via NFS, and if I didn't need to make separate "jobs" for each separate fileSet on each client.

Any suggestions?

Old 10-15-2007, 06:18 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Solaris 9 & 10, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Server
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I doubt you'll find an automatic configuration program for Bacula. Backup is a complex process that has too many options and variations. That's why O'Reilly has a complete book on it with full chapters on Amanda and Bacula.

There is actually a quick start guide for Amanda at

That will get you up and running fairly quickly. It gives you a link to an example amanda.conf that sets up a test environment with virtual tapes (backing up to disk). From there, modifying it to fit your setup should be fairly straightforward.

If you want some good reasons for making that choice, check out the bookmark to "Ten Things I like About Amanda", currently at the top of

If you choose to go that route, post any questions you have, and I will try to help out. There are a couple of different ways you can accomplish what you want.
Old 10-15-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2001
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The bacula docs are very well written. You should go over them, they give examples, etc. The config is pretty straight forward once you get a grasp of everything you can do with options and becomes fairly easy to configure.

Bacula also has an IRC channel that is always helpful, #bacula
Old 10-15-2007, 06:39 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: New Jersey, USA
Distribution: SuSE
Posts: 492

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Thanks for the links.

I have the O'Reilly book.

I wasn't really looking for an automatic configuration generator, but something that would aid in editing *all* of these config files via SSH.

I ended up getting Bacula up and running with the aid of Webmin to get a base config, though something appears broken in the Webmin module that came with bacula - it seems to be choking on all of the curly braces in the director config and omitting them on some saves.

While I now have a simple test setup running (1 director/SD, 2 clients, 2 backup jobs for the clients) with few issues. The biggest has been incompatibility between the 1.x and 2.x bacula-fd... a few of my machines are running older OS's, so I end up in dependency hell if I try to install the 2.x version - worse still, I've already broken one machine by attempting an online update that ended up updating glibc and breaking the entire system.

Anyway, bottom line, I'm going to stick with Bacula and add bit by bit more as I get a better grasp of the configuration.



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