Backups to the Future: Eliminate Tape Backups with FreeNAS and Bacula

The future of backups is here, but unfortunately, there aren't any Delorians.


Address = localhost  

You also could search for the and entries to find some of the other entries that need to be changed. Once the passwords and Address fields have been set, open the /etc/bacula/bacula-sd.conf file in your editor, and comment the following line in the Device section of the Filestorage device:

Archive Device = /tmp

Then, add the line below in its place to associate the locally mounted FreeNAS partition with the storage dæmon so you can back up to it:

Archive Device = /mnt/freenas

The final step is to open the Services utility under System→Administration, and check the box to set bacula-dir, bacula-sd and bacula-fd to start on runlevel 5 (Figure 5). You now can use the syntax:

service bacula-dir|sd|fd start|stop|restart 

to control the dæmons. On other distributions, you can start the dæmons directly from /usr/sbin and use chkconfig to set the runlevel.

Figure 5. Start all three Bacula dæmons, and set them to runlevel 5.

Running a Backup Job

Running a backup is quite simple, as you already have done most of the work by editing the bacula-dir.conf file. Start the Bacula console from the Applications→System Tools Menu (Figure 6) in GNOME. You may need to edit the launcher, as I did, to point it to the correct /etc/bacula/gnome-console.conf file. Start the Tray Monitor utility from the System Tools menu as well. The Tray Monitor (Figure 7) is nice, because it gives you a quick glance at the status of the dæmons and any running jobs. This is helpful when you are multitasking or have jobs that run nightly and you want to check their status the next morning. Return to the console, and click the Run button to bring up the backup job dialog window. Under job, select WeeklyHomeBackups (Figure 8). This pre-fills the field selections with the items specified in your .conf file. You could change any of these options at this point, but they must first exist in the .conf file or they will not appear in the fields. In other words, you can't create a job from the drop-downs without populating the Job section of the .conf file.

Up to this point, there are no volumes, which as previously mentioned, need to exist before you can run a backup. Typically, you would have to use the label command from the console's command line to create a volume in a pool manually, but because of our settings, the system will create them automatically, auto-name them and recycle them when the volume retention period triggers. I like this better than manually creating the volumes, as you are less likely to encounter naming errors. Click OK to run the job, and view the results in the console.

Figure 6. The GNOME Bacula Console

Figure 7. The Bacula Tray Monitor

Figure 8. Running a Backup Job from the GNOME Console

If you were to change the Volume Retention setting on the same pool, restart the dæmons and run the job again, you would see the system auto-recycle a volume in the pool for the next job. Otherwise, it will prompt you to create a new volume, as no existing volumes can be recycled due to retention settings. You can run these jobs manually as often as you want, but they also will run according to the schedule defined in the bacula-dir.conf file.

Restoring a File

Restoring a file in Bacula also is remarkably simple. You can use either the Restore button on the console toolbar or the restore command. Both are easy to use, but the restore command provides more options. To keep it simple, let's use the Restore button. When the dialog opens, select a job, client, pool and so on from which to restore (Figure 9), then click Select Files to mark the files/folders you want to restore (Figure 10). Before the restore job runs, you will be prompted to confirm your options, at which point you could type yes, mod or no. Typing mod provides more options over the job, including the option to restore to a different path from the original one.

Figure 9. Bacula's Restore Options Dialog Window

Figure 10. Marking the Files to Restore



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Tape Sets

zied's picture


I followed this article with great interest, it's really instructive.

I implemented the same "algorithm" but with tapes.

I'm confused about how many do I need, and when to change ??

can you help please ?

kind regards,

Share what you learn what you don't


uslacker's picture

Did he really tell us to change all the passwords to a default so we can get the system up and running? Then go back later....

Isn't this how we got ourselves in to the security quagmire we've been trying to get out of for years? Too many simple passwords or "we'll do it later.." has left back doors the size of trucks in our networks.
Please, teach us better than this!