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The Current State of Bacula
In other words, what is and what is not currently implemented and functional.
- Job Control
- Network backup/restore with centralized Director.
- Internal scheduler for automatic
- Scheduling of multiple Jobs at the same time.
- You may run one Job at a time or multiple simultaneous Jobs.
- Job sequencing using priorities.
- Console interface to the Director allowing complete
control. A shell, GNOME GUI and wxWidgets GUI versions of the Console program
are available. Note, the GNOME GUI program currently offers very few
additional features over the shell program.
- Verification of files previously cataloged, permitting a Tripwire like
capability (system break-in detection).
- CRAM-MD5 password authentication between each component (daemon).
TLS (ssl) encryption between each component.
- Computation of MD5 or SHA1 signatures of the file data if requested.
- Restore Features
- Restore of one or more files selected interactively either for the
current backup or a backup prior to a specified time and date.
- Restore of a complete system starting from bare metal. This is mostly
automated for Linux systems and partially automated for Solaris. See
Disaster Recovery Using Bacula. This is also
reported to work on Win2K/XP systems.
- Listing and Restoration of files using stand-alone bls and bextract tool programs. Among other things, this permits extraction of files
when Bacula and/or the catalog are not available. Note, the recommended way
to restore files is using the restore command in the Console. These programs
are designed for use as a last resort.
- Ability to recreate the catalog database by scanning backup Volumes
using the bscan program.
- SQL Catalog
- Catalog database facility for remembering Volumes, Pools, Jobs, and
Files backed up.
- Support for SQLite, PostgreSQL, and MySQL Catalog databases.
- User extensible queries to the SQLite, PostgreSQL and MySQL databases.
- Advanced Volume and Pool Management
- Labeled Volumes, preventing accidental overwriting (at least by
- Any number of Jobs and Clients can be backed up to a single Volume.
That is, you can backup and restore Linux, Unix, Sun, and Windows machines to
the same Volume.
- Multi-volume saves. When a Volume is full, Bacula automatically
requests the next Volume and continues the backup.
- Pool and Volume library management
providing Volume flexibility (e.g. monthly, weekly, daily Volume sets, Volume
sets segregated by Client, ...).
- Machine independent Volume data format. Linux, Solaris, and Windows
clients can all be backed up to the same Volume if desired.
- A flexible
message handler including routing
of messages from any daemon back to the Director and automatic email
- Data spooling to disk during backup with subsequent write to tape from
the spooled disk files. This prevents tape "shoe shine" during
- Advanced Support for most Storage Devices
- Autochanger support using a simple shell interface that can interface
to virtually any autoloader program. A script for mtx is provided.
- Support for autochanger barcodes -- automatic tape labeling from
- Automatic support for multiple autochanger magazines either using
barcodes or by reading the tapes.
- Support for multiple drive autochangers.
- Raw device backup/restore. Restore must be to the same device.
- All Volume blocks (approx 64K bytes) contain a data checksum.
- Multi-Operating System Support
- Programmed to handle arbitrarily long filenames and messages.
- GZIP compression on a file by file basis done by the Client program if
requested before network transit.
- Saves and restores POSIX ACLs on most OSes if enabled.
- Access control lists for Consoles that permit restricting user access
to only their data.
- Support for save/restore of files larger than 2GB.
- Support for 64 bit machines, e.g. amd64.
- Ability to encrypt communications between daemons using stunnel.
- Support ANSI and IBM tape labels.
- Support for Unicode filenames (e.g. Chinese) on Win32 machines on
version 1.37.28 and greater.
- Consistent backup of open files on Win32 systems (WinXP, Win2003),
but not Win2000, using Volume Shadow Copy (VSS).
- Multi-threaded implementation.
- A comprehensive and extensible
configuration file for each daemon.
- Since there is a client for each machine, you can backup
and restore clients of any type ensuring that all attributes
of files are properly saved and restored.
- It is also possible to backup clients without any client
software by using NFS or Samba. However, if possible, we
recommend running a Client File daemon on each machine to be
- Bacula handles multi-volume backups.
- A full comprehensive SQL standard database of all files backed up. This
permits online viewing of files saved on any particular Volume.
- Automatic pruning of the database (removal of old records) thus
simplifying database administration.
- Any SQL database engine can be used making Bacula very flexible.
- The modular but integrated design makes Bacula very scalable.
- Since Bacula uses client file servers, any database or
other application can be properly shutdown by Bacula using the
native tools of the system, backed up, then restarted (all
within a Bacula Job).
- Bacula has a built-in Job scheduler.
- The Volume format is documented and there are simple C programs to
- Bacula uses well defined (IANA registered) TCP/IP ports -- no rpcs, no
- Bacula installation and configuration is relatively simple compared to
other comparable products.
- According to one user Bacula is as fast as the big major commercial
- According to another user Bacula is four times as fast as another
commercial application, probably because that application stores its catalog
information in a large number of individual files rather than an SQL database
as Bacula does.
- Aside from a GUI administrative interface, Bacula has a
comprehensive shell administrative interface, which allows the
administrator to use tools such as ssh to administrate any part of
Bacula from anywhere (even from home).
- Bacula has a Rescue CD for Linux systems with the following features:
- You build it on your own system from scratch with one simple command:
make -- well, then make burn.
- It uses your kernel
- It captures your current disk parameters and builds scripts that allow
you to automatically repartition a disk and format it to put it back to what
you had before.
- It has a script that will restart your networking (with the right IP
- It has a script to automatically mount your hard disks.
- It has a full Bacula FD statically linked
- You can easily add additional data/programs, ... to the disk.
- Path and filenames longer than 260 characters on Win32 systems are
not supported. They will be backed up, but they cannot be restored. By
using the Portable=yes directive in your FileSet, files with
long names can be restored to Unix and Linux systems.
Long filenames for Win32 will be implemented in version 1.40.
- If you have over 4 billion file entries stored in your database, the
database FileId is likely to overflow. This is a monster database, but still
possible. At some point, Bacula's FileId fields will be upgraded from 32 bits
to 64 bits and this problem will go away. In the mean time, a good workaround
is to use multiple databases.
- Files deleted after a Full save will be included in a restoration.
- Bacula's Differential and Incremental backups are based on
time stamps. Consequently, if you move files into an existing directory or
move a whole directory into the backup fileset after a Full backup, those
files will probably not be backed up by an Incremental save because they
will have old dates. You must explicitly update the date/time stamp on all
moved files. Correcting this is a future project.
- File System Modules (configurable routines for saving/restoring special
files) are not yet implemented.
- Data encryption of the Volume contents. Bacula version 1.40
will have this feature.
- Bacula cannot automatically restore files for a single Job
from two or more different storage devices or different media types.
That is, if you use more than one storage device or media type to
backup a single job, the restore process will require some manual
- Bacula does not currently support removable disk Volumes.
Some users seem to have it working, but you must take care to
have the correct volume mounted, and restores spanning removable
disk volumes are not likely to work. It is planned that Bacula
1.40 will have this feature.
- Names (resource names, Volume names, and such) defined in Bacula
configuration files are limited to a fixed number of characters. Currently
the limit is defined as 127 characters. Note, this does not apply to
filenames, which may be arbitrarily long.
- On Win32 machines filenames are limited by the non-Unicode Windows
API that we use to 260 characters. This is corrected in
version 1.39 and later by switching to the Unicode API.
Next: System Requirements
Up: Bacula User's Guide
Previous: What is Bacula?