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The Windows Version of Bacula


At the current time only the File daemon or Client program has been tested on Windows. As a consequence, when we speak of the Windows version of Bacula below, we are referring to the File daemon only.

The Windows version of the Bacula File daemon has been tested on Win98, WinMe, WinNT, WinXP, Win2000, and Windows 2003 systems. We have coded to support Win95, but no longer have a system for testing. The Windows version of Bacula is a native Win32 port, but there are very few source code changes to the Unix code, which means that the Windows version is for the most part running code that has long proved stable on Unix systems. When running, it is perfectly integrated with Windows and displays its icon in the system icon tray, and provides a system tray menu to obtain additional information on how Bacula is running (status and events dialog boxes). If so desired, it can also be stopped by using the system tray menu, though this should normally never be necessary.

Once installed Bacula normally runs as a system service. This means that it is immediately started by the operating system when the system is booted, and runs in the background even if there is no user logged into the system.

Win32 Installation

Normally, you will install the Windows version of Bacula from the binaries. This install is standard Windows .exe that runs an install wizard using the NSIS Free Software installer, so if you have already installed Windows software, it should be very familiar to you.

If you have a previous version Cygwin of Bacula (1.32 or lower) installed, you should stop the service, uninstall it, and remove the Bacula installation directory possibly saving your bacula-fd.conf file for use with the new version you will install. Current versions of Bacula do not use Cygwin and has far fewer files than the old Cygwin version, so it is better to start with a clean directory.

Finally, proceed with the installation.

That should complete the installation process. When the Bacula File Server is ready to serve files, an icon \includegraphics{./idle.eps} representing a cassette (or tape) will appear in the system tray \includegraphics{./tray-icon.eps}; right click on it and a menu will appear.
The Events item is currently unimplemented, by selecting the Status item, you can verify whether any jobs are running or not.

When the Bacula File Server begins saving files, the color of the holes in the cassette icon will change from white to green \includegraphics{./running.eps}, and if there is an error, the holes in the cassette icon will change to red \includegraphics{./error.eps}.

If you are using remote desktop connections between your windows boxes, be warned that that tray icon does not always appear. It will always be visible when you log into the console, but the remote desktop may not display it.

Post Win32 Installation

After installing Bacula and before running it, you should check the contents of c:\bacula\bin\bacula-fd.conf to ensure that it corresponds to your configuration.

Finally, but pulling up the Task Manager (ctl-alt-del), verify that Bacula is running as a process (not an Application) with User Name SYSTEM. If this is not the case, you probably have not installed Bacula while running as Administrator, and hence it will be unlikely that Bacula can access all the system files.

Uninstalling Bacula on Win32

Once Bacula has been installed, it can be uninstalled using the standard Windows Add/Remove Programs dialog found on the Control panel.

Dealing with Win32 Problems

The most likely source of problems is authentication when the Director attempts to connect to the File daemon that you installed. This can occur if the names and the passwords defined in the File daemon's configuration file c:\bacula\bin\bacula-fd.conf on the Windows machine do not match with the names and the passwords in the Director's configuration file bacula-dir.conf located on your Unix/Linux server.

More specifically, the password found in the Client resource in the Director's configuration file must be the same as the password in the Director resource of the File daemon's configuration file. In addition, the name of the Director resource in the File daemon's configuration file must be the same as the name in the Director resource of the Director's configuration file.

It is a bit hard to explain in words, but if you understand that a Director normally has multiple Clients and a Client (or File daemon) may permit access by multiple Directors, you can see that the names and the passwords on both sides must match for proper authentication.

One user had serious problems with the configuration file until he realized that the Unix end of line conventions were used and Bacula wanted them in Windows format. This has not been confirmed though.

Running Unix like programs on Windows machines is a bit frustrating because the Windows command line shell (DOS Window) is rather primitive. As a consequence, it is not generally possible to see the debug information and certain error messages that Bacula prints. With a bit of work, however, it is possible. When everything else fails and you want to see what is going on, try the following:

   Start a DOS shell Window.
   cd c:\bacula\bin
   bacula-fd -t >out
   type out

The -t option will cause Bacula to read the configuration file, print any error messages and then exit. the > redirects the output to the file named out, which you can list with the type command.

If something is going wrong later, or you want to run Bacula with a debug option, you might try starting it as:

   bacula-fd -d 100 >out

In this case, Bacula will run until you explicitly stop it, which will give you a chance to connect to it from your Unix/Linux server. In later versions of Bacula (1.34 on, I think), when you start the File daemon in debug mode it can write the output to a trace file bacula.trace in the current directory. To enable this, before running a job, use the console, and enter:

   trace on

then run the job, and once you have terminated the File daemon, you will find the debug output in the bacula.trace file.

In addition, you should look in the System Applications log on the Control Panel to find any Windows errors that Bacula got during the startup process.

Finally, due to the above problems, when you turn on debugging, and specify trace=1 on a setdebug command in the Console, Bacula will write the debug information to the file bacula.trace in the directory from which Bacula is executing.

If you are having problems with ClientRunBeforeJob scripts randomly dying, it is possible that you have run into an Oracle bug. See bug number 622 in the bugs.bacula.org database. The following information has been provided by a user on this issue:

The information in this document applies to:
 Oracle HTTP Server - Version: 9.0.4
 Microsoft Windows Server 2003
 When starting an OC4J instance, the System Clock runs faster, about 7
seconds per minute.
 + This is caused by the Sun JVM bug 4500388, which states that "Calling
Thread.sleep() with a small argument affects the system clock". Although
this is reported as fixed in JDK 1.4.0_02, several reports contradict this
(see the bug in
 + Also reported by Microsoft as "The system clock may run fast when you
use the ACPI power management timer as a high-resolution counter on Windows
2000-based computers" (See http://support.microsoft.com/?id=821893)

Windows Compatibility Considerations

If any applications are running during the backup and they have files opened exclusively, Bacula will not be able to backup those files, so be sure you close your applications (or tell your users to close their applications) before the backup. Fortunately, most Microsoft applications do not open files exclusively so that they can be backed up. However, you will need to experiment. In any case, if Bacula cannot open the file, it will print an error message, so you will always know which files were not backed up. For version 1.37.25 and greater, see the section below on Volume Shadow Copy Service.

During backup, Bacula doesn't know about the system registry, so you will either need to write it out to an ASCII file using regedit  /e or use a program specifically designed to make a copy or backup the registry.

In Bacula version 1.31 and later, we use Windows backup API calls by default. Typical of Windows, programming these special BackupRead and BackupWrite calls is a real nightmare of complications. The end result gives some distinct advantages and some disadvantages.

First, the advantages are that on WinNT/2K/XP systems, the security and ownership information is now backed up. In addition, with the exception of files in exclusive use by another program (a major disaster for backup programs on Windows), Bacula can now access all system files. This means that when you restore files, the security and ownership information will be restored on WinNT/2K/XP along with the data.

The disadvantage of the Windows backup API calls is that it produces non-portable backups. That is files and their data that are backed up on WinNT using the native API calls (BackupRead/BackupWrite) cannot be restored on Win95/98/Me or Unix systems. In principle, a file backed up on WinNT can be restored on WinXP, but this remains to be seen in practice (not yet tested). In addition, the stand-alone tools such as bls and bextract cannot be used to retrieve the data for those files because those tools are not available on Windows. All restores must use the Bacula restore command. This restriction is mentioned for completeness, but in practice should not create any problems.

As a default, Bacula backs up Windows systems using the Windows API calls. If you want to backup data on a WinNT/2K/XP system and restore it on a Unix/Win95/98/Me system, we have provided a special portable option that backs up the data in a portable fashion by using portable API calls. See the portable option on the Include statement in a FileSet resource in the Director's configuration chapter for the details on setting this option. However, using the portable option means you may have permissions problems accessing files, and none of the security and ownership information will be backed up or restored. The file data can, however, be restored on any system.

You should always be able to restore any file backed up on Unix or Win95/98/Me to any other system. On some systems, such as WinNT/2K/XP, you may have to reset the ownership of such restored files. Any file backed up on WinNT/2K/XP should in principle be able to be restored to a similar system (i.e. WinNT/2K/XP), however, I am unsure of the consequences if the owner information and accounts are not identical on both systems. Bacula will not let you restore files backed up on WinNT/2K/XP to any other system (i.e. Unix Win95/98/Me) if you have used the defaults.

Finally, if you specify the portable=yes option on the files you back up. Bacula will be able to restore them on any other system. However, any WinNT/2K/XP specific security and ownership information will be lost.

The following matrix will give you an idea of what you can expect. Thanks to Marc Brueckner for doing the tests:


Backup OS Restore OS Results
WinMe WinMe Works
WinMe WinNT Works (SYSTEM permissions)
WinMe WinXP Works (SYSTEM permissions)
WinMe Linux Works (SYSTEM permissions)
WinXP WinXP Works
WinXP WinNT Works (all files OK, but got "The data is invalid" message)
WinXP WinMe Error: Win32 data stream not supported.
WinXP WinMe Works if Portable=yes specified during backup.
WinXP Linux Error: Win32 data stream not supported.
WinXP Linux Works if Portable=yes specified during backup.
WinNT WinNT Works
WinNT WinXP Works
WinNT WinMe Error: Win32 data stream not supported.
WinNT WinMe Works if Portable=yes specified during backup.
WinNT Linux Error: Win32 data stream not supported.
WinNT Linux Works if Portable=yes specified during backup.
Linux Linux Works
Linux WinNT Works (SYSTEM permissions)
Linux WinMe Works
Linux WinXP Works (SYSTEM permissions)

Volume Shadow Copy Service

In version 1.37.30 and greater, you can turn on Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

Microsoft added VSS to Windows XP and Windows 2003. From the perspective of a backup-solution for Windows, this is an extremely important step. VSS allows Bacula to backup open files and even to interact with applications like RDBMS to produce consistent file copies. VSS aware applications are called VSS Writers, they register with the OS so that when Bacula wants to do a Snapshot, the OS will notify the register Writer programs, which may then create a consistent state in their application, which will be backed up. Examples for these writers are "MSDE" (Microsoft database engine), "Event Log Writer", "Registry Writer" plus 3rd party-writers. If you have a non-vss aware application (e.g. SQL Anywhere or probably MySQL), a shadow copy is still generated and the open files can be backed up, but there is no guarantee that the file is consistent.

Bacula produces a message from each of the registered writer programs when it is doing a VSS backup so you know which ones are correctly backed up.

Bacula supports VSS on both Windows 2003 and Windows XP. Technically Bacula creates a shadow copy as soon as the backup process starts. It does then backup all files from the shadow copy and destroys the shadow copy after the backup process. Please have in mind, that VSS creates a snapshot and thus backs up the system at the state it had when starting the backup. It will disregard file changes which occur during the backup process.

VSS can be turned on by placing an

Enable VSS = yes

in your FileSet resource.

The VSS aware File daemon has the letters VSS on the signon line that it produces when contacted by the console. For example:

Tibs-fd Version: 1.37.32 (22 July 2005) VSS Windows XP MVS NT 5.1.2600
the VSS is shown in the line above. This only means that the File daemon is capable of doing VSS not that VSS is turned on for a particular backup. There are two ways of telling if VSS is actually turned on during a backup. The first is to look at the status output for a job, e.g.:
Running Jobs:
JobId 1 Job NightlySave.2005-07-23_13.25.45 is running.
    VSS Backup Job started: 23-Jul-05 13:25
    Files=70,113 Bytes=3,987,180,650 Bytes/sec=3,244,247
    Files Examined=75,021
    Processing file: c:/Documents and Settings/kern/My Documents/My Pictures/Misc1/Sans titre - 39.pdd
    SDReadSeqNo=5 fd=352
Here, you see under Running Jobs that JobId 1 is "VSS Backup Job started ..." This means that VSS is enabled for that job. If VSS is not enabled, it will simply show "Backup Job started ..." without the letters VSS.

The second way to know that the job was backed up with VSS is to look at the Job Report, which will look something like the following:

23-Jul 13:25 rufus-dir: Start Backup JobId 1, Job=NightlySave.2005-07-23_13.25.45
23-Jul 13:26 rufus-sd: Wrote label to prelabeled Volume "TestVolume001" on device "DDS-4" (/dev/nst0)
23-Jul 13:26 rufus-sd: Spooling data ...
23-Jul 13:26 Tibs: Generate VSS snapshots. Driver="VSS WinXP", Drive(s)="C"
23-Jul 13:26 Tibs: VSS Writer: "MSDEWriter", State: 1 (VSS_WS_STABLE)
23-Jul 13:26 Tibs: VSS Writer: "Microsoft Writer (Bootable State)", State: 1 (VSS_WS_STABLE)
23-Jul 13:26 Tibs: VSS Writer: "WMI Writer", State: 1 (VSS_WS_STABLE)
23-Jul 13:26 Tibs: VSS Writer: "Microsoft Writer (Service State)", State: 1 (VSS_WS_STABLE)
In the above Job Report listing, you see that the VSS snapshot was generated for drive C (if other drives are backed up, they will be listed on the Drive(s)="C" You also see the reports from each of the writer program. Here they all report VSS_WS_STABLE, which means that you will get a consistent snapshot of the data handled by that writer.

VSS Problems

If you are experiencing problems such as VSS hanging on MSDE, first try running vssadmin to check for problems, then try running ntbackup which also uses VSS to see if it has similar problems. If so, you know that the problem is in your Windows machine and not with Bacula.

The FD hang problems were reported with MSDEwriter when:

Windows Firewalls

If you turn on the firewalling feature on Windows (default in WinXP SP2), you are likely to find that the Bacula ports are blocked and you cannot communicate to the other daemons. This can be deactivated through the Security Notification dialog, which is apparently somewhere in the Security Center. I don't have this on my computer, so I cannot give the exact details.

The command:

netsh firewall set opmode disable

is purported to disable the firewall, but this command is not accepted on my WinXP Home machine.

Windows Port Usage

If you want to see if the File daemon has properly opened the port and is listening, you can enter the following command in a shell window:

   netstat -an | findstr 910[123]

Windows Disaster Recovery

We don't currently have a good solution for disaster recovery on Windows as we do on Linux. The main piece lacking is a Windows boot floppy or a Windows boot CD. Microsoft releases a Windows Pre-installation Environment (WinPE) that could possibly work, but we have not investigated it. This means that until someone figures out the correct procedure, you must restore the OS from the installation disks, then you can load a Bacula client and restore files. Please don't count on using bextract to extract files from your backup tapes during a disaster recovery unless you have backed up those files using the portable option. bextract does not run on Windows, and the normal way Bacula saves files using the Windows API prevents the files from being restored on a Unix machine. Once you have an operational Windows OS loaded, you can run the File daemon and restore your user files.

Please see Disaster Recovery of Win32 Systems for the latest suggestion, which looks very promising.

It looks like Bart PE Builder, which creates a Windows PE (Pre-installation Environment) Boot-CD, may be just what is needed to build a complete disaster recovery system for Win32. This distribution can be found at http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ .

Windows Restore Problems

Please see the Restore Chapter of this manual for problems that you might encounter doing a restore.

Windows Ownership and Permissions Problems

If you restore files backed up from WinNT/XP/2K to an alternate directory, Bacula may need to create some higher level directories that were not saved (or restored). In this case, the File daemon will create them under the SYSTEM account because that is the account that Bacula runs under as a service. As of version 1.32f-3, Bacula creates these files with full access permission. However, there may be cases where you have problems accessing those files even if you run as administrator. In principle, Microsoft supplies you with the way to cease the ownership of those files and thus change the permissions. However, a much better solution to working with and changing Win32 permissions is the program SetACL, which can be found at http://setacl.sourceforge.net/ .

If you have not installed Bacula while running as Administrator and if Bacula is not running as a Process with the userid (User Name) SYSTEM, then it is very unlikely that it will have sufficient permission to access all your files.

Some users have experienced problems restoring files that participate in the Active Directory. They also report that changing the userid under which Bacula (bacula-fd.exe) runs, from SYSTEM to a Domain Admin userid, resolves the problem.

Manually resetting the Permissions

The following solution was provided by Dan Langille <dan at langille in the dot org domain>. The steps are performed using Windows 2000 Server but they should apply to most Win32 platforms. The procedure outlines how to deal with a problem which arises when a restore creates a top-level new directory. In this example, "top-level" means something like c:\src, not c:\tmp\src where c:\tmp already exists. If a restore job specifies / as the Where: value, this problem will arise.

The problem appears as a directory which cannot be browsed with Windows Explorer. The symptoms include the following message when you try to click on that directory:


If you encounter this message, the following steps will change the permissions to allow full access.

  1. right click on the top level directory (in this example, c:/src) and select Properties.
  2. click on the Security tab.
  3. If the following message appears, you can ignore it, and click on OK.


    You should see something like this:


  4. click on Advanced
  5. click on the Owner tab
  6. Change the owner to something other than the current owner (which is SYSTEM in this example as shown below).


  7. ensure the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" box is checked
  8. click on OK
  9. When the message "You do not have permission to read the contents of directory c:\src\basis. Do you wish to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?", click on Yes.


  10. Click on OK to close the Properties tab

With the above procedure, you should now have full control over your restored directory.

In addition to the above methods of changing permissions, there is a Microsoft program named cacls that can perform similar functions.

Backing Up the WinNT/XP/2K System State

A suggestion by Damian Coutts using Microsoft's NTBackup utility in conjunction with Bacula should permit a full restore of any damaged system files on Win2K/XP. His suggestion is to do an NTBackup of the critical system state prior to running a Bacula backup with the following command:

ntbackup backup systemstate /F c:\systemstate.bkf

The backup is the command, the systemstate says to backup only the system state and not all the user files, and the /F c:\systemstate.bkf specifies where to write the state file. this file must then be saved and restored by Bacula.

To restore the system state, you first reload a base operating system if the OS is damaged, otherwise, this is not necessary, then you would use Bacula to restore all the damaged or lost user's files and to recover the c:\systemstate.bkf file. Finally if there are any damaged or missing system files or registry problems, you run NTBackup and catalogue the system statefile, and then select it for restore. The documentation says you can't run a command line restore of the systemstate.

To the best of my knowledge, this has not yet been tested. If you test it, please report your results to the Bacula email list.

Windows Considerations for Filename Specifications

Please see the Director's Configuration chapter of this manual for important considerations on how to specify Windows paths in Bacula FileSet Include and Exclude directives.

Bacula versions prior to 1.37.28 do not support Windows Unicode filenames. As of that version, both bconsole and wx-console support Windows Unicode filenames. There may still be some problems with multiple byte characters (e.g. Chinese, ...) where it is a two byte character but the displayed character is not two characters wide.

Path/filenames longer than 260 characters are not supported. This may be possible in a future version.

Command Line Options Specific to the Bacula Windows File Daemon (Client)

These options are not normally seen or used by the user, and are documented here only for information purposes. At the current time, to change the default options, you must either manually run Bacula or you must manually edit the system registry and modify the appropriate entries.

In order to avoid option clashes between the options necessary for Bacula to run on Windows and the standard Bacula options, all Windows specific options are signaled with a forward slash character (/), while as usual, the standard Bacula options are signaled with a minus (-), or a minus minus (--). All the standard Bacula options can be used on the Windows version. In addition, the following Windows only options are implemented:

Run the service helper application (don't use this it is deprecated.).

Start Bacula as a service

Run the Bacula application

Install Bacula as a service in the system registry

Uninstall Bacula from the system registry

Show the Bacula about dialogue box

Show the Bacula status dialogue box

Show the Bacula events dialogue box (not yet implemented)

Stop any running Bacula

Show the Bacula help dialogue box

It is important to note that under normal circumstances the user should never need to use these options as they are normally handled by the system automatically once Bacula is installed. However, you may note these options in some of the .bat files that have been created for your use.

Shutting down Windows Systems

Some users like to shutdown their windows machines after a backup using a Client Run After Job directive. If you want to do something similar, you might take the shutdown program from the apcupsd project or one from the Sysinternals project.

next up previous contents index
Next: Disaster Recovery Using Bacula Up: Bacula User's Guide Previous: What To Do When   Contents   Index
Kern Sibbald 2006-07-30