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Using the dsbk Utility on Windows

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Saurabh Garg

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Posted: 14 Dec 2005


dsbk is a command-line backup and restore utility for Novell eDirectory. This utility is used to take a hot continuous backup of the database on a replica server that can be used to restore the server later. The tool must be invoked on the eDirectory server that is being backed up or restored.

In this document, we discuss the basic operation of the dsbk utility on the Windows platform.

Running dsbk on Windows

For using dsbk on a Windows server that hosts eDirectory, perform the following steps:

Step 1

Invoke the utility through the Novell eDirectory Services console. dsbk.dlm will be one of the options available in the list of services in the Services tab.

The dsbk subcommand and any parameters for that subcommand are specified in the Startup Parameters field.

View the current configuration for the backup using the getconfig switch:

The output of all the dsbk commands is appended to the file c:\novell\nds\backup.out. This location is always used for Windows installations, regardless of the path where eDirectory is installed or the location of the eDirectory configuration files.

Step 2

Set a custom location for the roll-forward logs to be created using the following:

setconfig -r <roll forward log directory> -L

The -L option starts a new roll forward logging session.

For instance in the figure below, we are creating the roll forward logs in directory c:\rolls

setconfig -r c:\rolls -L

Step 3

Start hot continuous backup on the tree by giving the following command:

backup -f <backup file> -l <logfile>  -t -w -b
-t takes the backup of stream files
-w overwrites any existing backup file with same name
-b performs a full backup

For example, start the backup as follows:

backup -f c:\dsbk.bak -l c:\backup.log -t -w -b

You can confirm the status of the backup done in the backup.out file. On successful completion, it should give messages similar to the following:

Command line backup -f c:\dsbk.bak -l c:\backup.log -t -w -b
Processing command line
Backup type: Full
Log file name: c:\backup.log
Backup started: 2005-10-26'T14:44:55
Backup file name: c:\dsbk.bak
Server name: \T=XXXXX\O=yyyyyy\CN=zzzzzzzzzz
Current Roll Forward Log: 00000002.log
Database backup finished
Data Written: 19562272
Completion time 00:00:12
Backup completed successfully

To restore the tree, use the following command:

restore -r -f <backup file> -l <logfile> -d <roll forward log directory> -a -o

Optional switches -r, -a, -o are used for:

-r	to restore DIB set
-a Activate DIB after verifying
-o Open database after restore

For example:

restore -r -f c:\dsbk.bak -l c:\restore.log -d c:\rolls\nds.rfl -a -o

After a successful restore, the log output file (c:\novell\nds\backup.out) will contain messages similar to the following:

Command line restore -r -f c:\dsbk.bak -l c:\restore.log -d c:\rolls\nds.rfl -a -o
Processing command line
Log file name: c:\restore.log
Restore started: 2005-10-26'T14:48:57
Restore file name: c:\dsbk.bak
Starting database restore...
Restoring file c:\dsbk.bak
Opening log: c:\rolls\nds.rfl\00000002.log
Restoring file c:\rolls\nds.rfl\00000002.log
Opening log: c:\rolls\nds.rfl\00000003.log
Database restore finished
Completion time 00:01:10
Restore completed successfully
NOTE: Ensure that you have gone through all the guidelines given by Novell before finalizing on your backup/restore setup. These guidelines can be found at

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