Cool Solutions

Bacula



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January 25, 2006 4:29 pm

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Domnic Mendes, who had a positive experience with this tool, thought Bacula would be a good addition to Cool Tools.

Bacula is a set of computer programs that permit you (or the system administrator) to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds.

In technical terms, it is a network based backup program.

Bacula is relatively easy to use and efficient, while offering many advanced storage management features that make it easy to find and recover lost or damaged
files.

Most of the Bacula source code has been released under a slightly modified version of the GPL version 2 license. If you wish additional details, please follow the License link.

The Documentation link takes you to a page where you can access all the available Bacula documentation (HTML, PDF, and TGZ) both for the officially released version and for the current code under development in the Source Forge CVS. The development version of the manual typically has more documentation, but may also document new features that are not in the released version. The Developer’s Guide presents important information for users who want to contribute to the
Bacula project.

Bacula is Hosted on SourceForge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/bacula where you can download the software. You may also use the links on the left side for more information. In particular, Current Files link takes you to the currently available downloads, and the All Downloads link takes you to a list of all files ever released to SourceForge.

What is Bacula?

Bacula is a set of computer programs that permits you (or the system administrator) to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds. Bacula can also run entirely upon a single computer, and can backup to various types of media, including tape and disk.

In technical terms, it is a network Client/Server based backup program. Bacula is relatively easy to use and efficient, while offering many advanced storage management features that make it easy to find and recover lost or damaged files. Due to its modular design, Bacula is scalable from small single computer systems to systems consisting of hundreds of computers located over a large network.

Who Needs Bacula?

If you are currently using a program such as tar, dump, or bru to backup your computer data, and you would like a network solution, more flexibility, or catalog services, Bacula will most likely provide the additional features you want. However, if you are new to Unix systems or do not have offsetting experience with a sophisticated backup package, we do not recommend using Bacula as it is much more difficult to setup and use than tar or dump.

If you want Bacula to behave like the above mentioned simple programs and write over any tape that you put in the drive, then you will find working with Bacula difficult. Bacula is designed to protect your data following the rules you specify, and this means reusing a tape only as the last resort. It is possible to “force” Bacula to write over any tape in the drive, but it is easier and more efficient to use a simpler program for that kind of operation.

If you are running Amanda and would like a backup program that can write to multiple volumes (i.e. is not limited by your tape drive capacity), Bacula can most likely fill your needs. In addition, quite a number of our users report that Bacula is simpler to setup and use than other equivalent programs.

If you are currently using a sophisticated commercial package such as Legato Networker. ARCserveIT, Arkeia, or PerfectBackup+, you may be interested in Bacula, which provides many of the same features, and is free software available under the GNU Version 2 software license.

System Requirements

  • Bacula has been compiled and run on Linux RedHat, FreeBSD, and Solaris systems.
  • It requires GNU C++ version 2.95 or higher to compile. You can try with other compilers and older versions, but you are on your own. We have successfully compiled and used Bacula on
    RH8.0/RH9/RHEL 3.0/FC3 with GCC 3.4. Note, in general GNU C++ is a separate package (e.g. RPM) from GNU C, so you need them both loaded. On RedHat systems, the C++ compiler is part of the gcc-c++ rpm package.
  • There are certain third party packages that Bacula needs. Except for MySQL and PostgreSQL, they can all be found in the depkgs and depkgs1 releases.
  • If you want to build the Win32 binaries, you will need a Microsoft Visual C++ compiler (or Visual Studio). Although all components build (console has some warnings), only the File daemon has been tested.
  • Bacula requires a good implementation of pthreads to work. This is not the case on some of the BSD systems.
  • The source code has been written with portability in mind and is mostly POSIX compatible.
    Thus porting to any POSIX compatible operating system should be relatively easy.
  • The GNOME Console program is developed and tested under GNOME 2.x. It also runs under GNOME 1.4 but this version is deprecated and thus no longer maintained.
  • The wxWidgets Console program is developed and tested with the latest stable ANSI or Unicode version of wxWidgets (2.6.1). It works fine with the Windows and GTK+-2.x version of wxWidgets, and should also work on other platforms supported by wxWidgets.
  • The Tray Monitor program is developed for GTK+-2.x. It needs Gnome less or equal to 2.2, KDE greater or equal to 3.1 or any window manager supporting the FreeDesktop system tray standard.
  • If you want to enable command line editing and history, you will need to have /usr/include/termcap.h and either the termcap or the ncurses library loaded (libtermcap-devel or ncurses-devel).
  • If you want to use DVD as backup medium, you will need to download the dvd+rw-tools 5.21.4.10.8, apply the patch to make these tools compatible with Bacula, then compile and install them. Do not use the dvd+rw-tools provided by your distribution, they will not work with Bacula.
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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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