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
(sometimes called multiplexing).
- Job sequencing using priorities.
- Console interface to the Director allowing complete
control. A shell, Qt4 GUI, GNOME GUI and wxWidgets GUI versions of
the Console program are available. Note, the Qt4 GUI program called
the Bacula Administration tool or bat, offers many 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) communications encryption between each
Data (on Volume) encryption
on a Client by Client basis.
- 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 restore the catalog database rapidly by using bootstrap
files (previously saved).
- 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 MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite Catalog databases.
- User extensible queries to the MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite 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.
- The Volume data format is upwards compatible so that old Volumes
can always be read.
- 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 (approximately 64K bytes) contain a data checksum.
- Migration support -- move data from one Pool to another or
one Volume to another.
- Supports writing to DVD.
- 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, Sparc.
- 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).
- Support for path/filename lengths of up to 64K on Win32 machines
(unlimited on Unix/Linux machines).
- 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.
Drivers currently exist for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
- 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 several GUI administrative interfaces, 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.
- 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. Bacula's FileId fields have been modified so that they can be
upgraded from 32 to 64 bits in version 1.39 or later, but you must
manually do so.
- Files deleted after a Full save will be included in a restoration. This
is typical for most similar backup programs (we have a project to
- 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 (we have a project to correct this).
- File System Modules (configurable routines for
saving/restoring special files) are not yet implemented. However,
this feature is easily implemented using RunScripts.
- Bacula supports doing backups and restores to multiple
devices of different media type and multiple Storage daemons.
However, if you have backed up a job to multiple storage
devices, Bacula can do a restore from only one device, which
means that you will need to manually edit the bootstrap file
to split it into two restores if you split the backup across
storage devices. This restriction has been removed in version
2.2.0 and later, but it is not yet fully tested.
- Bacula cannot restore two different jobs in the same
restore if those jobs were run simultaneously, unless you had
data spooling turned on and the spool file held the full
contents of both jobs. In other terms, Bacula cannot restore
two jobs in the same restore if the jobs' data blocks were
intermixed on the backup medium. This poses no restrictions
for normal backup jobs even if they are run simultaneously.
- Bacula can generally restore any backup made from a client
to any other client. However, if the architecture is significantly
different (i.e. 32 bit architecture to 64 bit or Win32 to Unix),
some restrictions may apply (e.g. Solaris door files do not exist
on other Unix/Linux machines; there are reports that Zlib compression
written with 64 bit machines does not always read correctly on a 32 bit
- 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.
- Command line input to some of the stand alone tools -- e.g. btape,
bconsole is restricted to several hundred characters maximum.