Bacula Status Report — 17 March 2017

The last Status Report was in October 2016, so it is probably time for another one.
I would like to discuss the following subjects:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. Bacula Binaries

3. Next Bacula Version

4. My “retirement”

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.4.7 was released on 16 March 2017. Since version 7.4.0, we have had several minor releases, so most of the minor annoyances, including a few long time bugs are behind us. Just the same there are quite a few additional fixes and many new features coming in the next release (see below).

2. Bacula Binaries
As soon as possible we will be releasing Bacula binaries built for the most popular platforms. This is thanks to the build support from Bacula Systems. We will start with a small number most popular binaries and over time expand it to include a broader base of OS releases.

Please note that the release format will be through standard packaging using debs rpms, … that are specific to each system. However, unlike most Linux distributions, we will install the Community Binaries into the directory /opt/bacula as recommended in the Bacula manual and as used by the Bacula Enterprise Edition. This Bacula file release standard is not uncommon and vastly simplifies installation, support, backup and recovery of Bacula itself. Basically, most of the release will be installed into /opt/bacula except for the few system files that must be placed in certain locations such as the start/stop scripts and the man text.

One change that may be a bit controversial for some of you is that we will ask you to register to get access to the binaries. This will really not be too different from signing up for the email lists. I have always wanted to know who is using Bacula and provided you supply correct information, this will help a lot. You will be asked a few simple questions and also be given an opportunity to receive the Bacula Enterprise Newsletter. If you decline the newsletter, you will not be bothered. The advantage of getting the newsletter is you will be informed what is coming in the next Enterprise releases, which means that most of those features will follow into a subsequent community release.

3. Next Bacula Version
I had expected to release the next major version of Bacula in the March-June time frame. The good news is that I have finished the major part of the backporting (currently almost 600,000 lines of code difference from release 7.4). The new release (probably 9.0.0) will not occur in March but hopefully will occur before the end of June. The backporting now compiles correctly, but getting it to work and pass all the regression tests will be several more months of work.

One of the main changes involved massive changes in the Storage Daemon architecture. Basically this first major step has converted the Storage Daemon device drivers into a class based architecture, which allows us to easily and more reliably add new drivers, such as deduplication and cloud backup.

4. “Retirement”
I have been trying for some time to retire (long overdue), and I think I have now succeeded, which means that I have no fixed outside work obligations. This allows me to devote as much time as I want to the Community version of Bacula, and I am now able to choose which programming projects I work on as well as set my own deadlines. So I am not really retiring (the reason I put the word in quotes), but it is nice to make my own schedules and still have more time for the community.

Thanks for using Bacula — be happy.

Kern