Bacula Status Report — 5 October 2016

The last Status Report was in February 2016, so this one is a bit
overdue. That said, I would like to discuss the following subjects:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. Windows Binaries

3. Next Bacula Version

4. Bacula Forks

5. The Storage, Visualisation, Cloud (SVC) awards 2016

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.4.4 was released on 20 September 2016. Since version 7.4.0, we have had several minor releases, which are in general due to new MySQL and C++ software versions that created incompatibilities with Bacula. Hopefully all those are behind us.

The MySQL problems were:
1. MySQL no longer accepts 0 for a DATETIME default (despite the act that 0 is a perfectly valid Unix time value). This was fixed by removing the DEFAULT for all DATETIME fields.
2. MySQL no longer releases the _r.so version of the library needed by Bacula since they now include the thread safe feature in the standard library. This was fixed by using more modern tools for detecting libraries.

The C++ problems were that the new GCC 6.0 aggressive compiler behavior that elides (deletes) code written by the Bacula developers. There is no benefit to the new GCC aggressive optimization and it breaks a lot of programs including Bacula. This problem showed up on ArchLinux and Fedora 24.

2. Windows Binaries
I have now rebuilt the Enterprise Windows binaries to be compatible with Bacula version 7.4.4. They are currently available in the ww.bacula.org  “Download Center”. If you want them for non-personal usage, please go to the Bacula Systems web site where you will find the binaries at a very reasonable price.

As soon as possible we will be releasing Bacula binaries built for the most popular platforms, so I have decided to split the current Download Center page on www.bacula.org into a Source Download page and a Binaries Download page. Please take note of it, because I will move the Windows binaries from the current single download page into the binary download page.

3. Next Bacula Version
I had expected to release the next major version of Bacula in October or November, but due to recent massive changes in the Storage Daemon architecture, it will take me until the March-June time frame to get everything properly integrated. This will be the first major step in a large rewrite of the Storage Daemon. The second step will come 6-9 months later (if all goes well).

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. Bacula Forks
Since Bacula is an Open Source project anyone can take the code and add to it or modify it as they like. However if they then redistribute it, they need to abide by the Open Source license. In the case of Bacula this is GPLv3. When someone forks Bacula, it is a sign that they like to code.

However, in most cases (not all) forking, in my personal opinion, leads to duplication of effort, which is a pity since it is difficult to create a code base such as Bacula. We encourage people to contribute with patches, bug reports, ideas, and feature requests on our bugs site:
http://bugs.bacula.org/

As you probably know there are several known forks of Bacula, but there are also least two others that have forked Bacula without any announcement. One is commercial, and the other seems to be a country sponsored fork.

Concerning one of the known forks, in September there was a post from the the main Bareos developer and by far their most experienced developer announcing that he has quit the project.

This announcement is not a surprise for me as I have been expecting it at some point, simply because it is very difficult or impossible to be the only senior developer for a project the size of Bacula and hence for this particular fork. This announcement reinforces the Bacula position as the world’s most popular and most used Open Source backup software. Unfortunately for Bareos users, (in my personal opinion) it also puts a question mark on the future prospects for the project.

A problem of this type is not a possibility for the Bacula project, because there are multiple senior developers and also Bacula Systems is constantly developing new code that is flowing back to the community version. Thus the Bacula project is assured of having a bright future ahead.

5. The SVC Awards 2016
Bacula has been nominated for the SVC awards. The award is based on the number of votes that the nominee receives. Unfortunately they accept only votes from buisnesses. So if you are a business (or other entity) and like Bacula, you might want to vote (hopefully for Bacula). To do so, please see:

http://www.svcawards.com/

Note, the voting closes 11 November.

Thanks for using Bacula — be happy.

Kern