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Bacula Release 9.2.1

14 August 2018

We are pleased to announce the minor bug and refactoring release version 9.2.1. This is a bug fix release. It also contains some refactoring. That said, there are 10,909 lines of diff between release 9.2.0 and this release. One major improvement is that this release should eliminate the persistent problem we have seen with MySQL […]


Bacula Release 9.2.0

25 July 2018

We are pleased to announce that we have just released Bacula version 9.2.0 to Source Forge and to In addition, a new version of Baculum (Web GUI interface) will be released shortly. This is one of the biggest Bacula release ever made. It has almost 540,000 lines of diff output between Release 9.0.8 and […]




Bacula Projects Roadmap
Status updated 15 February 2014

* Items in current release (5.2.13)


Item:   1*  Accurate restoration of renamed/deleted files
Item  2*  Implement a Bacula GUI/management tool.
Item:   3   Allow FD to initiate a backup
Item:   4*   Merge multiple backups (Synthetic Backup or Consolidation).
Item:   5   Deletion of Disk-Based Bacula Volumes
Item:   6*  Implement Base jobs.
Item:   7   Implement creation and maintenance of copy pools
Item:   8   Directive/mode to backup only file changes, not entire file
Item:   9   Implement a server-side compression feature
Item10   Improve Bacula’s tape and drive usage and cleaning management.
Item11   Allow skipping execution of Jobs
Item12   Add a scheduling syntax that permits weekly rotations
Item13   Archival (removal) of User Files to Tape
Item14   Cause daemons to use a specific IP address to source communications
Item15   Multiple threads in file daemon for the same job
Item16*  Add Plug-ins to the FileSet Include statements.
Item17   Restore only file attributes (permissions, ACL, owner, group…)
Item18*  Quick release of FD-SD connection after backup.
Item19   Implement a Python interface to the Bacula catalog.
Item 20   Archive data
Item 21*  Split documentation
Item22   Implement support for stacking arbitrary stream filters, sinks.
Item 23*  Implement from-client and to-client on restore command line.
Item24   Add an override in Schedule for Pools based on backup types.
Item25*  Implement huge exclude list support using hashing.
Item 26   Implement more Python events in Bacula.
Item27   Incorporation of XACML2/SAML2 parsing
Item28   Filesystem watch triggered backup.
Item29   Allow inclusion/exclusion of files in a fileset by creation/mod times
Item30   Tray monitor window cleanups
Item31   Implement multiple numeric backup levels as supported by dump
Item32*  Automatic promotion of backup levels
Item33   Clustered file-daemons
Item 34   Commercial database support
Item35   Automatic disabling of devices
Item36   An option to operate on all pools with update vol parameters
Item 37   Add an item to the restore option where you can select a pool
Item 38   Include timestamp of job launch in “stat clients” output
Item39   Message mailing based on backup types
Item40*  Include JobID in spool file name
Item41*  Enable to relocate files and directories when restoring
Item 42*  Batch attribute inserts (ten times faster)
Item43*  More concurrency in SD using micro-locking
Item 44*  Performance enhancements (POSIX/Win32 OS file access hints).
[1] IQ
Item  1:  Accurate restoration of renamed/deleted files
Date:   28 November 2005
Origin: Martin Simmons (martin at lispworks dot com)
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systesm (Eric Bollengier)

What:   When restoring a fileset for a specified date (including “most recent”), Bacula should give you exactly the files and directories that existed at the time of the last backup prior to that date.

Currently this only works if the last backup was a Full backup. When the last backup was Incremental/Differential, files and directories that have been renamed or deleted since the last Full
backup are not currently restored correctly.  Ditto for files with extra/fewer hard links than at the time of the last Full backup.

Why:    Incremental/Differential would be much more useful if this worked.

Notes:  Merging of multiple backups into a single one seems to rely on this working, otherwise the merged backups will not be truly equivalent to a Full backup.

Kern: notes shortened. This can be done without the need for inodes. It is essentially the same as the current Verify job, but one additional database record must be written, which does not need any database change.

Kern: see if we can correct restoration of directories if replace=ifnewer is set.  Currently, if the directory does not
exist, a “dummy” directory is created, then when all the files are updated, the dummy directory is newer so the real values are not updated.

Item  2:  Implement a Bacula GUI/management tool.
Origin: Kern
Date:   28 October 2005
Status: Done Written by Kern Sibbald and Dirk Bartley

What:   Implement a Bacula console, and management tools probably using Qt3 and C++.

Why:    Don’t we already have a wxWidgets GUI?  Yes, but it is written in C++ and changes to the user interface
must be hand tailored using C++ code. By developing the user interface using Qt designer, the interface
can be very easily updated and most of the new Python code will be automatically created.  The user interface
changes become very simple, and only the new features must be implement.  In addition, the code will be in
Python, which will give many more users easy (or easier) access to making additions or modifications.
Notes:   There is a partial Python-GTK implementation Lucas Di Pentima <lucas at lunix dot com dot ar> but
it is no longer being developed.

Item  3:  Allow FD to initiate a backup
Origin: Frank Volf (frank at deze dot org)
Date:   17 November 2005

What:  Provide some means, possibly by a restricted console that
allows a FD to initiate a backup, and that uses the connection
established by the FD to the Director for the backup so that
a Director that is firewalled can do the backup.

Why:   Makes backup of laptops much easier.

Item  4:  Merge multiple backups (Synthetic Backup or Consolidation).
Origin: Marc Cousin and Eric Bollengier
Date:   15 November 2005
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Kern Sibbald)

What:   A merged backup is a backup made without connecting to the Client. It would be a Merge of existing backups into a single backup. In effect, it is like a restore but to the backup medium.

For instance, say that last Sunday we made a full backup.  Then all week long, we created incremental backups, in order to do them fast.  Now comes Sunday again, and we need another full. The merged backup makes it possible to do instead an incremental backup (during the night for instance), and then create a merged
backup during the day, by using the full and incrementals from the week.  The merged backup will be exactly like a full made Sunday night on the tape, but the production interruption on the Client will be minimal, as the Client will only have to send incrementals.

In fact, if it’s done correctly, you could merge all the Incrementals into single Incremental, or all the Incrementals and the last Differential into a new Differential, or the Full, last differential and all the Incrementals into a new Full
backup.  And there is no need to involve the Client.

Why:    The benefit is that :
– the Client just does an incremental ;
– the merged backup on tape is just as a single full backup,
and can be restored very fast.

This is also a way of reducing the backup data since the old data can then be pruned (or not) from the catalog, possibly allowing older volumes to be recycled

Item  5:  Deletion of Disk-Based Bacula Volumes
Date:   Nov 25, 2005
Origin: Ross Boylan <RossBoylan at stanfordalumni dot org> (edited by Kern)
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Eric Bollengier)
doesn’t permit Volume deletion, but does permit truncation.

What:  Provide a way for Bacula to automatically remove Volumes from the filesystem, or optionally to truncate them. Obviously, the Volume must be pruned prior removal.

Why:    This would allow users more control over their Volumes and
prevent disk based volumes from consuming too much space.

Notes:  The following two directives might do the trick:

Volume Data Retention = <time period>
Remove Volume After = <time period>

The migration project should also remove a Volume that is
migrated. This might also work for tape Volumes.

Item  6:  Implement Base jobs.
Date:   28 October 2005
Origin: Kern
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Eric Bollengier)

What:   A base job is sort of like a Full save except that you will want the FileSet to contain only files that are
unlikely to change in the future (i.e.  a snapshot of most of your system after installing it).  After the
base job has been run, when you are doing a Full save, you specify one or more Base jobs to be used.  All
files that have been backed up in the Base job/jobs but not modified will then be excluded from the backup.
During a restore, the Base jobs will be automatically pulled in where necessary.

Why:    This is something none of the competition does, as far as we know (except perhaps BackupPC, which is a Perl program that saves to disk only).  It is big win for the user, it makes Bacula stand out as offering a unique
optimization that immediately saves time and money. Basically, imagine that you have 100 nearly identical
Windows or Linux machine containing the OS and user files.  Now for the OS part, a Base job will be backed
up once, and rather than making 100 copies of the OS, there will be only one.  If one or more of the systems
have some files updated, no problem, they will be automatically restored.

Notes:  Huge savings in tape usage even for a single machine. Will require more resources because the DIR must send FD a list of files/attribs, and the FD must search the list and compare it for each file to be saved.

Item  7:  Implement creation and maintenance of copy pools
Date:   27 November 2005
Origin: David Boyes (dboyes at sinenomine dot net)
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Kern Sibbald)

What:   I would like Bacula to have the capability to write copies of backed-up data on multiple physical volumes selected from different pools without transferring the data multiple times, and to accept any of the copy volumes
as valid for restore.

Why:    In many cases, businesses are required to keep offsite copies of backup volumes, or just wish for simple
protection against a human operator dropping a storage volume and damaging it. The ability to generate multiple volumes in the course of a single backup job allows customers to simple check out one copy and send it
offsite, marking it as out of changer or otherwise unavailable. Currently, the library and magazine
management capability in Bacula does not make this process simple.

Restores would use the copy of the data on the first available volume, in order of copy pool chain definition.

This is also a major scalability issue — as the number of clients increases beyond several thousand, and the volume of data increases, transferring the data multiple times to produce additional copies of the backups will become physically impossible due to transfer speed issues. Generating multiple copies at server side will
become the only practical option.

How:    I suspect that this will require adding a multiplexing SD that appears to be a SD to a specific FD, but 1-n FDs to the specific back end SDs managing the primary and copy pools.  Storage pools will also need to acquire parameters to define the pools to be used for copies.

Notes:  I would commit some of my developers’ time if we can agree on the design and behavior.

Item  8:  Directive/mode to backup only file changes, not entire file
Date:   11 November 2005
Origin: Joshua Kugler <joshua dot kugler at uaf dot edu>
Marek Bajon <mbajon at bimsplus dot com dot pl>

What:   Currently when a file changes, the entire file will be backed up in the next incremental or full backup.  To save space on the tapes it would be nice to have a mode whereby only the changes to the file would be backed up when it is changed.

Why:    This would save lots of space when backing up large files such as
logs, mbox files, Outlook PST files and the like.

Notes:  This would require the usage of disk-based volumes as comparing files would not be feasible using a tape drive.

Item  9:  Implement a server-side compression feature
Date:   18 December 2006
Origin: Vadim A. Umanski , e-mail
What:   The ability to compress backup data on server receiving data instead of doing that on client sending data.
Why:    The need is practical. I’ve got some machines that can send data to the network 4 or 5 times faster than compressing them (I’ve measured that). They’re using fast enough SCSI/FC disk subsystems but rather slow CPUs (ex. UltraSPARC II). And the backup server has got a quite fast CPUs (ex. Dual P4 Xeons) and quite a low load. When you have 20, 50 or 100 GB of raw data – running a job 4 to 5 times faster – that really matters. On the other hand, the data can be compressed 50% or better – so losing twice more space for disk backup is not good at all. And the network is all mine (I have a dedicated management/provisioning network) and I can get as high bandwidth as I need – 100Mbps, 1000Mbps… That’s why the server-side compression feature is needed!

Item 10:  Improve Bacula’s tape and drive usage and cleaning management.
Date:   8 November 2005, November 11, 2005
Origin: Adam Thornton <athornton at sinenomine dot net>,
Arno Lehmann <al at its-lehmann dot de>

What:   Make Bacula manage tape life cycle information, tape reuse times and drive cleaning cycles.

Why:    All three parts of this project are important when operating backups. We need to know which tapes need replacement, and we need to make sure the drives are cleaned when necessary.  While many tape libraries and even autoloaders can handle all this automatically, support by Bacula can be helpful for smaller (older) libraries and single drives.  Limiting the number of times a tape is used might prevent tape errors when using tapes until the drives can’t read it any more.  Also, checking drive status during operation can prevent some failures (as I
[Arno] had to learn the hard way…)

Notes:  First, Bacula could (and even does, to some limited extent) record tape and drive usage.  For tapes, the number of mounts, the amount of data, and the time the tape has actually been running could be recorded.  Data fields for Read and Write time and Number of mounts already exist in the catalog (I’m not sure if VolBytes is the sum of all bytes ever written to that volume by Bacula).  This information can be important when determining which media to replace.  The ability to mark Volumes as “used up” after a given number of write cycles should also be implemented so that a tape is never actually worn out.  For the tape drives known to Bacula, similar
information is interesting to determine the device status and expected life time: Time it’s been Reading and Writing, number of tape Loads / Unloads / Errors.  This information is not yet recorded as far as I [Arno] know.  A new volume status would be necessary for the new state, like “Used up” or “Worn out”. Volumes with this state could be used for restores, but not for writing. These volumes should be migrated first (assuming migration is implemented) and, once they are no longer needed, could be moved to a Trash pool.

The next step would be to implement a drive cleaning setup. Bacula already has knowledge about cleaning tapes.  Once it has some information about cleaning cycles (measured in drive run time, number of tapes used, or calender days, for example) it can automatically execute tape cleaning (with an autochanger, obviously) or ask for operator assistance loading a cleaning tape. The final step would be to implement TAPEALERT checks not only
when changing tapes and only sending the information to the administrator, but rather checking after each tape error, checking on a regular basis (for example after each tape file), and also before unloading and after loading a new tape. Then, depending on the drives TAPEALERT state and the known drive cleaning state Bacula could automatically schedule later cleaning, clean immediately, or inform the operator.

Implementing this would perhaps require another catalog change and perhaps major changes in SD code and the DIR-SD protocol, so I’d only consider this worth implementing if it would actually be used or even needed by many people.

Implementation of these projects could happen in three distinct sub-projects: Measuring Tape and Drive usage, retiring volumes, and handling drive cleaning and TAPEALERTs.

Item 11:  Allow skipping execution of Jobs
Date:   29 November 2005
Origin: Florian Schnabel <florian.schnabel at docufy dot de>

What: An easy option to skip a certain job  on a certain date. Why: You could then easily skip tape backups on holidays.  Especially if you got no autochanger and can only fit one backup on a tape that would be really handy, other jobs could proceed normally and you won’t get errors that way.

Item 12:  Add a scheduling syntax that permits weekly rotations
Date:  15 December 2006
Origin: Gregory Brauer (greg at wildbrain dot com)

What:  Currently, Bacula only understands how to deal with weeks of the month or weeks of the year in schedules.  This makes it impossible to do a true weekly rotation of tapes.  There will always be a discontinuity that will require disruptive manual intervention at least monthly or yearly because week boundaries never align with month or year boundaries.

A solution would be to add a new syntax that defines (at least) a start timestamp, and repetition period.

Why:   Rotated backups done at weekly intervals are useful, and Bacula cannot currently do them without extensive hacking. Notes: Here is an example syntax showing a 3-week rotation where full Backups would be performed every week on Saturday, and an incremental would be performed every week on Tuesday.  Each
set of tapes could be removed from the loader for the following two cycles before coming back and being reused on the third week.  Since the execution times are determined by intervals from a given point in time, there will never be any issues with having to adjust to any sort of arbitrary time boundary.  In the example provided, I even define the starting schedule as crossing both a year and a month boundary, but the run times would be based on the “Repeat” value and would therefore happen weekly as desired.

Schedule {
Name = “Week 1 Rotation”
#Saturday.  Would run Dec 30, Jan 20, Feb 10, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Full
Start  = 2006-12-30 01:00
Repeat = 3w
#Tuesday.  Would run Jan 2, Jan 23, Feb 13, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Incremental
Start  = 2007-01-02 01:00
Repeat = 3w

Schedule {
Name = “Week 2 Rotation”
#Saturday.  Would run Jan 6, Jan 27, Feb 17, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Full
Start  = 2007-01-06 01:00
Repeat = 3w
#Tuesday.  Would run Jan 9, Jan 30, Feb 20, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Incremental
Start  = 2007-01-09 01:00
Repeat = 3w
Schedule {
Name = “Week 3 Rotation”
#Saturday.  Would run Jan 13, Feb 3, Feb 24, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Full
Start  = 2007-01-13 01:00
Repeat = 3w
#Tuesday.  Would run Jan 16, Feb 6, Feb 27, etc.
Run {
Options {
Type   = Incremental
Start  = 2007-01-16 01:00
Repeat = 3w

Item 13:  Archival (removal) of User Files to Tape
Date:   Nov. 24/2005
Origin: Ray Pengelly [ray at biomed dot queensu dot ca

What:   The ability to archive data to storage based on certain parameters such as age, size, or location.  Once the data has been written to storage and logged it is then pruned from the originating filesystem. Note! We are talking about user’s files and not Bacula Volumes.

Why:    This would allow fully automatic storage management which becomes useful for large datastores.  It would also allow for auto-staging from one media type to another.

Example 1) Medical imaging needs to store large amounts of data. They decide to keep data on their servers for 6 months and then put it away for long term storage.  The server then finds all files older than 6 months writes them to tape.  The files are then removed from the server.

Example 2) All data that hasn’t been accessed in 2 months could be moved from high-cost, fibre-channel disk storage to a low-cost large-capacity SATA disk storage pool which doesn’t have as quick of access time.  Then after another 6 months (or possibly as one storage pool gets full) data is migrated to Tape.

Item 14:  Cause daemons to use a specific IP address to source communications
Origin:  Bill Moran <>
Date:    18 Dec 2006
What:    Cause Bacula daemons (dir, fd, sd) to always use the ip address specified in the [DIR|DF|SD]Addr directive as the source IP for initiating communication.
Why:     On complex networks, as well as extremely secure networks, it’s not unusual to have multiple possible routes through the network. Often, each of these routes is secured by different policies (effectively, firewalls allow or deny different traffic depending on the source address) Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult or impossible to represent this in a system routing table, as the result is excessive subnetting that quickly exhausts available IP space. The best available workaround is to provide multiple IPs to a single machine that are all on the same subnet.  In order for this to work properly, applications must support the ability to bind outgoing connections to a specified address, otherwise the operating system will always choose the first IP that
matches the required route.

Notes:   Many other programs support this.  For example, the following
can be configured in BIND:
query-source address;
Which means queries from this server will always come from and zone transfers will always originate from

Item 15:  Multiple threads in file daemon for the same job
Date:   27 November 2005
Origin: Ove Risberg (Ove.Risberg at octocode dot com)

What:   I want the file daemon to start multiple threads for a backup job so the fastest possible backup can be made.

The file daemon could parse the FileSet information and start one thread for each File entry located on a separate

A configuration option in the job section should be used to enable or disable this feature. The configuration option could specify the maximum number of threads in the file daemon.

If the threads could spool the data to separate spool files the restore process will not be much slower.

Why:    Multiple concurrent backups of a large fileserver with many disks and controllers will be much faster.

Item 16:  Add Plug-ins to the FileSet Include statements.
Date:   28 October 2005
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Eric Bollengier)

What:   Allow users to specify wild-card and/or regular expressions to be matched in both the Include and
Exclude directives in a FileSet.  At the same time, allow users to define plug-ins to be called (based on
regular expression/wild-card matching).

Why:    This would give the users the ultimate ability to control how files are backed up/restored.  A user could write a plug-in knows how to backup his Oracle database without stopping/starting it, for example.

Item 17:  Restore only file attributes (permissions, ACL, owner, group…)
Origin: Eric Bollengier
Date:   30/12/2006

What:   The goal of this project is to be able to restore only rights
and attributes of files without crushing them.

Why:    Who have never had to repair a chmod -R 777, or a wild update
of recursive right under Windows? At this time, you must have
enough space to restore data, dump attributes (easy with acl,
more complex with unix/windows rights) and apply them to your
broken tree. With this options, it will be very easy to compare
right or ACL over the time.

Notes:  If the file is here, we skip restore and we change rights.
If the file isn’t here, we can create an empty one and apply
rights or do nothing.

Item 18:  Quick release of FD-SD connection after backup.
Origin: Frank Volf (frank at deze dot org)
Date:   17 November 2005
Status: Done — implemented by Kern — in CVS 26Jan07

What:  In the Bacula implementation a backup is finished after all data
and attributes are successfully written to storage.  When using a
tape backup it is very annoying that a backup can take a day,
simply because the current tape (or whatever) is full and the
administrator has not put a new one in.  During that time the
system cannot be taken off-line, because there is still an open
session between the storage daemon and the file daemon on the

Although this is a very good strategy for making “safe backups”
This can be annoying for e.g.  laptops, that must remain
connected until the backup is completed.
Using a new feature called “migration” it will be possible to
spool first to harddisk (using a special ‘spool’ migration
scheme) and then migrate the backup to tape.

There is still the problem of getting the attributes committed.
If it takes a very long time to do, with the current code, the
job has not terminated, and the File daemon is not freed up.  The
Storage daemon should release the File daemon as soon as all the
file data and all the attributes have been sent to it (the SD).
Currently the SD waits until everything is on tape and all the
attributes are transmitted to the Director before signaling
completion to the FD. I don’t think I would have any problem
changing this.  The reason is that even if the FD reports back to
the Dir that all is OK, the job will not terminate until the SD
has done the same thing — so in a way keeping the SD-FD link
open to the very end is not really very productive …

Why:   Makes backup of laptops much faster.

Item 19:  Implement a Python interface to the Bacula catalog.
Date:   28 October 2005
Origin: Kern

What:   Implement an interface for Python scripts to access
the catalog through Bacula.

Why:    This will permit users to customize Bacula through
Python scripts.

Item 20:  Archive data
Date:   15/5/2006
Origin: calvin streeting calvin at absentdream dot com

What:   The abilty to archive to media (dvd/cd) in a uncompressed format
for dead filing (archiving not backing up)

Why:  At my works when jobs are finished and moved off of the main file
servers (raid based systems) onto a simple Linux file server (ide based
system) so users can find old information without contacting the IT

So this data doesn’t really change it only gets added to,
But it also needs backing up.  At the moment it takes
about 8 hours to back up our servers (working data) so
rather than add more time to existing backups i am trying
to implement a system where we backup the archive data to
cd/dvd these disks would only need to be appended to
(burn only new/changed files to new disks for off site
storage).  basically understand the difference between
archive data and live data.
Notes:  Scan the data and email me when it needs burning divide
into predefined chunks keep a record of what is on what
disk make me a label (simple php->mysql=>pdf stuff) i
could do this bit ability to save data uncompressed so
it can be read in any other system (future proof data)
save the catalog with the disk as some kind of menu

Item 21:  Split documentation
Origin: Maxx <maxxatworkat gmail dot com>
Date:   27th July 2006
Status: Done: by Kern Sibbald

What:   Split documentation in several books

Why:    Bacula manual has now more than 600 pages, and looking for
implementation details is getting complicated.  I think
it would be good to split the single volume in two or
maybe three parts:

1) Introduction, requirements and tutorial, typically
are useful only until first installation time

2) Basic installation and configuration, with all the
gory details about the directives supported 3)
Advanced Bacula: testing, troubleshooting, GUI and
ancillary programs, security managements, scripting,

Item 22:  Implement support for stacking arbitrary stream filters, sinks.
Date:     23 November 2006
Origin:   Landon Fuller <>

What:   Implement support for the following:
– Stacking arbitrary stream filters (eg, encryption, compression,
sparse data handling))
– Attaching file sinks to terminate stream filters (ie, write out
the resultant data to a file)
– Refactor the restoration state machine accordingly

Why:   The existing stream implementation suffers from the following:
– All state (compression, encryption, stream restoration), is
global across the entire restore process, for all streams. There are
multiple entry and exit points in the restoration state machine, and
thus multiple places where state must be allocated, deallocated,
initialized, or reinitialized. This results in exceptional complexity
for the author of a stream filter.
– The developer must enumerate all possible combinations of filters
and stream types (ie, win32 data with encryption, without encryption,
with encryption AND compression, etc).
Notes:  This feature request only covers implementing the stream filters/
sinks, and refactoring the file daemon’s restoration implementation
accordingly. If I have extra time, I will also rewrite the backup
implementation. My intent in implementing the restoration first is to
solve pressing bugs in the restoration handling, and to ensure that
the new restore implementation handles existing backups correctly.

I do not plan on changing the network or tape data structures to
support defining arbitrary stream filters, but supporting that
functionality is the ultimate goal.

Assistance with either code or testing would be fantastic.

Item 23:  Implement from-client and to-client on restore command line.
Date:  11 December 2006
Origin: Discussion on Bacula-users entitled ‘Scripted restores to
different clients’, December 2006
Status: Done: contributed by Bacula Systems (Kern Sibbald)

What:   While using bconsole interactively, you can specify the client
that a backup job is to be restored for, and then you can
specify later a different client to send the restored files
back to. However, using the ‘restore’ command with all options
on the command line, this cannot be done, due to the ambiguous
‘client’ parameter. Additionally, this parameter means different
things depending on if it’s specified on the command line or
afterwards, in the Modify Job screens.

Why: This feature would enable restore jobs to be more completely
automated, for example by a web or GUI front-end.

Notes: client can also be implied by specifying the jobid on the command

Item 24:  Add an override in Schedule for Pools based on backup types.
Date:     19 Jan 2005
Origin:   Chad Slater <>

What:   Adding a FullStorage=BigTapeLibrary in the Schedule resource
would help those of us who use different storage devices for different
backup levels cope with the “auto-upgrade” of a backup.

Why:    Assume I add several new device to be backed up, i.e. several
hosts with 1TB RAID.  To avoid tape switching hassles, incrementals are
stored in a disk set on a 2TB RAID.  If you add these devices in the
middle of the month, the incrementals are upgraded to “full” backups,
but they try to use the same storage device as requested in the
incremental job, filling up the RAID holding the differentials.  If we
could override the Storage parameter for full and/or differential
backups, then the Full job would use the proper Storage device, which
has more capacity (i.e. a 8TB tape library.
Item 25:  Implement huge exclude list support using hashing (dlists).
Date:   28 October 2005
Origin: Kern
Status: Done in 2.1.2 but was done with dlists (doubly linked lists
since hashing will not help. The huge list also supports
large include lists).

What:   Allow users to specify very large exclude list (currently
more than about 1000 files is too many).

Why:    This would give the users the ability to exclude all
files that are loaded with the OS (e.g. using rpms
or debs). If the user can restore the base OS from
CDs, there is no need to backup all those files. A
complete restore would be to restore the base OS, then
do a Bacula restore. By excluding the base OS files, the
backup set will be *much* smaller.

Item 26:  Implement more Python events in Bacula.
Date:   28 October 2005
Origin: Kern

What:   Allow Python scripts to be called at more places
within Bacula and provide additional access to Bacula
internal variables.

Why:    This will permit users to customize Bacula through
Python scripts.

Notes:  Recycle event
Scratch pool event
NeedVolume event
MediaFull event

Also add a way to get a listing of currently running
jobs (possibly also scheduled jobs).

Item 27:  Incorporation of XACML2/SAML2 parsing
Date:   19 January 2006
Origin: Adam Thornton <>
Status: Blue sky

What:   XACML is “eXtensible Access Control Markup Language” and
“SAML is the “Security Assertion Markup Language”–an XML standard
for making statements about identity and authorization.  Having these
would give us a framework to approach ACLs in a generic manner, and
in a way flexible enough to support the four major sorts of ACLs I
see as a concern to Bacula at this point, as well as (probably) to
deal with new sorts of ACLs that may appear in the future.

Why:    Bacula is beginning to need to back up systems with ACLs
that do not map cleanly onto traditional Unix permissions.  I see
four sets of ACLs–in general, mutually incompatible with one
another–that we’re going to need to deal with.  These are: NTFS
ACLs, POSIX ACLs, NFSv4 ACLS, and AFS ACLS.  (Some may question the
relevance of AFS; AFS is one of Sine Nomine’s core consulting
businesses, and having a reputable file-level backup and restore
technology for it (as Tivoli is probably going to drop AFS support
soon since IBM no longer supports AFS) would be of huge benefit to
our customers; we’d most likely create the AFS support at Sine Nomine
for inclusion into the Bacula (and perhaps some changes to the
OpenAFS volserver) core code.)

Now, obviously, Bacula already handles NTFS just fine.  However, I
think there’s a lot of value in implementing a generic ACL model, so
that it’s easy to support whatever particular instances of ACLs come
down the pike: POSIX ACLS (think SELinux) and NFSv4 are the obvious
things arriving in the Linux world in a big way in the near future.
XACML, although overcomplicated for our needs, provides this
framework, and we should be able to leverage other people’s
implementations to minimize the amount of work *we* have to do to get
a generic ACL framework.  Basically, the costs of implementation are
high, but they’re largely both external to Bacula and already sunk.

Item 28:  Filesystem watch triggered backup.
Date:   31 August 2006
Origin: Jesper Krogh <>
Status: Unimplemented, depends probably on “client initiated backups”

What:   With inotify and similar filesystem triggeret notification
systems is it possible to have the file-daemon to monitor
filesystem changes and initiate backup.

Why:    There are 2 situations where this is nice to have.
1) It is possible to get a much finer-grained backup than
the fixed schedules used now.. A file created and deleted
a few hours later, can automatically be caught.

2) The introduced load on the system will probably be
distributed more even on the system.

Notes:  This can be combined with configuration that specifies
something like: “at most every 15 minutes or when changes
consumed XX MB”.

Kern Notes: I would rather see this implemented by an external program
that monitors the Filesystem changes, then uses the console
to start the appropriate job.

Item 29:  Allow inclusion/exclusion of files in a fileset by creation/mod times
Origin: Evan Kaufman <>
Date:   January 11, 2006

What:   In the vein of the Wild and Regex directives in a Fileset’s
Options, it would be helpful to allow a user to include or exclude
files and directories by creation or modification times.

You could factor the Exclude=yes|no option in much the same way it
affects the Wild and Regex directives.  For example, you could exclude
all files modified before a certain date:

Options {
Exclude = yes
Modified Before = ####

Or you could exclude all files created/modified since a certain date:

Options {
Exclude = yes
Created Modified Since = ####

The format of the time/date could be done several ways, say the number
of seconds since the epoch:
1137008553 = Jan 11 2006, 1:42:33PM   # result of `date +%s`

Or a human readable date in a cryptic form:
20060111134233 = Jan 11 2006, 1:42:33PM   # YYYYMMDDhhmmss

Why:    I imagine a feature like this could have many uses. It would
allow a user to do a full backup while excluding the base operating
system files, so if I installed a Linux snapshot from a CD yesterday,
I’ll *exclude* all files modified *before* today.  If I need to
recover the system, I use the CD I already have, plus the tape backup.
Or if, say, a Windows client is hit by a particularly corrosive
virus, and I need to *exclude* any files created/modified *since* the
time of infection.

Notes:  Of course, this feature would work in concert with other
in/exclude rules, and wouldnt override them (or each other).

Notes:  The directives I’d imagine would be along the lines of
“[Created] [Modified] [Before|Since] = <date>”.
So one could compare against ‘ctime’ and/or ‘mtime’, but ONLY ‘before’
or ‘since’.

Item 30:  Tray monitor window cleanups
Origin: Alan Brown ajb2 at mssl dot ucl dot ac dot uk
Date:   24 July 2006
What:   Resizeable and scrollable windows in the tray monitor.

Why:    With multiple clients, or with many jobs running, the displayed
window often ends up larger than the available screen, making
the trailing items difficult to read.

Item 31:  Implement multiple numeric backup levels as supported by dump
Date:     3 April 2006
Origin:   Daniel Rich <>
What:     Dump allows specification of backup levels numerically instead of just
“full”, “incr”, and “diff”.  In this system, at any given level, all
files are backed up that were were modified since the last backup of a
higher level (with 0 being the highest and 9 being the lowest).  A
level 0 is therefore equivalent to a full, level 9 an incremental, and
the levels 1 through 8 are varying levels of differentials.  For
bacula’s sake, these could be represented as “full”, “incr”, and
“diff1”, “diff2”, etc.

Why:      Support of multiple backup levels would provide for more advanced backup
rotation schemes such as “Towers of Hanoi”.  This would allow better
flexibility in performing backups, and can lead to shorter recover

Notes:    Legato Networker supports a similar system with full, incr, and 1-9 as

Item 32:  Automatic promotion of backup levels
Date:  19 January 2006
Origin: Adam Thornton <>

What: Amanda has a feature whereby it estimates the space that a
differential, incremental, and full backup would take.  If the
difference in space required between the scheduled level and the next
level up is beneath some user-defined critical threshold, the backup
level is bumped to the next type.  Doing this minimizes the number of
volumes necessary during a restore, with a fairly minimal cost in
backup media space.

Why:  I know at least one (quite sophisticated and smart) user
for whom the absence of this feature is a deal-breaker in terms of
using Bacula; if we had it it would eliminate the one cool thing
Amanda can do and we can’t (at least, the one cool thing I know of).

Item 33:  Clustered file-daemons
Origin: Alan Brown ajb2 at mssl dot ucl dot ac dot uk
Date:   24 July 2006
What:   A “virtual” filedaemon, which is actually a cluster of real ones.

Why:    In the case of clustered filesystems (SAN setups, GFS, or OCFS2, etc)
multiple machines may have access to the same set of filesystems

For performance reasons, one may wish to initate backups from
several of these machines simultaneously, instead of just using
one backup source for the common clustered filesystem.

For obvious reasons, normally backups of $A-FD/$PATH and
B-FD/$PATH are treated as different backup sets. In this case
they are the same communal set.

Likewise when restoring, it would be easier to just specify
one of the cluster machines and let bacula decide which to use.

This can be faked to some extent using DNS round robin entries
and a virtual IP address, however it means “status client” will
always give bogus answers. Additionally there is no way of
spreading the load evenly among the servers.

What is required is something similar to the storage daemon
autochanger directives, so that Bacula can keep track of
operating backups/restores and direct new jobs to a “free”

Item 34:  Commercial database support
Origin: Russell Howe <russell_howe dot wreckage dot org>
Date:   26 July 2006

What:   It would be nice for the database backend to support more
databases. I’m thinking of SQL Server at the moment, but I guess Oracle,
DB2, MaxDB, etc are all candidates. SQL Server would presumably be
implemented using FreeTDS or maybe an ODBC library?

Why:    We only really have one database server, which is MS SQL Server
2000. Maintaining a second one for the backup software (we grew out of
SQLite, which I liked, but which didn’t work so well with our database
size). We don’t really have a machine with the resources to run
postgres, and would rather only maintain a single DBMS. We’re stuck with
SQL Server because pretty much all the company’s custom applications
(written by consultants) are locked into SQL Server 2000. I can imagine
this scenario is fairly common, and it would be nice to use the existing
properly specced database server for storing Bacula’s catalog, rather
than having to run a second DBMS.

Item 35:  Automatic disabling of devices
Date:  2005-11-11
Origin: Peter Eriksson <peter at ifm.liu dot se>

What:  After a configurable amount of fatal errors with a tape drive
Bacula should automatically disable further use of a certain
tape drive. There should also be “disable”/”enable” commands in
the “bconsole” tool.

Why:   On a multi-drive jukebox there is a possibility of tape drives
going bad during large backups (needing a cleaning tape run,
tapes getting stuck). It would be advantageous if Bacula would
automatically disable further use of a problematic tape drive
after a configurable amount of errors has occurred.

An example: I have a multi-drive jukebox (6 drives, 380+ slots)
where tapes occasionally get stuck inside the drive. Bacula will
notice that the “mtx-changer” command will fail and then fail
any backup jobs trying to use that drive. However, it will still
keep on trying to run new jobs using that drive and fail –
forever, and thus failing lots and lots of jobs… Since we have
many drives Bacula could have just automatically disabled
further use of that drive and used one of the other ones

Item 36:  An option to operate on all pools with update vol parameters
Origin: Dmitriy Pinchukov <>
Date:  16 August 2006

What:  When I do update -> Volume parameters -> All Volumes
from Pool, then I have to select pools one by one.  I’d like
console to have an option like “0: All Pools” in the list of
defined pools.

Why:   I have many pools and therefore unhappy with manually
updating each of them using update -> Volume parameters -> All
Volumes from Pool -> pool #.

Item 37:  Add an item to the restore option where you can select a pool
Origin: kshatriyak at gmail dot com
Date: 1/1/2006

What: In the restore option (Select the most recent backup for a
client) it would be useful to add an option where you can limit
the selection to a certain pool.

Why: When using cloned jobs, most of the time you have 2 pools – a
disk pool and a tape pool.  People who have 2 pools would like to
select the most recent backup from disk, not from tape (tape
would be only needed in emergency).  However, the most recent
backup (which may just differ a second from the disk backup) may
be on tape and would be selected.  The problem becomes bigger if
you have a full and differential – the most “recent” full backup
may be on disk, while the most recent differential may be on tape
(though the differential on disk may differ even only a second or
so).  Bacula will complain that the backups reside on different
media then.  For now the only solution now when restoring things
when you have 2 pools is to manually search for the right
job-id’s and enter them by hand, which is a bit fault tolerant.

Item 38:  Include timestamp of job launch in “stat clients” output
Origin: Mark Bergman <>
Date:   Tue Aug 22 17:13:39 EDT 2006

What:   The “stat clients” command doesn’t include any detail on when
the active backup jobs were launched.

Why:    Including the timestamp would make it much easier to decide whether
a job is running properly.

Notes:  It may be helpful to have the output from “stat clients” formatted
more like that from “stat dir” (and other commands), in a column
format. The per-client information that’s currently shown (level,
client name, JobId, Volume, pool, device, Files, etc.) is good, but
somewhat hard to parse (both programmatically and visually),
particularly when there are many active clients.

Item 39:  Message mailing based on backup types
Origin:  Evan Kaufman <>
Date:  January 6, 2006

What:  In the “Messages” resource definitions, allowing messages
to be mailed based on the type (backup, restore, etc.) and level
(full, differential, etc) of job that created the originating

Why:     It would, for example, allow someone’s boss to be emailed
automatically only when a Full Backup job runs, so he can
retrieve the tapes for offsite storage, even if the IT dept.
doesn’t (or can’t) explicitly notify him.  At the same time, his
mailbox wouldnt be filled by notifications of Verifies, Restores,
or Incremental/Differential Backups (which would likely be kept

Notes:   One way this could be done is through additional message types, for example:

Messages {
# email the boss only on full system backups
Mail = = full, !incremental, !differential, !restore,
!verify, !admin
# email us only when something breaks
MailOnError = = all

Item 40:  Include JobID in spool file name ****DONE****
Origin: Mark Bergman <>
Date:   Tue Aug 22 17:13:39 EDT 2006
Status: Done. (patches/testing/project-include-jobid-in-spool-name.patch)
No need to vote for this item.

What:   Change the name of the spool file to include the JobID

Why:    JobIDs are the common key used to refer to jobs, yet the
spoolfile name doesn’t include that information. The date/time
stamp is useful (and should be retained).

Item  41: Enable to relocate files and directories when restoring
Date:   2007-03-01
Origin: Eric Bollengier <>
Status: Done.

What:   The where= option is not powerful enough. It will be
a great feature if bacula can restore a file in the
same directory, but with a different name, or in
an other directory without recreating the full path.

Why:    When i want to restore a production environment to a
development environment, i just want change the first
directory. ie restore /prod/data/file.dat to /rect/data/file.dat.
At this time, i have to move by hand files. You must have a big
dump space to restore and move data after.

When i use Linux or SAN snapshot, i mount them to /mnt/snap_xxx
so, when a restore a file, i have to move by hand
from /mnt/snap_xxx/file to /xxx/file. I can’t replace a file

When a user ask me to restore a file in its personal folder,
(without replace the existing one), i can’t restore from
my_file.txt to my_file.txt.old witch is very practical.

Notes:  I think we can enhance the where= option very easily by
allowing regexp expression.

Since, many users think that regexp are not user friendly, i think
that bat, bconsole or brestore must provide a simple way to
configure where= option (i think to something like in
openoffice “search and replace”).

Ie, if user uses where=/tmp/bacula-restore, we keep the old

If user uses something like where=s!/prod!/test!, files will
be restored from /prod/xxx to /test/xxx.

If user uses something like where=s/$/.old/, files will
be restored from /prod/xxx.txt to /prod/xxx.txt.old.

If user uses something like where=s/txt$/old.txt/, files will
be restored from /prod/xxx.txt to /prod/xxx.old.txt

if user uses something like where=s/([a-z]+)$/old.$1/, files will
be restored from /prod/xxx.ext to /prod/xxx.old.ext

Item n:   Implement Catalog directive for Pool resource in Director
Origin: Alan Davis
Date:   6 March 2007
Status: Submitted

What:   The current behavior is for the director to create all pools
found in the configuration file in all catalogs.  Add a
Catalog directive to the Pool resource to specify which
catalog to use for each pool definition.

Why:    This allows different catalogs to have different pool
attributes and eliminates the side-effect of adding
pools to catalogs that don’t need/use them.


Item n:   Implement NDMP protocol support
Origin: Alan Davis
Date:   06 March 2007
Status: Submitted

What:   Network Data Management Protocol is implemented by a number of
NAS filer vendors to enable backups using third-party

Why:    This would allow NAS filer backups in Bacula without incurring
the overhead of NFS or SBM/CIFS.

Notes:  Further information is available:

There are currently no viable open-source NDMP
implementations.  There is a reference SDK and example
app available from but it has problems
compiling on recent Linux and Solaris OS’.  The ndmjob
reference implementation from Traakan is known to
compile on Solaris 10.

Notes (Kern): I am not at all in favor of this until NDMP becomes
an Open Standard or until there are Open Source libraries
that interface to it.

Item n: make changing “spooldata=yes|no” possible for
manual/interactive jobs

Origin: Marc Schiffbauer <>
Date:   12 April 2007)
Status: NEW

What:   Make it possible to modify the spooldata option
for a job when being run from within the console.
Currently it is possible to modify the backup level
and the spooldata setting in a Schedule resource.
It is also possible to modify the backup level when using
the “run” command in the console.
But it is currently not possible to to the same
with “spooldata=yes|no” like:

run job=MyJob level=incremental spooldata=yes

Why:    In some situations it would be handy to be able to switch
spooldata on or off for interactive/manual jobs based on
which data the admin expects or how fast the LAN/WAN
connection currently is.

Notes:  ./.

============= Empty Feature Request form ===========
Item  n:  One line summary …
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Origin: Name and email of originator.

What:   More detailed explanation …

Why:    Why it is important …

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============== End Feature Request form ==============

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