BaculaBacula, now in release 3, still is the best Open Source backup system I know of. If I had to single out just one of its advantages, I’d say it is the capability to run on numerous platforms, including Windows.

A potential client has contacted me with a problem they have:

The Bacula installer for Windows supplied by the Bacula project, asks you to create a password for itself (i.e. for the file daemon on that workstation), and it optionally drops a file you can copy over to the Bacula director (i.e. the server) in order to have said server authenticate and backup said client. (I have a screenshot of what it looks like here.)

Now, that is all fine and dandy, but what do you do when you have dozens, or even hundreds of Windows clients you want installed? As an administrator, you may decide to create a client configuration with the Director’s password in it, and deploy that onto all your workstations. A very bad idea: shared passwords are A Bad Thing. On the other hand, you don’t want to have to walk over to those dozens of clients and fetch their passwords do you? I think I’ve come up with an elegant solution to the problem.

A custom-made NSIS installer will deploy the Bacula client into a fixed path on the target workstation, and it will generate random passwords (using OpenSSL) and create the bacula-fd.conf configuration file for the file daemon.

A second program, installed and launched by said installer, will collect that password, together with the computer’s name, and will transfer that to a central repository. From there, it is then trivial to assemble a list of clients (with their names and passwords) and build a Bacula configuration file to back up those clients.

On a related note, about a month ago, I suggested to Stefan Rubner that it would be great to have a Bacula daemon running on the ReadyNAS NV+-family. I suggested it to him, because he’s a wiz at building software for that platform: he’s the guy behind the iSCSI target, NTP time server, SANE back-ends, and SVN/WebSVN, all for ReadyNAS. If Stefan has a bit of time, he’ll be looking into that, and I believe it will be a great addition to the ReadyNAS. If he can get around to doing the port of Bacula to the ReadyNAS, I’ll be writing about it – stay tuned.

CLI, Backup, windows, deployment, Bacula, and NSIS :: 16 Oct 2009 :: e-mail