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Relax-and-Recover (ReaR) Workshop

:author: Gratien Dhaese

The Relax-and-Recover (ReaR) workshop is guiding you into setting up rear, how to configure it, and with lots of real use cases, such as with Bareos, NFS, CIFS, RSYNC.

Setting up your virtual machines

This document was only tested for the KVM and VirtualBox hypervisors, but it should work fine with other hypervisors.

I would really appreciate that you test your hypervisor of choice and contribute instructions back (at

A few words before going to the prerequisites - we use vagrant as digital assitant to setup up our virtual images (VMs) to play with rear. Why? Because, in order to speed up the workshop around rear we do install lots of software automatically in the client and server VMs.

Why use Vagrant to play with rear? Vagrant is a widely used amongst developers to create virtualized environments which can be used to setup test labs, to play around without the need to install from scratch a VM, and to screw it up completey without any impact on your host computer itself. Afterwards, the VMs can be deleted and/or rebuild. All of this is possible by a single command: vagrant

To give an example, when you have setup the client and server VMs by running vagrant up the server VM contains a working Bareos backup environment, and the client VM can simple make a full backup towards the server VM without any additional steps or commands to execute. This is done in order to avoid any installation or configuration issues with Bareos. Especially, the workshop is around the usage of rear and not Bareos. We need to concentrate on the possibilities that rear offers. To avoid distractions of minor (or major) system administration tasks this is all done automatically via vagrant and its provisioning capabilities (via scripting). This might become food for another talk - how the hell did we achieve this?


Before we can start with the content of the workshop you need several things:

  • Host system can be Linux, Mac, Windows
  • A hypervisor like KVM, Oracle VirtualBox, VMware Player or VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop
  • Install vagrant from your distribution or when not present from
  • KVM with libvirt needs the vagrant-libvirt plugin: vagrant plugin install vagrant-libvirt
  • Install git to download the workshop: git clone or git clone
  • Sufficient free disk space for 3 VMs (about 3G per virtual machine should do)
  • Optional, vncviewer to approach the recover VM

Downloading the centos/7 box with vagrant

It is important to do these steps before going to the workshop so we do not waste time downloading the centos7 image. Furthermore, during the first time start up of vagrant with the centos7 vagrantfile all dependencies will be downloaded so that the client and server system are ready for the workshop. This takes quite some time (20 minutes or more).

At this point we assume you have a hypervisor and vagrant already installed. Also, the +git+ command is avaliable. Start with downloading the workshop:

$ git clone
Cloning into 'rear-workshop'...
remote: Counting objects: 160, done.
remote: Total 160 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 160
Receiving objects: 100% (160/160), 40.76 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (89/89), done.
Checking connectivity... done.

Then, browse into:

$ cd rear-workshop/centos7/
$ ls  Vagrantfile  Vagrantfile.libvirt.recover  Vagrantfile.virtualbox.recover

And, let do vagrant its job:

$ vagrant up
Bringing machine 'client' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
Bringing machine 'server' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
==> client: Box 'centos/7' could not be found. Attempting to find and install...
    client: Box Provider: virtualbox
    client: Box Version: >= 0
==> client: Loading metadata for box 'centos/7'
    client: URL:
==> client: Adding box 'centos/7' (v1607.01) for provider: virtualbox
    client: Downloading:
    client: Progress: 1% (Rate: 606k/s, Estimated time remaining: 0:14:57)
==> client: Successfully added box 'centos/7' (v1607.01) for 'virtualbox'!
==> client: Importing base box 'centos/7'...
==> client: Matching MAC address for NAT networking...
==> client: Checking if box 'centos/7' is up to date...
==> client: Setting the name of the VM: centos7_client_1470826828474_34068
==> client: Clearing any previously set network interfaces...
==> client: Preparing network interfaces based on configuration...
    client: Adapter 1: nat
    client: Adapter 2: hostonly
==> client: Forwarding ports...
    client: 22 (guest) => 2222 (host) (adapter 1)
==> client: Booting VM...
==> client: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    client: SSH address:
    client: SSH username: vagrant
    client: SSH auth method: private key

and so will see lots of lines flying by (also for the server vm)

==> server: Complete!
==> server: Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /usr/lib/systemd/system/smb.service.
==> server: Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/ to /usr/lib/systemd/system/nmb.service.
==> server: Added user vagrant.

Login to the vagrant VMs

There are several possibilities to login onto these fresh created VMs:

  • vagrant ssh {client|server}
  • ssh vagrant@ (password vagrant and this is the client)
  • ssh vagrant@ (password vagrant and this is the server)
  • vncviewer (for the client interface)
  • vncviewer (for the server interface)
  • vncviewer (for the recover interface)
  • Or, via the VM console of your hypervisor

The passwords for the vagrant and root user are the same: vagrant

As vagrant user you can easily become root via sudo su (the rules are pre-configured).

Now, you are ready to attend the workshop without losing time to set it up from scratch. The lab exercises are not yet uploaded as otherwise nobody would attend the workshop - makes sense, no?

Halting the VMs

Is quite simple: vagrant halt (see also vagrant -h for more options)

Cleaning up the VMs

When you are done with the labs you can simply destroy all the VMs by vagrant destroy

And, the vagrant box can be removed as vagrant box remove centos/7

Encountered a problem with setting up the workshop

Oops, please open a new issue at

Known Issues

Windows 10 with cygwin may exit with rsync error

When you get to see an error like the following:

=> client: Rsyncing folder: /home/grati/rear-workshop/centos7/ => /vagrant
There was an error when attempting to rsync a synced folder.
Please inspect the error message below for more info.

Host path: /home/grati/rear-workshop/centos7/
Guest path: /vagrant
Command: rsync --verbose --archive --delete -z --copy-links --chmod=ugo=rwX --no-perms --no-owner --no-group --rsync-path sudo rsync -e ssh -p 2222 -o ControlMaster=auto -o ControlPath=C:/cygwin64/tmp/ssh.977 -o ControlPersist=10m -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no -o IdentitiesOnly=true -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -i 'C:/cygwin64/home/grati/rear-workshop/insecure_keys/vagrant.private' --exclude .vagrant/ /home/grati/rear-workshop/centos7/ vagrant@
Error: Warning: Permanently added '[]:2222' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
mm_receive_fd: no message header
process_mux_new_session: failed to receive fd 0 from slave
mux_client_request_session: read from master failed: Connection reset by peer
Failed to connect to new control master
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (0 bytes received so far) [sender]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(226) [sender=3.1.2]

Then go check and follow the advise mentioned in issue and restart as vagrant up --provision

Author: Gratien D'haese

If you need to contact me for setting a workshop on your premises then see the possibilities at

Be aware, this workshop uses centos/7 as GNU/Linux Operating system. If you want to have it for another version or type of GNU/Linux then you have to pay for it (consultancy fee - see above link).

Last updated: 30 December 2016


The rear workshop for OSBconf 2016




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