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Configuration

The configuration is performed by changing /etc/rear/local.conf or /etc/rear/site.conf.

There are two important variables that influence Relax-and-Recover and the rescue image. Set OUTPUT to your preferred boot method and define BACKUP for your favorite BACKUP strategy.

In most cases only these two settings are required.

Rescue media (OUTPUT)

The OUTPUT variable defines where the rescue image should be send to. Possible OUTPUT setting are:

OUTPUT=RAMDISK

Copy the kernel and the initramfs containing the rescue system to a selected location.

OUTPUT=ISO

Create a bootable ISO9660 image on disk as rear-$(hostname).iso

OUTPUT=PXE

Create on a remote PXE/NFS server the required files (such as configuration file, kernel and initrd image)

OUTPUT=OBDR

Create a bootable OBDR tape including the backup archive. Specify the OBDR tape device by using TAPE_DEVICE.

OUTPUT=USB

Create a bootable USB disk (using extlinux). Specify the USB storage device by using USB_DEVICE.

OUTPUT=RAWDISK

Create a bootable raw disk image on as rear-$(hostname).raw.gz. Supports UEFI boot if syslinux/EFI or Grub 2/EFI is installed. Supports Legacy BIOS boot if syslinux is installed. Supports UEFI/Legacy BIOS dual boot if syslinux and one of the supported EFI bootloaders are installed.

Using OUTPUT_URL with ISO, RAMDISK or RAWDISK output methods

When using OUTPUT=ISO, OUTPUT=RAMDISK or OUTPUT=RAWDISK you should provide the backup target location through the OUTPUT_URL variable. Possible OUTPUT_URL settings are:

OUTPUT_URL=file://

Write the ISO image to disk. The default is in /var/lib/rear/output/.

OUTPUT_URL=fish//

Write the ISO image using lftp and the FISH protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=ftp://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the FTP protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=ftps://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the FTPS protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=hftp://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the HFTP protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=http://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the HTTP (PUT) procotol.

OUTPUT_URL=https://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the HTTPS (PUT) protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=nfs://

Write the ISO image using nfs and the NFS protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=sftp://

Write the ISO image using lftp and the secure FTP (SFTP) protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=rsync://

Write the ISO image using rsync and the RSYNC protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=sshfs://

Write the image using sshfs and the SSH protocol.

OUTPUT_URL=null

Do not copy the ISO image from /var/lib/rear/output/ to a remote output location. OUTPUT_URL=null is useful when another program (e.g. an external backup program) is used to save the ISO image from the local system to a remote place, or with BACKUP_URL=iso:///backup when the backup is included in the ISO image to avoid a (big) copy of the ISO image at a remote output location. In the latter case the ISO image must be manually saved from the local system to a remote place. OUTPUT_URL=null is only supported together with BACKUP=NETFS.

The default boot option of the created ISO is boothd / "boot from first harddisk". If you want to change this, e.g. because you integrate REAR into some automation process, you can change the default using ISO_DEFAULT={manual,automatic,boothd}

Backup/Restore strategy (BACKUP)

The BACKUP setting defines our backup/restore strategy. The BACKUP can be handled via internal archive executable (tar or rsync) or by an external backup program (commercial or open source).

Possible BACKUP settings are:

BACKUP=TSM

Use IBM Tivoli Storage Manager programs

BACKUP=DP

Use HP DataProtector programs

BACKUP=FDRUPSTREAM

Use FDR/Upstream

BACKUP=NBU

Use Symantec NetBackup programs

BACKUP=NSR

Use EMC NetWorker (Legato)

BACKUP=BACULA

Use Bacula programs

BACKUP=BAREOS

Use Bareos fork of Bacula

BAREOS_FILESET=Full Only if you have more than one fileset defined for your clients backup jobs, you need to specify which to use for restore

BACKUP=GALAXY

Use CommVault Galaxy (5, probably 6)

BACKUP=GALAXY7

Use CommVault Galaxy (7 and probably newer)

BACKUP=GALAXY10

Use CommVault Galaxy 10 (or Simpana 10)

BACKUP=BORG

Use BorgBackup (short Borg) a deduplicating backup program to restore the data.

BACKUP=NETFS

Use Relax-and-Recover internal backup with tar or rsync (or similar). When using BACKUP=NETFS and BACKUP_PROG=tar there is an option to select BACKUP_TYPE=incremental or BACKUP_TYPE=differential to let rear make incremental or differential backups until the next full backup day e.g. via FULLBACKUPDAY="Mon" is reached or when the last full backup is too old after FULLBACKUP_OUTDATED_DAYS has passed. Incremental or differential backup is currently only known to work with BACKUP_URL=nfs. Other BACKUP_URL schemes may work but at least BACKUP_URL=usb requires USB_SUFFIX to be set to work with incremental or differential backup.

BACKUP=REQUESTRESTORE

No backup, just ask user to somehow restore the filesystems.

BACKUP=EXTERNAL

Use a custom strategy by providing backup and restore commands.

BACKUP=DUPLICITY

Use duplicity to manage backup (see http://duplicity.nongnu.org). Additionally if duply (see http://duply.net) is also installed while generating the rescue images it is part of the image.

BACKUP=RBME

Use Rsync Backup Made Easy (rbme) to restore the data.

BACKUP=RSYNC

Use rsync to foresee in backup and restore of your system disks.

BACKUP=BLOCKCLONE

Backup block devices using dd or ntfsclone

Using NETFS as backup strategy (internal archive method)

When using BACKUP=NETFS you should provide the backup target location through the BACKUP_URL variable. Possible BACKUP_URL settings are:

BACKUP_URL=file://

To backup to local disk, use BACKUP_URL=file:///directory/path/

BACKUP_URL=nfs://

To backup to NFS disk, use BACKUP_URL=nfs://nfs-server-name/share/path

BACKUP_URL=tape://

To backup to tape device, use BACKUP_URL=tape:///dev/nst0 or alternatively, simply define TAPE_DEVICE=/dev/nst0

BACKUP_URL=cifs://

To backup to a Samba share (CIFS), use BACKUP_URL=cifs://cifs-server-name/share/path. To provide credentials for CIFS mounting use a /etc/rear/cifs credentials file and define BACKUP_OPTIONS="cred=/etc/rear/cifs" and pass along:

username=_username_
password=_secret password_
domain=_domain_
BACKUP_URL=sshfs://

To backup over the network with the help of sshfs. You need the fuse-sshfs package before you can use FUSE-Filesystem to access remote filesystems via SSH. An example of defining the BACKUP_URL could be:

BACKUP_URL=sshfs://root@server/export/archives
BACKUP_URL=usb://

To backup to USB storage device, use BACKUP_URL=usb:///dev/disk/by-label/REAR-000 or use a real device node or a specific filesystem label. Alternatively, you can specify the device using USB_DEVICE=/dev/disk/by-label/REAR-000.

If you combine this with OUTPUT=USB you will end up with a bootable USB device.

Optional settings:

BACKUP_PROG=rsync

If you want to use rsync instead of tar (only for BACKUP=NETFS). Do not confuse this with the BACKUP=RSYNC backup mechanism.

NETFS_KEEP_OLD_BACKUP_COPY=y

If you want to keep the previous backup archive. Incremental or differential backup and NETFS_KEEP_OLD_BACKUP_COPY contradict each other so that NETFS_KEEP_OLD_BACKUP_COPY must not be 'true' in case of incremental or differential backup.

TMPDIR=/bigdisk

Define this variable in /etc/rear/local.conf if directoru /tmp is too small to contain the ISO image, e.g. when using

OUTPUT=ISO
BACKUP=NETFS
BACKUP_URL=iso://backup
ISO_MAX_SIZE=4500
OUTPUT_URL=nfs://lnx01/vol/lnx01/linux_images_dr

The TMPDIR is picked up by the mktemp command to create the BUILD_DIR under /bigdisk/tmp/rear.XXXX Please be aware, that directory /bigdisk must exist, otherwise, rear will bail out when executing the mktemp command. The default value of TMPDIR is an empty string, therefore, by default BUILD_DIR is /tmp/rear.XXXX

Another point of interest is the ISO_DIR variable to choose another location of the ISO image instead of the default location (/var/lib/rear/output).

Note
With USB we refer to all kinds of external storage devices, like USB keys, USB disks, eSATA disks, ZIP drives, etc…​

Using RSYNC as backup mechanism

When using BACKUP=RSYNC you should provide the backup target location through the BACKUP_URL variable. Possible BACKUP_URL settings are:

BACKUP_URL=rsync://root@server/export/archives
BACKUP_URL=rsync://root@server::/export/archives