Difference between revisions of "BackupPC"

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(Add a way to run backuppc as a user different from the web server)
(Start BackupPC)
Line 15: Line 15:
To manually start BackupPC issue this command.
To manually start BackupPC issue this command.
  # /etc/rc.d/backuppc start
  # /etc/rc.d/backuppc start
Or if you're using SystemD
# systemctl start backuppc
===Make BackupPC run at startup===
===Make BackupPC run at startup===

Revision as of 16:05, 16 April 2013

BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up Unix, Linux, WinXX, and MacOSX PCs, desktops and laptops to a server's disk. BackupPC is highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.

Given the ever decreasing cost of disks and raid systems, it is now practical and cost effective to backup a large number of machines onto a server's local disk or network storage. For some sites this might be the complete backup solution. For other sites additional permanent archives could be created by periodically backing up the server to tape.


BackupPC is part of the official repos. You can simply install it with pacman:

# pacman -S backuppc

Additional Packages

Install rsync & perl-file-rsyncp if you want to use rsync as a transport

Start BackupPC

To manually start BackupPC issue this command.

# /etc/rc.d/backuppc start

Or if you're using SystemD

# systemctl start backuppc

Make BackupPC run at startup

To make BackupPC load at startup edit /etc/rc.conf and add it to DAEMONS.

# nano -w /etc/rc.conf
DAEMONS=(... backuppc ...)

Apache Configuration

BackupPC has a web interface that allows you to easily control it. You can access it using Apache and mod_perl but other webservers like lighttpd works too.

Install Apache and mod_perl

# pacman -S apache mod_perl

Edit Apache configuration

Edit the Apache configuration file...

# nano -w /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

...to load mod_perl, tell Apache to run as user backuppc and to include /etc/httpd/conf/extra/backuppc.conf

LoadModule perl_module modules/mod_perl.so
User backuppc
Group backuppc
Include conf/extra/backuppc.conf

Edit /etc/backuppc/config.pl. Set administrator name

$Conf{CgiAdminUsers} = 'admin'; 

Next, we need to add a users file and set the admin password:

# htpasswd -c /etc/backuppc/backuppc.users admin
Note: The BackupPC-Webfrontend is initially configured, that you can only access it from the localhost. If you want to access it from all machines in your network, you have to edit /etc/httpd/conf/extra/backuppc.conf:
# nano -w /etc/httpd/conf/extra/backuppc.conf

Edit the line

allow from


allow from 192.168.0

where you have to replace 192.168.0 to your corresponding IP-Adresses you want to gain access from.

Starting BackupPC and Apache manually

# /etc/rc.d/backuppc start
# /etc/rc.d/httpd start

Starting both on boot

Add the BackupPC and the Apache daemon to rc.conf

# nano -w /etc/rc.conf
DAEMONS=(... backuppc httpd ...)

Alternative lighttpd Configuration


server.port             = 81
server.username         = "backuppc"
server.groupname        = "backuppc"
server.document-root    = "/srv/http"
server.errorlog         = "/var/log/lighttpd/error.log"
dir-listing.activate    = "enable"
index-file.names        = ( "index.html", "index.php", "index.cgi" )
mimetype.assign         = ( ".html" => "text/html", ".txt" => "text/plain", ".jpg" => "image/jpeg", ".png" => "image/png", "" => "application/octet-stream" )

server.modules = ("mod_alias", "mod_cgi", "mod_auth", "mod_access" )

alias.url               = ( "/BackupPC_Admin" => "/usr/share/backuppc/cgi-bin/BackupPC_Admin" )
alias.url               += ( "/backuppc" => "/usr/share/backuppc/html" )

cgi.assign              += ( ".cgi" => "/usr/bin/perl" )
cgi.assign              += ( "BackupPC_Admin" => "/usr/bin/perl" )

auth.backend = "plain"
auth.backend.plain.userfile = "/etc/lighttpd/passwd"
auth.require = ( "/BackupPC_Admin" => ( "method" => "basic", "realm" => "BackupPC", "require" => "user=admin" ) )



Accessing the admin page

Browse to http://localhost/BackupPC_Admin respectively http://YOUR_BACKUPPC_SERVER_IP/BackupPC_Admin

The webserver user and the suid problem

The current setup of backuppc, the webserver needs to run as backuppc user and this can be a problem on many setups where the webserver is used for other sites. In the past one could suid a perl script, but it was blocked globally due security problems several years ago. To workaround that, perl-suid was used, but again blocked due the same problem more recently, scripts can't be run securely with suid bit. Still there is another way, this time using a simple binary program that is suid as a launcher, that will run the backuppc perl scripts already with the correct user. This isolates the perl script from the enviorment and its considered safe.

To setup the backuppc to run on this mode you need to replace the original backuppc cgi with the below C code compiled program and move the backuppc cgi to another place.

Save the C code to a file named wrapper.c (please update the cgi path if needed) and compile it with:

gcc -o BackupPC_Admin wrapper.c

The wrapper C code:

#include <unistd.h>
#define REAL_PATH "/usr/share/backuppc/lib/real-BackupPC_Admin.cgi"
int main(ac, av)
char **av;
   execv(REAL_PATH, av);
   return 0;

move the real cgi (/usr/share/backuppc/cgi-bin/BackupPC_Admin) to the lib dir (/usr/share/backuppc/lib/real-BackupPC_Admin.cgi) , place the new binary BackupPC_Admin on the cgi-bin folder and chown the binary cgi to backuppc:http and set the suid bit:

chown backuppc:http /usr/share/backuppc/cgi-bin/BackupPC_Admin
chmod 4750 /usr/share/backuppc/cgi-bin/BackupPC_Admin.

keep your web server with its usual user and backup should now be able to run correctly