Setting up Boxbackup

I have been looking into getting a remote backup. I run TimeMachine backups in my Mac-environment, but I need a remote backup of eg. my digital pictures.

So I have been working on a server in our cottage that could be a backup server, and my NAS back home could be a client to that server :-) Belov is a description of my installation of the server and a client of a [Boxbackup] ( setup.  For the base installation of the client and server software, please consult the [wiki] ( I will describe my configuration only.

Server configuration

The server is a Dell OptiPlex-760 running Linux Mint Maya. I have reserved 2 disks (1TB each) in the server. These will act as disks in the backup storage. I have made a directory on each of the disks to put the backup files into:

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # mkdir /mnt/backup1/box
2OptiPlex-760 ~ # mkdir /mnt/backup2/box

Boxbackup stores on RAID only - and I dont have RAID. But the configuration handles this nicely:

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # raidfile-config /etc/boxbackup 4096 /mnt/backup1/box
2WARNING: userland RAID is disabled.
3Config file written.

This added one of the disks. To add another, you need to edit the raid-config file (/etc/boxbackup/raidfile.conf). Below disc0 was generated by the tool, and the disc1 was added by hand.

 3            SetNumber = 0
 4            BlockSize = 4096
 5            Dir0 = /mnt/backup1/box
 6            Dir1 = /mnt/backup1/box
 7            Dir2 = /mnt/backup1/box
12            SetNumber = 1
13            BlockSize = 4096
14            Dir0 = /mnt/backup2/box
15            Dir1 = /mnt/backup2/box
16            Dir2 = /mnt/backup2/box

Remember to let the backup daemon have rights to the backup directories:

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # chown -R bbstored:bbstored box

We are ready to configure bbstored to run as the user bbstored on the server backupserver (changed to prevent misuse), with configuration file in /etc/boxbackup:

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # bbstored-config /etc/boxbackup backupserver bbstored

In order for the server and the client to be able to communicate secure, a PKI infrastructure is [established](

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # bbstored-certs /root/certs init
2OptiPlex-760 ~ # bbstored-certs /root/certs sign-server /etc/boxbackup/bbstored/backupserver-csr.pem
3OptiPlex-760 ~ # cp /root/certs/servers/ /etc/boxbackup/bbstored/
4OptiPlex-760 ~ # cp /root/certs/roots/clientCA.pem /etc/boxbackup/bbstored/

Now the clients can be configured. A client needs an account on the server:

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # bbstoreaccounts create 0 0 970G 1000G

This creates the account 0 on the disk set 0 with a soft limit at 970GB and a hard limit at 1000GB.

Client configuration

On the client we need to create a configuration and a certificate that we can send to the administrator of the server (in order to get it signed and registered).

1[jesper@tranquil ~]$ sudo bbackupd-config /usr/local/etc/boxbackup snapshot 0 backupserver /var/bbackupd /home

This creates a configuration in /usr/local/etc/boxbackup, uses snapshot backup as the account 0 against the server backupserver. It uses a working dir /var/bbackupd and initially backs up /home. I need more paths in my backup, and this is accomplished by editing the configuration /usr/local/etc/boxbackup/bbackupd.conf. Below I have added /root, /etc and my photos /data1/photo

 3            home
 4            {
 5                        Path = /home
 6            }
 7            root-dir
 8            {
 9                        Path = /root
10            }
11            etc
12            {
13                        Path = /etc
14            }
15            photo
16            {
17                        Path = /data1/photo
18            }

We have with the bbackupd-config command created a certificate to be signed by the administrator of the server. So send /usr/local/etc/boxbackup/bbackupd/0-csr.pem to the administrator, and he will

1OptiPlex-760 ~ # bbstored-certs certs sign 0-csr.pem

and send back 0-cert.pem and serverCA.pem which on the client can be installed under /usr/local/etc/boxbackup/bbackupd/

On the client (re)start the daemon bbackupd and on the server (re)start the daemon bbstored.

Remember to make a copy of the private key on the client in order to be able to read the backups. It is located in /usr/local/etc/boxbackup/bbackupd/0-FileEncKeys.raw

This should be a secure offsite backup. Without it, you cannot restore backups. Everything else can be replaced. But this cannot.  KEEP IT IN A SAFE PLACE, OTHERWISE YOUR BACKUPS ARE USELESS.

To make a backup initiated from the client run:

1/usr/local/bin/bbackupctl -q sync

This should be part of a cron-job.