Amanda Backup System Utility

AMANDA is an opensource backup utility it allows to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple hosts over network to tape drives/changers or disks or optical media.Amanda Backup System protects more than a million servers and desktops running various versions of Linux, UNIX, BSD, Mac OS-X and Microsoft Windows operating systems worldwide.

Here I’m going to do how to configure, setup and restore amanda backup utility in RHEL/centos 6.x

A. Configuring Amanda Server

1. Installing Amanda

Download latest version of amanda server package, installing the package also creates a user named Amanda Backup System who belongs to the group disk.
The amanda service started by extended internet daemon, make sure that the xinetd package installed on every amanda server and client.


Check intallation errors in   /var/log/amanda/install.err and for installation log in  /var/log/amanda/install.log.

Enable amanda service in  xinetd:

#vim /etc/xinetd.d/amandaserver
disable = no

chkconfig xinetd on

service xinetd restart

Make sure the service is running or not

netstat -a | grep amanda
udp        0      0 *:amanda                    *:*

2. Configuration file

The default path of Amanda Backup System config is in  /etc/amanda/
Here I’m going to create a folder totalbackup directory under /etc/amanda
As the amandabackup user, create the Amanda configuration directory

su amandabackup

mkdir /etc/amanda/totalbackup

Create core config file — amanda.conf

vim /etc/amanda/totalbackup/amanda.conf

#To specify  your organization and to your tape configuration

org “totalbackup”                 # Organization name for reports
mailto “”        # Email address to receive reports
netusage 10000 Kbps                   # Bandwidth limit, 10M
dumpcycle 1 week                      # Backup cycle is 7 days
runspercycle 7                        # Run 7 times every 7 days
tapecycle 16 tapes                    # Dump to 16 different tapes during the cycle
tpchanger “chg-disk”                  # The tape-changer glue script

changerfile “/etc/amanda/totalbackup/changer”     # The tape-changer file

tapedev “file://backup/totalbackup/slots” # The no-rewind tape device to be used
tapetype HARDDISK                                     # Define the type of tape

infofile “/etc/amanda/totalbackup/curinfo”        # Database directory
logdir “/etc/amanda/totalbackup/logs”             # Log directory
indexdir “/etc/amanda/totalbackup/index”          # Index directory

#To specify the size of the virtual tapes
define tapetype HARDDISK {                            # Define our tape behaviour
length 100000 mbytes                                  # Every tape is 100GB in size

amrecover_changer “changer”                           # Changer for amrecover

define dumptype global {                              # The global dump definition
maxdumps 2                                            # The maximum number of backups run in parallel
estimate calcsize                                     # Estimate the backup size before dump
holdingdisk yes                                       # Dump to temp disk (holdingdisk) before backup to tape
auth “bsdtcp”                                         # to enable “BSDTCP” authentication.
index yes                                             # Generate index. For restoration usage

define dumptype root-tar {                            # How to dump root’s directory
global                                                # Include global (as above)
program “GNUTAR”                                      # Program name for compress
comment “root partitions dumped with tar”
compress none                                         # No compress
index                                                 # Index this dump
priority low                                          # Priority level

define dumptype user-tar {                            # How to dump user’s directory
root-tar                                              # Include root-tar (as above)
comment “user partitions dumped with tar”
priority medium                                       # Priority level

define dumptype comp-user-tar {                       # How to dump & compress user’s directory
user-tar                                              # Include user-tar (as above)
compress client fast                                  # Compress in client side with less CPU (fast)

3. Configuring Backup Location

Create a cache directory to use as a holding disk

mkdir -p /dumps/amanda

chown amandabackup:disk /dumps/amanda

chmod 750 /dumps/amanda

Create a directory to store backups

mkdir -p /backup/totalbackup/

chown amandabackup:disk /backup/totalbackup/

chmod 750 /backup/totalbackup/

As the amandabackup user:

su amandabackup

$touch /etc/amanda/totalbackup/tapelist
$mkdir -p /backup/totalbackup/slots
$cd /backup/totalbackup/slots
To create virtual tapes, where the backup files will be stored. Here I will  create 16 tape cycles as we mentioned in amanda.conf file
$for ((i=1; $i<=16; i++)); do mkdir  slot$i;done
$ln -s slot1 data

The virtual tapes now need to be labeled

$for n in `seq 1 16` ; do amlabel totalbackup totalbackup-${n} slot ${n}; done

Reading label…
Found an empty tape.
Writing label ‘totalbackup-1’…
Checking label…
Reading label…
Found an empty tape.
Writing label ‘totalbackup-2’…
Checking label…
Reading label…
Found an empty tape.
Writing label ‘totalbackup-3’…
Checking label…
Reading label…***********************

Create required directories defined in config

$mkdir /etc/amanda/totalbackup/curinfo
$mkdir /etc/amanda/totalbackup/logs
$mkdir /etc/amanda/totalbackup/index

Check the status of virtual tape

$amdevcheck totalbackup file:/backup/totalbackup/slots status

We need to reset the virtual tape changer back to the first slot

$amtape totalbackup reset
changer is reset

B. Configuring Service

Login as amandabackup

$su – amandabackup

Create disklist file, which is a file containing the directories to be backed up and the dumptype

$vim /etc/amanda/totalbackup/disklist  /var/www/vhosts                      root-tar

FYI: hostname must be in FQDN, add the host entry into /etc/hosts
root-tar means the dump type
/var/www/vhosts directory for backup

Exit from amandabackup user and login to root user

#vim /etc/hosts

C. Install Amanda Backup System Client

Login to client server and install amanda client


As amandabackup user create file /var/lib/amanda/.amandahosts which defines the where is amanda backup server

$su – amandabackup

$vim /var/lib/amanda/.amandahosts amandabackup amdump

Return to root user

Add this hostname in /etc/hosts and can be reslove to an IP

#vim /etc/hosts

Enable amanda service in  xinetd:

#vim /etc/xinetd.d/amanda
disable = no

#chkconfig xinetd on

#service xinetd restart

Make sure the service is running or not

#netstat -a | grep amanda
udp        0      0 *:amanda                    *:*

D. Perform the process

Now return to amanda backup server and login as amandabackup

#su –   amandabackup

$amcheck totalbackup
Client check: 1 host checked in 2.070 seconds.  0 problems found.

Common error occurs in checking the client host.
1. WARNING: selfcheck request failed: No route to host
Ensure that if you give client IP in /etc/hosts or check with client firewall settings

2. ERROR: NAK user amandabackup from is not allowed to execute the service noop: Please add the line “ amandabackup amdump” to /var/lib/amanda/.amandahosts on the client
Add  “ amandabackup amdump” in client /var/lib/amanda/.amandahosts file

3. can not stat /var/amanda/amandates: No such file or directory
Create a file in client directory in amandabackup user

E. Run a Backup

$amdump totalbackup

Run the tool amadmin with a find argument for a quick summary of what has been backed up

$amadmin totalbackup find

date                host            disk            lv tape or file   file part status
2013-06-2517:38:09 /var/www/vhosts  0 totalbackup-1    1   1/1   OK

We can automate this process using cronjob. Run following command as amandabackup user:

$crontab -e

15 1 * * * /usr/sbin/amdump totalbackup

As root user, reload the crond service to activate this job:

#service crond reload

F. Recovery

As amandabackup user

$vim /etc/amanda/amanda-client.conf

conf “totalbackup”              # your config name

index_server “”   # your amindexd server
tape_server  “”   # your amidxtaped server

auth “bsdtcp”

ssh_keys “”                     # your ssh keys file if you use ssh auth

Add the line “ root amindexd amidxtaped” to /var/lib/amanda/.amandahosts on the server

As root run “amrecover” to initiate the data recovery process.

Connect to Amanda server using following command


AMRECOVER Version 3.3.0. Contacting server on …
220 localhost AMANDA index server (3.3.3) ready.
Setting restore date to today (2013-06-25)
200 Working date set to 2013-06-25.
200 Config set to totalbackup.
501 Host localhost.localdomain is not in your disklist.
Trying host localhost.localdomain …
501 Host localhost.localdomain is not in your disklist.
Trying host localhost …
501 Host localhost is not in your disklist.
Trying host localhost.localdomain …
501 Host localhost.localdomain is not in your disklist.
Use the sethost command to choose a host to recover

Lets list the host in Amanda Backup System server

00- List hosts for config totalbackup
200  List hosts for config totalbackup

200 Dump host set to

Lets list the disk for this host in Amanda backup server

amrecover> listdisk
200- List of disk for host
201- /var/www/vhosts
200 List of disk for host

amrecover> setdisk /var/www/vhosts
200 Disk set to /var/www/vhosts/

history command to list out to find which is the latest backup

amrecover> history
200- Dump history for config “totalbackup” host “” disk /var/www/vhosts/
201- 2013-03-26-17-53-14 1 totalbackup-2:1
201- 2013-03-25-17-38-09 0 totalbackup-1:1
200 Dump history for config “totalbackup” host “” disk /var/www/vhosts/

Choose the backup on latest backup :

amrecover> setdate 2013-03-26-17-38-09
200 Working date set to 2013-03-26-17-38-09.

list out all the files in this backup directory as below:

amrecover> ls
2013-03-26-17-38-09 index.html
2013-03-26-17-38-09 upload.php
2013-03-26-17-38-09 phpcompat.php
2013-03-26-17-38-09 io.php
2013-03-26-17-38-09 phpcompat.php

Since I need only io.php file so I add that file only for extraction

amrecover> add io.php
Added file io.php

Once added, we can extract the backup to the working directory

amrecover> extract

Extracting files using tape drive changer on host
The following tapes are needed: totalbackup-1

Extracting files using tape drive changer on host
Load tape totalbackup-1 now
Continue [?/Y/n/s/d]?

Restoring files into directory /root/res
All existing files in /root/res can be deleted
Continue [?/Y/n]?

amrecover> exit
200 Good bye.

It will then restore all your files into the working directory. Just exit the amrecover console and you can see the restored directory will be exist there


-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 1212 Jun 22  2012 io.php

Restoration completed

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