How to (really) Setup Bacula director on CentOS 7

I’ve seen quite a few examples of “how to setup bacula on CentOS7” and they all stink.

Mostly, they’re just re-warmed procedures from CentOS 6 or other distros, and they either don’t work or don’t work well.

I’m interested in setting up Bacula in a disaster recovery operation. I cannot afford wrong directions or directions that require elaborate procedures. So this is the quickest way to get the Bacula director set up and running using stock Centos 7 Resources.

The test platform used here was CentOS 7.6. Any earlier release of CentOS 7 should do as well. Later releases will probably work, but I make no guarantees for CentOS 8. After all, the CentOS 6 methods don’t work anymore!

In CentOS 6, there were 2 pre-configured bacula-director rpms. One was for using MySQL as the database backend, one was for using PostgreSQL as the backend. This changed in CentOS 7. In CentOS 7 there is only one director package and it’s defaulting to PostgreSQL.

So here’s the procedure:

Install Bacula Director

  1. Use RPM or Yum to install package bacula-dir. You’ll probably also want to install bacula-storage as well, since you cannot backup/restore without one!
  2. Configure the /etc/bacula/bacula-dir.conf file to set the passwords (hint, search for “@@”). Change the bacula-sd.conf and bconsole.conf files so that their passwords match up to the director passwords you chose.
  3. Also install and configure bacula-client package on whatever target machine(s) you are going to run bacula against.
  4. That should do for the moment. You’ll probably want to define bacula client profiles and jobs eventually.

Install PostgreSQL Server

  1. Use RPM or Yum to install package postgresql-server.
  2. Use this command to initialize the database:
postgresql-setup initdb

3. Start the postgresql server

systemctl enable postgresql
systemctl start postgresq

Initialize the Bacula database

This is the trickiest part. For one thing, postgresql doesn’t like you running a postgresql client as root. So the solution is to sudo in the opposite direction:

sudo -u postgres -i
# cd to avoid having server whine about root directory
# Now run the builder scripts IN THIS ORDER

^D (to exit sudo)

That’s it! (re)start bacula-dir and you should be able to connect with bconsole.

Special note on bacula scripts:

If you look at the /usr/lib/libexec/bacula/ directory, you’ll see a set of generic scripts (create_database, make_tables, grant_privileges). These are generic scripts and about all they actually do is determine which database type you’re set up for and invoke the specific setup scripts. However there is some extra lint in there and in my system it caused the generic scripts to complain. So I recommend invoking the postgresql scripts directly.

Author: Tim

Evil Genius specializing in OS's, special hardware and other digital esoterica with a bent for Java.