Zmanda Client for Solaris Manual

Amanda Enterprise Edition Solaris Client is certified Amanda network backup software, tested and supported by Zmanda. 

Amanda Enterprise Edition Solaris client packages are available for the following platforms from the Zmanda network:

  • Solaris 10/11 running on x86 and Sparc platform
  • Open Solaris running on x86 platform

This document discusses the Amanda Enterprise Edition Solaris client installation, configuration and verification procedures.


Amanda Enterprise Edition Solaris client packages are available from the Zmanda network downloads page.

These Solaris packages provide Amanda client software only. An Amanda Solaris 3.3 client will work with Amanda Enterprise server running 3.3.x

The Amanda client packages require other packages to be installed. These packages are also available from the Zmanda network downloads page. Some of the packages might already be installed on the Sun machine under a different package name. Please verify that the correct versions of required packages are installed.

The Zmanda Network also contains optional Solaris packages such as GPG and Schily tar (star) that can be used with the Amanda Solaris client. These packages are required only if certain specific Amanda features are used in the Amanda configuration.

Pre-installation checklist

  • All Solaris packages from Zmanda Network are compressed using GNU zip (gzip). The gzip package is available from Zmanda Network.
  • Perl software is required on the client. Please install CSWperl 5.8.8. This package is not available in the dependency tar ball.
  • Install GNU tar from the Zmanda network downloads page. Solaris CSWgtar version 1.15.1 or greater is required for Amanda client installation.
  • Install any optional packages from Zmanda network downloads pages. - CSWgnupg (if GPG data encryption is required on the Amanda client), CSWstar (if Schily tar will be used as backup program on the Amanda client).
  • To use Amanda SSH transport authentication, SUNWsshcuSUNWsshdrSUNWsshduSUNWsshr and SUNWsshupackages from the Solaris distribution are required for Solaris 10/11 To use ssh authentication with Solaris 8/9, an SSH server is required such as the one provided by Blastwave's CSWossh package. SSH server package is not available in the dependency tar ball. This package is required to perform SSH restores.
  • Following entry must be added to the $HOME/.ssh/environment configuration file if you are using ssh authentication


Client installation

  • Amanda client installation must be performed as super user (in other words, the root user).
  • Download the Amanda Enterprise Edition 3.3 Solaris client package from the Zmanda network downloads page. There are two packages - ZMANae-client and ZMANae-client-ext. Both packages are required.
  • Save or copy the Solaris package to the Amanda client machine, for example, to the /tmp directory.
  • The Amanda client package is compressed using gzip. Uncompress the packages using the gunzip command.
# gunzip ZMANae-client-3.3.7-i386-pc-solaris2.10.pkg.gz
  • Install ZMANae-client package using pkgadd.
# pkgadd -d ZMANae-client-3.3.7-i386-pc-solaris2.10.pkg
  • Amanda client configuration files are created during Amanda client package installation. The list of files that are modified during installation can be seen in the above installation command output.
  • The logs for Amanda client package installation can be found in /opt/zmanda/amanda/log/amanda/install.log. If there are installation errors, messages are logged to the /opt/zmanda/amanda/log/amanda/install.err file.
  • During the install, the amandabackup user is created if it does not already exist. Please assign a password for the amandabackup user.
  • Install  ZMANae-client-ext package using pkgadd command.


Upgrading Client

Solaris client has to be upgraded by first uninstalling the client packages and installing new packages using pkgadd command as shown in previous section.

To uninstall the Amanda Enterprise Solaris Client, the two client packages will have to be removed using pkgrm command.

# pkgrm ZMANae-client-ext

# pkgrm ZMANae-client

Post-installation checklist

Note: These tasks must be performed as super user (the root user).
  • Check installation log files

The Amanda installation log can be found in /opt/zmanda/amanda/log/amanda/install.log and errors (if any) in/opt/zmanda/amanda/log/amanda/install.err.
Make sure there are no errors in the log files.

  • Perform the post installation steps common to all Amanda clients. This step is required for backup and recovery operations.
  • If you are installing on a system that doesn't have an amandabackup user, the installation will create the user with the correct rights (roles).  If the user already exists, you may have to make these changes manually. Log in to the system as root, and type the following commands:

/usr/sbin/usermod -P "Media Backup,ZFS File System Management,ZFS Storage Management" ${amandabackup} >>${TMPFILE} 2>&1 zfs allow -ldu amandabackup mount,create,rename,snapshot,destroy,send,receive FILESYSTEM

On systems that do not support zfs allow, you can give the amandabackup user permission to manipulate ZFS filesystems by using the following command:

/usr/sbin/usermod -P "ZFS File System Management,ZFS Storage Management" amandabackup
  • Check xinetd configuration

Make sure the following line is in the /etc/services file on the Amanda client:

amanda       10080/tcp
  • Configure the Amanda xinetd service:
# inetadm |grep svc:/network/amanda/tcp |grep online

Make sure the output from the above command is:

enabled   online         svc:/network/amanda/tcp:default
To restart the Amanda service when necessary, run the command:
# svcadm restart network/amanda/tcp

Adding Client file systems in ZMC

You can add the Solaris file systems/folders to the backup set using Zmanda Management Console. Use the Backup What page in the Zmanda management console to add folders from the Solaris client. You will need to specify the client name Host Name and the Directory to back up.

Amanda does not cross file system boundaries and thus each file system/partition should be entered as its own entry (separate DLE object).


You can exclude files, specify encryption and compression to be used for the directory. Special files such as device files, named pipes, sockets, etc. can cause errors from the native backup and restore tools and they should be excluded from the backup.

Solaris file systems can be backed up using different Amanda methods (Amanda Backup Client Application). The default method is using gtar (GNU tar).  Other methods that are available are shown below:


SUN Tar allows the backup of extended attributes but only full backups can be performed. ZFS sendrecv and ZFS snapshot applications are available only for ZFS filesystems.

Amanda application ZFS snapshot can backup ZFS file systems by taking ZFS snapshots and backing data from the ZFS snapshots. After the backup operation is complete, the ZFS snapshot is deleted. Using ZFS snapshots provides two advantages:

  1. All files that are open or locked get backed up. No process other than Amanda backup process will be accessing the ZFS snapshot created for backup.
  2. Backup is consistent to a point in time. Usually backup process captures files over the backup window and will not consistent to a point in time. ZFS snapshot allows backup to be consistent to time when the snapshot is taken.

Restoring Solaris files

If you are restoring to Solaris machine which has Amanda Enterprise client installed, Use Zmanda Management Console Restore pages.  You can select and explore files or use express restore in the Restore What page. For ZFS sendrecv application only express restore method is available.

Provide the Solaris machine where backups are being restored to in the Destination Host field in Restore Wherepage. The Destination User Name is not required.

If you are restoring to a machine that does not Amanda client installed, ssh will be used for restoration.  An user who has write permissions to do restoration is required for this method and must be provided in Destination User Namefield in Restore Where page.

Backing up ZFS attributes

When Solaris is the file system type selected  in the Backup What page, the Advanced Options displayed after clicking the link include an Extended Attributes checkbox, which selects the archive program used for backing up the Solaris file system.  If you are using ZFS filesystem, you most likely need to backup ZFS ACLs. Enable extended attributes option in this case. If you do not need to back up ZFS Access Control Lists (ACLs), this option should be disabled.

When the option is disabled (the default), Amanda Enterprise uses (and requires) amgtar as the Amanda application

When the option is enabled amsuntar(8) is used for backup. The amsuntar application is designed to protect ZFS ACLs, as ZFS ACLs can only be backed up using the bundled Solaris native tar utility(/usr/sbin/tar). To ensure successful backup and and restore of ZFS ACLs, follow the instructions below.  Once the requirements for backup have been met, you can use the ZMC to back up the ZFS with no further steps. Restores through the ZMC will require you to extract an uncompressed tarball after the ZMC restore is complete as described below.

Requirements for amsuntar Backup

If amsuntar is used, check the following:

Configuring the amandabackup user with the "Media backup" profile

The amandabackup user should be set with the Media backup profile. The profile is set correctly if theamandabackup user is created by the installation program; if the user exists prior to installation its profile should be manually set with the following command:

usermod -P "Media Backup" amandabackup

Setting the Block Size, Extended Attribute, and Extended Header options

Set amsuntar properties as required by your site (the default values should work in most cases). The amsuntarapplication supports the following properties, enabling ACLs (suntar option p) by default. To set properties (which is only required in rare circumstances), edit the  the /etc/zmanda/zmc_aae/zmc_user_dumptypes file to define the application tool app_amsuntar_user with the following lines:

define application-tool "app_amsuntar_user" {
                        property "BLOCK-SIZE" "block_size_integer"
                        property "EXTENDED-ATTRIBUTES" "[YES | NO]"
                        property "EXTENDED-HEADERS" "[YES | NO]"                                             }

For example:

define application-tool "app_amsuntar_user" {                        property "BLOCK-SIZE" "64"
                        property "EXTENDED-ATTRIBUTES" "YES"
                        property "EXTENDED-HEADERS" "YES"                                             }

These settings are global to all backup sets processed by the server. When "EXTENDED-HEADERS" is set to "YES",amsuntar uses the -E option of suntar, which will allow archiving of files larger then 8GB in size,
filenames that exceed PATH_MAX, and also process timestamps with microsecond granularity.

When "EXTENDED-ATTRIBUTES" is set to "YES"amsuntar uses the @ option to archive extended attributes such as atime, ctime, mtime, uname, uid, gname, gid, etc. This information is archived in a special file included with the archive that can be used during recovery to restore the extended attributes.

Configuring File Exclusions

amsuntar supports suntar include/exclude files that list relative pathnames of files or directories to be included/excluded from the  archive. Refer to the suntar  man page for details on the syntax of include/exclude file, which can be specified in the zmc_suntar_userapp section of the /etc/zmanda/zmc_aee/zmc_user_dumptypes.

For example, to exclude /etc/sysevent/sysevent_door (a Solaris special file that can't be backed up), you might create a file called /tmp/exclude.list that contains one line:


You would then edit /etc/zmanda/zmc_aee/zmc_user_dumptypes so that the zmc_suntar_userapp  section to look like:

define dumptype zmc_suntar_userapp {exclude list "/tmp/exclude.list"}

Backup using ZFS snapshots

Amanda can backup ZFS file systems by taking ZFS snapshots and backing data from the ZFS snapshots. After the backup operation is complete, the ZFS snapshot is deleted. Using ZFS snapshots provides two advantages:

  1. All files that are open or locked get backed up. For example: You can create crash consistent backups of Virtual machine images stored on ZFS, while corresponding VMs are running. No process other than Amanda backup process will be accessing the ZFS snapshot created for backup.
  2. Backup is consistent to a point in time. Usually backup process captures files over the backup window and will not consistent to a point in time. ZFS snapshot allows backup to be consistent to time when the snapshot is taken.