AFCLIENT(8)                 System Manager's Manual                AFCLIENT(8)

       afclient - controls the client functions of the afbackup package

       afclient -cxtd [-[RraunlOUvgIiqQZwbjGK]] [-D <destination>] [-M
       <message>] [-m <message-poll-interval>] [-h <backup-server>] [-z
       <proccmd> <unproccmd>] [-T <to-extract-file/tmpdir-for-copytape>] [-C
       <cartridge-number>] [-F <filenumber-on-tape>] [-f <archive-filename>]
       [-e <errorlog-filename>] [-p <server-port-number>] [-N <newer-than-
       filename>] [-o <user-ID>] [-k <encrption-key-file>] [-s <dont-process-
       filepattern> [-s ...]]  [-H <header>] [-V <statistics-report-file>] [-A
       <after-time-seconds>] [-B <before-time-seconds>] [-W <identity>]
       [<files> <directories> ...]
       afclient -X <program> [ -h <backup-client> ]
       afclient -?
       afclient -usage

       The first form is similar to tar (1), except that it contacts a backup
       server, if the -f option is not supplied.

       The second form is used to start a program remotely on another host. In
       most cases this will be one of:

              afclient -X full_backup -h <some-host>
              afclient -X incr_backup -h <some-host>

       Normally this host is a backup client and a backup is started this way.
       Only programs can be started, that reside in the directory, that is
       configured in the backup server's configuration file under "Program-

       The third form produces the following help text:

       This program is used to maintain archives on a backup server host or in
       a file. Archives can be created, extracted or their contents be listed.
       One of the following flags has always to be supplied:

       -c     to create an archive

       -x     to extract from an archive

       -t     to list the contents of an archive

       -d     to verify (compare) the contents of an archive

       -C     to set a certain cartridge on the backup server (makes only
              sense extracting or listing with -x or -t, the writing position
              can't be changed by clients)

       -F     to set a certain file on the backup server's tape (same applies
              as for -C )

       -q     to printout the current cartridge and tape file number on the
              backup server

       -Q     to printout the cartridge and tape file number for the the next
              write access on the backup server

       -X     followed by the full path name of a program to be started on the
              client. This can be used to trigger a backup remotely.  If the
              program needs arguments, the command together with the arguments
              has to be enclosed by quotes

       -I     to printout an index of the backups written to the current

       -w     to check the status of the streamer on the server side, e.g.
              whether it is ready and waiting for requests to service, see
              below for possible states

       -G     to request a new cartridge for the next writing operation.  If
              the current writing position is already at the beginning of a
              new or reused tape, nothing happens

       -D <destination>
              to make an exact copy of a tape to another one (duplicate). See
              below how to specify the destination tape.  Duplication can be
              either from one cartridge to another on the same server, or from
              one server to another one. When copying to the same server
              chunks of data are stored in a temporary directory on the
              client, where the command is started, what should preferably be
              the source server

       -M <message>
              Send a message to the server. Messages will in the most cases
              contain whitespace, so they should be enclosed in quotes. Server
              messages should be sent to the single stream server (port), the
              multi stream server might hang receiving a message due to
              systematical reasons. Several messages can be put into the
              string. They must be separated by a real newline character or
              the usual C-like \n .  The following messages are currently

              PreciousTapes: <client-id> <list-of-tapes>
                     The list of tapes is inserted into the table with the
                     tapes, that are crucial for clients to restore all files,
                     that are listed in all existing index files. The list is
                     assigned to the client with the given client identifier,
                     regardless of an id suppied with option -W .  These tapes
                     will not be overwritten until it is explicitly permitted.
                     This message is sent automatically by full_backup or
                     incr_backup and should not be used in other user contexts

              ReuseTapes: <list-of-tapes>
                     The opposite of PreciousTapes. Sending this message
                     permits the server to overwrite the listed tapes, though
                     they are crucial for some client

              TapesReadOnly: <list-of-tapes>
                     The list of tapes is inserted into the file listing the
                     files, that should not be written any more for whatever

              TapesReadWrite: <list-of-tapes>
                     This reverts the status of tapes set read-only to read-
                     write, the opposite of TapesReadOnly

                     When an operator is requested to do something the server
                     is waiting for, this message can be sent to trigger the
                     server to proceed. This message has the same effect as
                     the cartready command

              DeleteClient: <client-identifier>
                     The tapes, that are marked as reserved for a client to
                     recover all the data in his indexes, are freed. That is,
                     the appropriate line is removed from the server's
                     precious_tapes file

       -c, -x, -t, -d, -X, -D, -I and -m are mutual exclusive. The other
       options can be supplied as needed. To set the cartridge and/or the tape
       file on the backup server is only making sense when not creating an
       archive. The serial order of writing to tape is handled by the server
       machine independently of the client.

       More options in alphabetical order:

       -      in combination with -c: read standard input and write it to
              tape, in combination with -x: read tape and write it to standard

       -A <time>
              process files (save or extract) modified after the given time in
              seconds since 1.1.1970 00:00

       -a     in combination with -x : extract all files and directories in
              the archive

       -b     don't enter buffering mode

       -B <time>
              process files (save or extract) modified before the given time
              in seconds since 1.1.1970 00:00

       -e <errlog>
              Use the file <errlog> to write error messages to instead of the
              standard error output

       -f <file>
              write to or read from a file instead of querying the backup

       -g     while extracting/reading: ignore leading garbage, suppress error
              messages at the beginning. This is useful when extracting from
              tape files, that are not the first ones of a whole archive.

       -H <header>
              put the supplied informational header to the begin of the
              backup. If a - is supplied (no space may follow -H i.e. -H-) the
              information is read from the first line of stdin. Backslash
              sequences of C-like style are replaced

       -h <host>
              use the backup server with the name <host> default host is the
              machine with the name backuphost

       -i     while extracting: ignore the stored ownership and do not restore

       -j     when starting to write: request starting a new tape file

       -K     when packing, do not keep the access time of the file. By
              default after packing a filesystem entry it's previous atime is

       -k <file>
              use the contents of the given file as encryption key for
              authenticating to the server

       -l     for each packed or unpacked filename, if sending to or receiving
              from a backup server in verbose mode in combination with -n:
              printout server name and port number at the beginning of the
              line, e. g.: orion%2988!

       -N <file>
              while archiving: ignore files with a modification time before
              the one of the given file, only save newer files or such with
              the same age in seconds

       -n     for each packed or unpacked filename, if sending to or receiving
              from a backup server in verbose mode: printout cartridge and
              tape file number at the beginning of the line, e. g.: 7.15:
              In combination with -X: precede each line of output received
              from the remotely started program with the identifier of the
              remote host and a colon, e. g.:  darkstar: Full backup finished.

       -O     for each packed file creating a backup in verbose mode: printout
              the user-ID of the file owner at the beginning of the line
              prefixed with a bar | eventually behind cartridge and file

       -o <uid>
              archive or extract only files owned by the user with the given
              user-ID (an integer)

       -p <portno>
              use a different port number for communicating with the backup
              server. Default is TCP-Port 2988

       -R     pack or extract directories recursively with all of their

       -r     use filenames relative to the current directory, whether they
              start with a slash or not. If -r is given more then 1 time, also
              let symlinks originally pointing to absolute paths now point to
              paths relative to the directory, where the symlink will be
              created. If given twice, the current directory is assumed to be
              the relative root directory for the symbolic link target.  If
              given three times, the root directory of the current process is
              used as the relative root directory of the symbolic link targets

       -S <cartset>
              The cartridge set to use, where <cartset> is the number of a
              valid cartridge set on the server side. Default is 1. This
              option makes sense only when creating backups with -c

       -s <filepat>
              do not attempt processing on files matching the given filename
              pattern. This parameter may appear several times

       -T <file>
              read the filenames to process from the <file>.  The filenames
              must be separated by whitespace.  If whitespace is part of a
              filename, it has to be enclosed by double quotes. Double quotes
              or backslashes within the filename have to be preceded by a
              backslash. In combination with -D: the tape files to be copied
              are temporarily stored in the given directory instead of the
              default directory /tmp

       -U     for each packed file creating a backup in verbose mode: printout
              the modification time of the file in seconds since 1970/1/1 0:00
              at the beginning of the line prefixed with a tilde ~ eventually
              behind cartridge number, file number and owner

       -u     while extracting: remove existing files with the same name as
              found in the archive. Otherwise no existing files are

       -V <file>
              write a report containing statistics at the end of a backup to
              the <file>

       -v     verbose mode: print the filenames while creating or extracting,
              be a little more verbose while listing contents. If -v is the
              only given flag: print out software name and version

       -z <z> <uz>
              use <z> as the command, that is used to process files, <uz> for
              the corresponding unprocess.  The command has to read from stdin
              and to write to stdout. If arguments have to be supplied to <z>
              and/or <uz>, don't forget to use quotes. If built-in compression
              is desired, the command for processing has to start with a dot
              (.), followed by a space and a number ranging from 1 to 9, that
              specifies the compression level. If an additional external
              command should process the data, it may follow, separated from
              the compression level by whitespace. The order of processing is:
              First the external program processes the data, then built-in
              compression is applied. An empty string has to be supplied for
              <uz> (or any other dummy is ok), if only built-in compression is
              desired.  Examples for <z>:

               gzip       (run external command gzip),
               "gzip -2"  (the same with an argument),
               ". 8"      (only built-in compression level 8),
               ". 3 __descrpt -k /my/key" (run command __descrpt
                          and apply built-in compression level 3)

       -Z     while printing out the contents: check those files in the
              archive that are processed for integrity.  While creating an
              archive: write a CRC32 checksum for each file, file contents or
              command output to the backup stream

       -?     to printout this text

       The names of the files and directories, that have to be put into or
       extracted from an archive are by default read from the standard input.
       If you supply filenames in the command line or enter the -a flag when
       extracting, standard input is not read.  The same applies, when
       filenames are read from a file with the -T option. When reading the
       names from a file or from standard input, they must be given one per
       line. If a name contains special characters (like newline or
       nonprintable ones), they have to be specified using backslash-sequences
       like in C-code, e.g. \n for newline.  In save mode ( -c ) filenames can
       be prefixed with character sequences, that have special meanings (no
       space between prefix and filename):

       /../   The file is not saved with all attributes present in the inode,
              but only the contents are saved.  This might be useful for
              saving raw-devices

       //../  With /../ the configured processing is not applied to the file
              contents for safety reasons.  With this prefix processing can be
              forced nonetheless

       |||    and a mandatory space character indicates, that the following
              characters up to (but not including) another triple bar |||
              should be interpreted as a shell command, that is started and
              whose standard output is written to the backup. At restore time
              the command following the second triple bar is started and the
              data stream read at backup time is written to it's standard
              input. This might be useful for saving e.g. databases. The
              second command may be terminated by a triple sharp ###, that
              starts an optional comment.  Example:

              ||| pg_dumpall ||| psql db_tmpl ### Store Postgres DBs

       The -w option reports one of the following states, separated by the
       plus character + :

       READY  the device is not in use by any program and the server side is
              ready to service requests

       BUSY   the device is in use and currently operated by the afbackup

              the streamer device is in use by some program, that is not part
              of the afbackup service

              the streamer device is not accessible or in some other way

              the device is not busy, but there is no tape loaded

              when reported together with UNLOADED, a tape can be loaded
              quickly e.g. using the afclient command with option -C <cartno>.
              It is not considered quickly, if a human operator must put the
              cartridge into the drive, so in this case only UNLOADED is
              reported.  When reported with READY, the tape can be changed
              quickly (same understanding as before).

       The destination tape for the duplicate operation can be given in two
       ways: either with the options -h, -p, -C and -k following the -D
       immediately without space and enclosed in quotes, so that they appear
       as an own argument list in one real argument, e.g.:

        -D' -C 5 -h targethost -p targetport'
       (double quotes are of course also possible ...).

       The second format is as follows:


       At least one of the specifiers must be present. Examples:


       If one of the specifiers is omitted, it is assumed identical with the
       copy source specified in the normal options -h, -p, -C and -k.  Copying
       a tape to itself is prevented.

              Client configuration file

              The directory for logging the client backups

              Some internal state information of the client backups.

       afclientconfig(8), xafclientconfig(8), full_backup(8), incr_backup(8),
       afverify(8), afrestore(8), xafrestore(8), afserver(8), afmserver(8),
       copy_tape(8), afclient.conf(8), afserver.conf(8), update_indexes(8),

       afbackup was written by Albert Fluegel ( This manpage was
       extracted from the text docs by Christian Meder (meder@isr.uni-

Debian Project                   2001 April 1                      AFCLIENT(8)