BackupPC 4 on Fedora
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  1. #1
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    BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    I have a new machine where my established distro does not install - no problem with Fedora; so ... On my old machine, I have used BackupPC 3 for many years, Fedora 28 on my new machine proposes BackupPC 4, and I do not get it to work.

    There is a basic problem: when Fedora-28 BackupPC starts, it immediately fails to run. The reason is that the Fedora package creates a /var/log/BackupPC directory which has ownership root:backuppc and access rights drwxr-x--- (0750); BackupPC necessarily fails and abandons as soon as it tries to create its log file on that directory. That is easy to fix, but (given that I only found a single thread on this forum that relates to BackupPC 4, and which does not refer to this issue) it makes me ask the question:
    did anybody manage to use BackupPC 4 on Fedora 28?
    After fixing this log-directory issue, I found (so far) 2 other problems that are not so evident to deal with:
    1. the authorisation for rsync access from the clients fails (with backuppc 3 I used anonymous access without problem) - that should not be difficult to fix, and
    2. the CGI access to the web interface does not work - probably an issue of the authorisation in apache, rather looks like a headache.

    And a cheating question:
    as a quick workaround for getting backup to work, would it make sense to dig out an old BackupPC 3 package - Fedora 27? - and make it run on 28?

  2. #2
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Quote Originally Posted by quichotte


    And a cheating question:
    as a quick workaround for getting backup to work, would it make sense to dig out an old BackupPC 3 package - Fedora 27? - and make it run on 28?
    I take it you are using Workstation with Wayland instead of X11? If so, try switching to an X11 session and running BackupPC 4 from a terminal with sudo rights and see if that works any better.

  3. #3
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    I would say BackupPC is used mostly in servers and Fedora is not very suitable for that. That is why it went unnoticed.

    Regarding log directory permissions:
    https://src.fedoraproject.org/cgit/r...b0690fe2c7e232
    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1531696

  4. #4
    hobbes1069 Guest

    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Planning a fix. Most likely I'll change the ownership to backuppc:backuppc so it will be able to write to the directory.

  5. #5
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    @harms There is a new package attached in the bug report. Can you test if that solves the log permission issue?

  6. #6
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Most likely I'll change the ownership to backuppc:backuppc so it will be able to write to the directory.
    My "private" fix left ownership at root:backuppc and sets access rights to 0750 - no serious arguments in favour of this approach, just perference to keep root as the owner-user for this kind of file/directory.

    I take it you are using Workstation with Wayland instead of X11.
    No, I am using an type=X11 terminal (XFCE with gnome-terminal) - and have no problem to launch the programs in ...bin/BackupPC from a shell that is owned by backuppc.

    My principal problem is that I still cannot launch the html interface from my browser - if I send the URL with the command, I get an "Internal Server Error". But I just found in the apache error log that apache requires an "/etc/BackupPC/apache.users" file to exist but does not find it. Google has references on how to create such a file - probably that problem should go away quite rapidly.

    @harms There is a new package attached in the bug report. Can you test if that solves the log permission issue?
    Give me some time to sort out my other problems - there could be the need for more fixes (for instance the missing apache.users file). Since BackupPC is scripted, local attempts to fixing are easy to apply. Would be more economic to have a single round of packaging/testing.

  7. #7
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    After creating the apache.users file, the original problem is solved: I can launch the web top-level page of the web interface, and from there select any item that is offered (select a host, or one of the list of items under Server). So far so good - but:

    In response, I apparently get the targetted page (probably - it flashes by so rapidly that I can only guess), but that is immediately wiped out by a new display of the top-level page; 2 exceptions, where the targetted page is not wiped out and is OK: the pages received in response to hitting the "Wiki" and the "Homepage" items of of the list under "Server". Looks like, for a single request from the browser, the implementation in the package triggers the CGI mechanism 2 times.

    Debugging is painful: I found the modules and procedures that create the display, but inserting print statements does not help since the procedures are called by the CGI and STDOUT is lost. Maybe there is a technique for debugging in this environment, but I did not find one. That means I am stuck and need help - from this forum? ask in the BackupPC users mailing list?

    Small remark re adding /etc/BackupPC/apache.users: simply adding the file is not enough since the package installs /etc/Backuppc as 0750 (drwr-x---). This blocks apache (apache:apache) to traverse the directory and than read apache.users. The problem goes away if /etc/BackupPC is changed to 0755.

  8. #8
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Please open a separate bug report at bugzilla.redhat.com for each issue you find so that they could be tracked.

    You could also try fedora devel list, maybe you find someone there that is wiling to look into the issue.

  9. #9
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Please open a separate bug report at bugzilla.redhat.com for each issue you find so that they could be tracked.
    Will do, but still need to sort out an identity problem at RedHat Bugzilla

    In the meantime, I have managed to create a printout with the sequence of CGI calls that happen in response to a request:
    • the sequence of calls appears to be somewhat chaotic,
    • there are more than one (redundant?) calls in response to a single request - the calls do not have an argument that would specify a target action, and are substituted with the request to display the general Info page,
    • such redundant calls also happen afer BackupPC has correctly displayed a page in response to the original call and result in wiping out the display of the call.

    I have started a thread in the backuppc users mailing list - see whether something similar is known and whether there is advice.

  10. #10
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    I am spending too much time on trying to clarify this problem, and am giving up (I have not even managed so far to get access to RedHat bugzilla). Having no access to Bugzilla, here is some summing up, maybe helpful if somebody pick this up later. I found 3 "classes" problems

    • Glitches
      BackupPC is particularly touchy about permission of files and directories (due to the fact that several files are accessed by both the user backuppc and apache) - the topic that triggered opening this thread. For instance, and that is not yet solved in the package provided by Fedora, the file /var/log/BackupPC is written to by both users, and needs to be created when writing to it the first time. In case the first write is done by an apache process, BackupPC will break since only backuppc has write access to the parent directory.
    • Lack of an "apache.users" file.
      BackupPC, resp. apache, requires the existence of that file. That file is not packaged, and there is no info in the doc that the file is required. I suggest the file to be created as part of the package - void, but with comments that instruct how to populate it with users.
    • Racing instantiations
      When the web interface launches a request, BackupPC correctly appears to service that request, but the resulting display is immediately wiped out - overwritten by a new instance of the top-level page. I made myself a small tracing tool that prints the names of the programs launched by CGI calls and the corresponding process ids and time-stamps.

      This trace information shows, that in response to the request from the web interface, BackupPC initially and correctly sends the desired page to the browser. But, immediately afterwards, 2 new requests are dispatched (void arguments) which trigger 2 new CGI processes. These processes then run concurrently and race each other, each of them sending data to the browser.

      In order to better understand (and hoping that this might provide a work-around) , I added code that kills processes that are launched within less then 0.2 seconds after the initial call. Works well, brutally killing the processes does not have negative impact, but there still remains something that overwrites the initial display. That is where I gave up.

    I am ruefully reverting to my original distro, which has just published a new release with support fro new hardware - also my new machine - and where BackupPC runs without problems.

  11. #11
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Can you create a logon with rwx for that group and make appache and backup4pc and other, a member of that group.
    The files could be assigned the group id
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

  12. #12
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Quote Originally Posted by lsatenstein
    Can you create a logon with rwx for that group and make appache and backup4pc and other, a member of that group.
    The files could be assigned the group id
    A much simpler approach (no need to create a new logon) is to simply make backuppc files that need to be accessible to apache have ownership "backuppc:apache".

    A good example is the file /etc/Backuppc/apache.users:
    • that file needs to be created when BackupPC is started, and must be accessible to apache to decide whether incoming requests to the server are accepted or refused;
    • that example also illustrates a secondary issue - only adjusting the ownership of "apache.users" is not enough: as it is created by the BackupPC package from the repository, apache cannot traverse the directory "/etc/BackupPC" and apache therefore still cannot see the file "apache.users"; in my setup, I have /etc/BackupPC configured with ownership "backuppc:apache" and permissions "0750" - that make server rejects to requests from the browser go away.

  13. #13
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    you should be able to browse existing bug reports on bugzilla but to register a new one you need to create a profile to use it. on the https://bugzilla.redhat.com page click where it says 'New Account'.

  14. #14
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    Quote Originally Posted by antikythera
    you should be able to browse existing bug reports on bugzilla but to register a new one you need to create a profile to use it. on the https://bugzilla.redhat.com page click where it says 'New Account'.
    Evident - but since several weeks I am waiting for a response to the ticket (PNT0382118) at Redhat Bugzilla, opened to make my Bugzilla login work again - one of the reasons why I stopped considering Fedora as a candidate to become my production platform.

  15. #15
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    Re: BackupPC 4 on Fedora

    in that case I'm not surprised you decided to revert to your old distribution. RH have no excuse not to deal with your login bug in a timely manner

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