How to add self managed machines as TiBS clients

Now that we are offering the facility to back up self managed machines via TiBS, support should now be receiving requests from users who are following the instructions for setting up TiBS on self managed machines at ServicesUnitInstallingTibsClient to authenticate their machines to the TiBS server. This is how to do it:

The users should have supplied the following information:

  • Fully qualified hostname OR if the machine is a roaming client, a unique string identifying that machine, preferably of the form roaming.<username>.
  • Whether the machine is a roaming client
  • Path(s) to be backed up.

Remember, a roaming client is a machine which has not been allocated a fixed IP address.

Authorising the client

Clients are authorised to the TiBS server using the hostadd command. These are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Log into backups and use nsu to become root
  2. Run the command . /etc/tibs.conf. This will set up your path correctly
  3. If the machine is a roaming client, run the command hostadd -F -c afs_class -g roaming_group -n <hostname> -p <path> where <hostname> and <path> are those provided by the user
  4. If the machine is not a roaming client, run hostadd -c afs_class -g linux_group -n <hostname> -p <path>
  5. You will be asked to enter the rule file. Type none and hit return (except if you need to exclude a subdir from backup, then use a rules file)
  6. TiBS will print out a summary of what it's about to do and ask you to type in yes to confirm. Do so if you're happy with what you're seeing.
  7. TiBS will then ask if the host should be added with status "backup". Once again replay yes. Hit return when asked for a comment and you are done!
  8. You can check everything is ok by running the command hostaudit -l -n <hostname>
  9. For info, the list of machines being backed up can be found under /usr/tibs/auth

Notes about paths

For Mac and Linux machines, paths work exactly as you would expect. For Windows machines, the path is separated with '/'s and has an extra component at the front to identify the drive. so to add the path c:\Documents and Settings\cms for a Windows client, you would use /c/Documents and Settings/cms as the path argument.


If a user requests a path on their machine to be backed up, all except a particular subdirectory, create a rules file at /usr/tibs/state/rules/. When running the hostadd command, enter the name of your rules file instead of typing none.


Mail the user to inform them that their machine has been authorised. Remind users with roaming clients that backups will not happen automatically and that they must run the tera command or click on the Windows desktop shortcut to backup their machine. Non-roaming client users can also do this and will need to if they are in the habit of taking their machine home overnight. If the user reports an error along the lines of ERROR: Server did not authorize this request 5, suggest they remove their client.auth client.dat files, then run sudo ./tera -A again.

-- CraigStrachan - 25 Jan 2011 -- JenniferOxley - 31 Aug 2011 for subdir exclusions -- JenniferOxley - 11 Feb 2014 changing alexandria to the alias backups as now on pergamon -- JenniferOxley - 9 Apr 2015 adding /usr/tibs/auth

Topic revision: r6 - 10 Oct 2019 - 14:35:24 - RossArmstrong
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