Warning: This document is for the development version of Bareos Documentation. The main version is bareos-21.

Catalog Services


This chapter is intended to be a technical discussion of the Catalog services and as such is not targeted at end users but rather at developers and system administrators that want or need to know more of the working details of Bareos.

The Bareos Catalog services consist of the programs that provide the SQL database engine for storage and retrieval of all information concerning files that were backed up and their locations on the storage media.

We have investigated the possibility of using the following SQL engines for Bareos: Beagle, mSQL, GNU SQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle, and MySQL. Each presents certain problems with either licensing or maturity. At present, we have chosen for development purposes to use MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite. MySQL was chosen because it is fast, proven to be reliable, widely used, and actively being developed. MySQL is released under the GNU GPL license. PostgreSQL was chosen because it is a full-featured, very mature database, and because Dan Langille did the Bareos driver for it. PostgreSQL is distributed under the BSD license. SQLite was chosen because it is small, efficient, and can be directly embedded in Bareos thus requiring much less effort from the system administrator or person building Bareos. In our testing SQLite has performed very well, and for the functions that we use, it has never encountered any errors except that it does not appear to handle databases larger than 2GBytes. That said, we would not recommend it for serious production use.

The Bareos SQL code has been written in a manner that will allow it to be easily modified to support any of the current SQL database systems on the market (for example: mSQL, iODBC, unixODBC, Solid, OpenLink ODBC, EasySoft ODBC, InterBase, Oracle8, Oracle7, and DB2).

If you do not specify either ``–``with-mysql or ``–``with-postgresql or ``–``with-sqlite on the ./configure line, Bareos will use its minimalist internal database. This database is kept for build reasons but is no longer supported. Bareos requires one of the three databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite) to run.

Filenames and Maximum Filename Length

In general, either MySQL, PostgreSQL or SQLite permit storing arbitrary long path names and file names in the catalog database. In practice, there still may be one or two places in the Catalog interface code that restrict the maximum path length to 512 characters and the maximum file name length to 512 characters. These restrictions are believed to have been removed. Please note, these restrictions apply only to the Catalog database and thus to your ability to list online the files saved during any job. All information received and stored by the Storage daemon (normally on tape) allows and handles arbitrarily long path and filenames.

Database Table Design

All discussions that follow pertain to the MySQL database. The details for the PostgreSQL and SQLite databases are essentially identical except for that all fields in the SQLite database are stored as ASCII text and some of the database creation statements are a bit different. The details of the internal Bareos catalog are not discussed here.

Because the Catalog database may contain very large amounts of data for large sites, we have made a modest attempt to normalize the data tables to reduce redundant information. While reducing the size of the database significantly, it does, unfortunately, add some complications to the structures.

In simple terms, the Catalog database must contain a record of all Jobs run by Bareos, and for each Job, it must maintain a list of all files saved, with their File Attributes (permissions, create date, …), and the location and Media on which the file is stored. This is seemingly a simple task, but it represents a huge amount interlinked data. Note: the list of files and their attributes is not maintained when using the internal Bareos database. The data stored in the File records, which allows the user or administrator to obtain a list of all files backed up during a job, is by far the largest volume of information put into the Catalog database.

Although the Catalog database has been designed to handle backup data for multiple clients, some users may want to maintain multiple databases, one for each machine to be backed up. This reduces the risk of confusion of accidental restoring a file to the wrong machine as well as reducing the amount of data in a single database, thus increasing efficiency and reducing the impact of a lost or damaged database.

Sequence of Creation of Records for a Save Job

Start with StartDate, ClientName, Filename, Path, Attributes, MediaName, MediaCoordinates. (PartNumber, NumParts). In the steps below, “Create new” means to create a new record whether or not it is unique. “Create unique” means each record in the database should be unique. Thus, one must first search to see if the record exists, and only if not should a new one be created, otherwise the existing RecordId should be used.

  1. Create new Job record with StartDate; save JobId
  2. Create unique Media record; save MediaId
  3. Create unique Client record; save ClientId
  4. Create unique Filename record; save FilenameId
  5. Create unique Path record; save PathId
  6. Create unique Attribute record; save AttributeId store ClientId, FilenameId, PathId, and Attributes
  7. Create new File record store JobId, AttributeId, MediaCoordinates, etc
  8. Repeat steps 4 through 8 for each file
  9. Create a JobMedia record; save MediaId
  10. Update Job record filling in EndDate and other Job statistics

Database Tables


Column Name Data Type Remark
FilenameId integer Primary Key
Name Blob Filename

The Filename table shown above contains the name of each file backed up with the path removed. If different directories or machines contain the same filename, only one copy will be saved in this table.


Column Name Data Type Remark
PathId integer Primary Key
Path Blob Full Path

The Path table contains shown above the path or directory names of all directories on the system or systems. The filename and any MSDOS disk name are stripped off. As with the filename, only one copy of each directory name is kept regardless of how many machines or drives have the same directory. These path names should be stored in Unix path name format.

Some simple testing on a Linux file system indicates that separating the filename and the path may be more complication than is warranted by the space savings. For example, this system has a total of 89,097 files, 60,467 of which have unique filenames, and there are 4,374 unique paths.

Finding all those files and doing two stats() per file takes an average wall clock time of 1 min 35 seconds on a 400MHz machine running RedHat 6.1 Linux.

Finding all those files and putting them directly into a MySQL database with the path and filename defined as TEXT, which is variable length up to 65,535 characters takes 19 mins 31 seconds and creates a 27.6 MByte database.

Doing the same thing, but inserting them into Blob fields with the filename indexed on the first 30 characters and the path name indexed on the 255 (max) characters takes 5 mins 18 seconds and creates a 5.24 MB database. Rerunning the job (with the database already created) takes about 2 mins 50 seconds.

Running the same as the last one (Path and Filename Blob), but Filename indexed on the first 30 characters and the Path on the first 50 characters (linear search done there after) takes 5 mins on the average and creates a 3.4 MB database. Rerunning with the data already in the DB takes 3 mins 35 seconds.

Finally, saving only the full path name rather than splitting the path and the file, and indexing it on the first 50 characters takes 6 mins 43 seconds and creates a 7.35 MB database.


Column Name Data Type Remark
FileId integer Primary Key
FileIndex integer The sequential file number in the Job
JobId integer Link to Job Record
PathId integer Link to Path Record
FilenameId integer Link to Filename Record
DeltaSeq smallint  
MarkId integer Used to mark files during Verify Jobs
LStat tinyblob File attributes in base64 encoding
MD5 tinyblob MD5/SHA1 signature in base64 encoding

The File table shown above contains one entry for each file backed up by Bareos. Thus a file that is backed up multiple times (as is normal) will have multiple entries in the File table. This will probably be the table with the most number of records. Consequently, it is essential to keep the size of this record to an absolute minimum. At the same time, this table must contain all the information (or pointers to the information) about the file and where it is backed up. Since a file may be backed up many times without having changed, the path and filename are stored in separate tables.

This table contains by far the largest amount of information in the Catalog database, both from the stand point of number of records, and the stand point of total database size. As a consequence, the user must take care to periodically reduce the number of File records using the retention command in the Console program.

As MD5 hash (also termed message digests) consists of 128-bit (16-byte). A typical format (eg. md5sum, …) to represent them is as a sequence of 32 hexadecimal digits. However, in the MD5 column, the digest is represented as base64.

To compare a Bareos digest with command line tools, you have to use

openssl dgst -md5 -binary $PATH_OF_YOUR_FILE | base64

Also you have to note, that even the table column is named MD5, it used to store any kind of digest (MD5, SHA1, …). This is not directly indicated by the value, however, you can determine the type depending of the length of the digest.

Job / JobHisto

Column Name Data Type Remark
JobId integer Primary Key
Job tinyblob Unique Job Name
Name tinyblob Job Name
Type binary(1) Job Type: Backup, Copy, Clone, Archive, Migration
Level binary(1) Job Level
ClientId integer Client index
JobStatu s binary(1) Job Termination Status
SchedTim e datetime Time/date when Job scheduled
StartTim e datetime Time/date when Job started
EndTime datetime Time/date when Job ended
ReadEndT ime datetime Time/date when original Job ended
JobTDate bigint Start day in Unix format but 64 bits; used for Retention period.
VolSessi onId integer Unique Volume Session ID
VolSessi onTime integer Unique Volume Session Time
JobFiles integer Number of files saved in Job
JobBytes bigint Number of bytes saved in Job
JobError s integer Number of errors during Job
JobMissi ngFiles integer Number of files not saved (not yet used)
PoolId integer Link to Pool Record
FileSetI d integer Link to FileSet Record
PrioJobI d integer Link to prior Job Record when migrated
PurgedFi les tiny integer Set when all File records purged
HasBase tiny integer Set when Base Job run

The Job table contains one record for each Job run by Bareos. Thus normally, there will be one per day per machine added to the database. Note, the JobId is used to index Job records in the database, and it often is shown to the user in the Console program. However, care must be taken with its use as it is not unique from database to database. For example, the user may have a database for Client data saved on machine Rufus and another database for Client data saved on machine Roxie. In this case, the two database will each have JobIds that match those in another database. For a unique reference to a Job, see Job below.

The Name field of the Job record corresponds to the Name resource record given in the Director’s configuration file. Thus it is a generic name, and it will be normal to find many Jobs (or even all Jobs) with the same Name.

The Job field contains a combination of the Name and the schedule time of the Job by the Director. Thus for a given Director, even with multiple Catalog databases, the Job will contain a unique name that represents the Job.

For a given Storage daemon, the VolSessionId and VolSessionTime form a unique identification of the Job. This will be the case even if multiple Directors are using the same Storage daemon.

The JobStatus field specifies how the job terminated.

The JobHisto table is the same as the Job table, but it keeps long term statistics (i.e. it is not pruned with the Job).


Column Name Data Type Remark
FileSetId integer Primary Key
FileSet tinyblob FileSet name
MD5 tinyblob MD5 checksum of FileSet
CreateTime datetime Time and date Fileset created

The FileSet table contains one entry for each FileSet that is used. The MD5 signature is kept to ensure that if the user changes anything inside the FileSet, it will be detected and the new FileSet will be used. This is particularly important when doing an incremental update. If the user deletes a file or adds a file, we need to ensure that a Full backup is done prior to the next incremental.


Column Name Data Type Remark
JobMed iaId intege r Primary Key
JobId intege r Link to Job Record
MediaI d intege r Link to Media Record
FirstI ndex intege r The index (sequence number) of the first file written for this Job to the Media
LastIn dex intege r The index of the last file written for this Job to the Media
StartF ile intege r Tape: the physical media file mark number of the first block written for this Job.
    Other: upper 32-bit of the position of the first block written for this Job.
EndFil e intege r Tape: the physical media file mark number of the last block written for this Job.
    Other: upper 32-bit of the position of the last block written for this Job.
StartB lock intege r Tape: the number of the first block written for this Job
    Other: lower 32-bit of the position of the first block written for this Job.
Endblo ck intege r Tape: the number of the last block written for this Job
    Other: lower 32-bit of the position of the last block written for this Job.
VolInd ex intege r The Volume use sequence number within the Job

The JobMedia table contains one entry at the following: start of the job, start of each new tape file mark, start of each new tape, end of the job. You will have 2 or more JobMedia records per Job.

Tape Volume

The number ob records depends on the “Maximum File Size” specified in the Device resource. This record allows Bareos to efficiently position close to any given file in a backup. For restoring a full Job, these records are not very important, but if you want to retrieve a single file that was written near the end of a 100GB backup, the JobMedia records can speed it up by orders of magnitude by permitting forward spacing files and blocks rather than reading the whole 100GB backup.

Other Volume

StartFile and StartBlock are both 32-bit integer values. However, as the position on a disk volume is specified in bytes, we need this to be a 64-bit value.

Therefore, the start position is calculated as:

StartPosition = StartFile * 4294967296 + StartBlock

The end position of a job on a volume can be determined by:

EndPosition = EndFile * 4294967296 + EndBlock

Be aware, that you can not assume, that the job size on a volume is EndPosition - StartPosition. When interleaving is used other jobs can also be stored between Start- and EndPosition.

EndPosition - StartPosition >= JobSizeOnThisMedia

Volume (Media)

Column Name Data Type Remark
MediaId integer Primary Key
VolumeName tinyblob Volume name
Slot integer Autochanger Slot number or zero
PoolId integer Link to Pool Record
MediaType tinyblob The MediaType supplied by the user
MediaTypeId integer The MediaTypeId
LabelType tinyint The type of label on the Volume
FirstWritten datetime Time/date when first written
LastWritten datetime Time/date when last written
LabelDate datetime Time/date when tape labeled
VolJobs integer Number of jobs written to this media
VolFiles integer Number of files written to this media
VolBlocks integer Number of blocks written to this media
VolMounts integer Number of time media mounted
VolBytes bigint Number of bytes saved in Job
VolParts integer The number of parts for a Volume (DVD)
VolErrors integer Number of errors during Job
VolWrites integer Number of writes to media
MaxVolBytes bigint Maximum bytes to put on this media
VolCapacityByte s bigint Capacity estimate for this volume
VolStatus enum Status of media: Full, Archive, Append, Recycle, Read-Only, Disabled, Error, Busy
Enabled tinyint Whether or not Volume can be written
Recycle tinyint Whether or not Bareos can recycle the Volumes: Yes, No
ActionOnPurge tinyint What happens to a Volume after purging
VolRetention bigint 64 bit seconds until expiration
VolUseDureation bigint 64 bit seconds volume can be used
MaxVolJobs integer maximum jobs to put on Volume
MaxVolFiles integer maximume EOF marks to put on Volume
InChanger tinyint Whether or not Volume in autochanger
StorageId integer Storage record ID
DeviceId integer Device record ID
MediaAddressing integer Method of addressing media
VolReadTime bigint Time Reading Volume
VolWriteTime bigint Time Writing Volume
EndFile integer End File number of Volume
EndBlock integer End block number of Volume
LocationId integer Location record ID
RecycleCount integer Number of times recycled
InitialWrite datetime When Volume first written
ScratchPoolId integer Id of Scratch Pool
RecyclePoolId integer Pool ID where to recycle Volume
Comment blob User text field

The Volume table (internally referred to as the Media table) contains one entry for each volume, that is each tape, cassette (8mm, DLT, DAT, …), or file on which information is or was backed up. There is one Volume record created for each of the NumVols specified in the Pool resource record.


Column Name Data Type Remark
PoolId integer Primary Key
Name Tinyblob Pool Name
NumVols Integer Number of Volumes in the Pool
MaxVols Integer Maximum Volumes in the Pool
UseOnce tinyint Use volume once
UseCatalog tinyint Set to use catalog
AcceptAnyVolume tinyint Accept any volume from Pool
VolRetention bigint 64 bit seconds to retain volume
VolUseDuration bigint 64 bit seconds volume can be used
MaxVolJobs integer max jobs on volume
MaxVolFiles integer max EOF marks to put on Volume
MaxVolBytes bigint max bytes to write on Volume
AutoPrune tinyint yes or no for autopruning
Recycle tinyint yes or no for allowing auto recycling of Volume
ActionOnPurge tinyint Default Volume ActionOnPurge
PoolType enum Backup, Copy, Cloned, Archive, Migration
LabelType tinyint Type of label ANSI/Bareos
LabelFormat Tinyblob Label format
Enabled tinyint Whether or not Volume can be written
ScratchPoolId integer Id of Scratch Pool
RecyclePoolId integer Pool ID where to recycle Volume
NextPoolId integer Pool ID of next Pool
MigrationHighBytes bigint High water mark for migration
MigrationLowBytes bigint Low water mark for migration
MigrationTime bigint Time before migration

The Pool table contains one entry for each media pool controlled by Bareos in this database. One media record exists for each of the NumVols contained in the Pool. The PoolType is a Bareos defined keyword. The MediaType is defined by the administrator, and corresponds to the MediaType specified in the Director’s Storage definition record. The CurrentVol is the sequence number of the Media record for the current volume.


Column Name Data Type Remark
ClientId integer Primary Key
Name TinyBlob File Services Name
UName TinyBlob uname -a from Client (not yet used)
AutoPrune tinyint yes or no for autopruning
FileRetention bigint 64 bit seconds to retain Files
JobRentention bigint 64 bit seconds to retain Job

The Client table contains one entry for each machine backed up by Bareos in this database. Normally the Name is a fully qualified domain name.


Column Name Data Type Remark
StorageId integer Unique Id
Name tinyblob Resource name of Storage device
AutoChanger tinyint Set if it is an autochanger

The Storage table contains one entry for each Storage used.


Column Name Data Type Remark
Counter tinyblob Counter name
MinValue integer Start/Min value for counter
MaxValue integer Max value for counter
CurrentValue integer Current counter value
WrapCounter tinyblob Name of another counter

The Counter table contains one entry for each permanent counter defined by the user.


Column Name Data Type Remark
LogIdId integer Primary Key
JobId integer Points to Job record
Time datetime Time/date log record created
LogText blob Log text

The Log table contains a log of all Job output.


Column Name Data Type Remark
LocationId integer Primary Key
Location tinyblob Text defining location
Cost integer Relative cost of obtaining Volume
Enabled tinyint Whether or not Volume is enabled

The Location table defines where a Volume is physically.


Column Name Data Type Remark
LocLogId integer Primary Key
Date datetime Time/date log record created
MediaId integer Points to Media record
LocationI d integer Points to Location record
NewVolSta tus integer enum: Full, Archive, Append, Recycle, Purged Read-only, Disabled, Error, Busy, Used, Cleaning
Enabled tinyint Whether or not Volume is enabled

The LocationLog table contains a log of all Job output.


Column Name Data Type Remark
VersionId integer Primary Key

The Version table defines the Bareos database version number. Bareos checks this number before reading the database to ensure that it is compatible with the Bareos binary file.


Column Name Data Type Remark
BaseId integer Primary Key
BaseJobId integer JobId of Base Job
JobId integer Reference to Job
FileId integer Reference to File
FileIndex integer File Index number

The BaseFiles table contains all the File references for a particular JobId that point to a Base file – i.e. they were previously saved and hence were not saved in the current JobId but in BaseJobId under FileId. FileIndex is the index of the file, and is used for optimization of Restore jobs to prevent the need to read the FileId record when creating the in memory tree. This record is not yet implemented.