Catalog Maintenance

Catalog Database

Bareos stores its catalog in a PostgreSQL database. The database often runs on the same server as the Bareos Director. However, it is also possible to run it on a different system. This might require some more manual configuration, an example can be found in Remote PostgreSQL Database.

dbconfig-common (Debian)

Since Bareos Version >= 14.2.0 the Debian / Ubuntu / UCS packages support the dbconfig-common mechanism to create and update the Bareos database, according to the user choices.

The first choice is, if dbconfig-common should be used at all. If you decide against it, the database must be configured manually, see Manual Configuration.

If you decided to use dbconfig-common, the next question will be asked.


The dbconfig-common configuration (and credentials) is done by the bareos-database-common package. Settings are stored in the file /etc/dbconfig-common/bareos-database-common.conf. If you need to repeat this step, you can use the dpkg-reconfigure bareos-database-common command.

The Bareos database backend will get automatically configured in /etc/bareos/bareos-dir.d/catalog/MyCatalog.conf. If the Server is not running locally you need to specify DB Address (Dir->Catalog) in the catalog resource. A later reconfiguration might require manual changes.

Manual Configuration

Bareos comes with a number of scripts to prepare and update the databases. All these scripts are located in the Bareos script directory, normally at /usr/lib/bareos/scripts/.






create Bareos database



create Bareos tables



grant database access privileges

update_bareos_tables [-f]


update the database schema



remove Bareos database tables



remove Bareos database



backup the Bareos database


backup helper

remove the temporary Bareos database backup file

The database preparation scripts have following configuration options:


Reading the settings from the configuration require read permission for the current user. The normal PostgreSQL administrator user (postgres) doesn’t have these permissions. So if you plan to use non-default database settings, you might add the user postgres to the group bareos.

The database preparation scripts need to have password-less administrator access to the database. Depending on the distribution you’re using, this requires additional configuration. See the following section about howto achieve this for the different database systems.

To view and test the currently configured settings, use following commands:

Show current database configuration
/usr/sbin/bareos-dir --xc Catalog MyCatalog
Catalog {
   Name = "MyCatalog"
   DbPassword = YourPassword
   DbUser = "bareos"
   DbName = "bareos"
Test the database connection. Example: wrong password
/usr/sbin/bareos-dir -t -f -d 500
bareos-dir (100): cats/ db_init_database first time
bareos-dir (50): cats/ pg_real_connect failed
bareos-dir (50): cats/ db_user=bareos db_name=bareos db_password=YourPasswordWrong
bareos-dir: dird/ Could not open Catalog "mycatalog", database "bareos".
bareos-dir: dird/ cats/ Unable to connect to PostgreSQL server. Database=bareos User=bareos
Possible causes: SQL server not running; password incorrect; max_connections exceeded.
   (connection to server on socket "/run/postgresql/.s.PGSQL.5432" failed: FATAL:  password authentication failed for user "bareos")
Please correct the configuration in /etc/bareos/bareos-dir.d/*/*.conf

PostgreSQL configuration

On most distributions, PostgreSQL uses ident to allow access to the local database system. The database administrator account is the Unix user postgres. Normally, this user can access the database without password, as the ident mechanism is used to identify the user.

If this works on your system can be verified by

Access the local PostgreSQL database
su - postgres

If your database is configured to require a password, this must be defined in the file ~/.pgpass in the following syntax: HOST:PORT:DATABASE:USER:PASSWORD, e.g.

PostgreSQL access credentials

The permission of this file must be 0600 (chmod 0600 ~/.pgpass).

Again, verify that you have specified the correct settings by calling the psql command. If this connects you to the database, your credentials are good. Exit the PostgreSQL client and run the Bareos database preparation scripts:

Setup Bareos catalog database
su - postgres

The encoding of the bareos database must be SQL_ASCII. The command create_bareos_database automatically creates the database with this encoding. This can be verified by the command psql -l, which shows information about existing databases:

List existing databases
psql -l
        List of databases
   Name    |  Owner   | Encoding
 bareos    | postgres | SQL_ASCII
 postgres  | postgres | UTF8
 template0 | postgres | UTF8
 template1 | postgres | UTF8
(4 rows)

The owner of the database may vary. The Bareos database maintenance scripts don’t change the default owner of the Bareos database, so it stays at the PostgreSQL administration user. The grant_bareos_privileges script grant the required permissions to the Bareos database user. In contrast, when installing (not updating) using dbconfig, the database owner will be identical with the Bareos database user.

By default, using PostgreSQL ident, a Unix user can access a database of the same name. Therefore the user bareos can access the database bareos.

Verify Bareos database on PostgreSQL as Unix user bareos (bareos-13.2.3)
root@linux:~# su - bareos -s /bin/sh
bareos@linux:~# psql
Welcome to psql 8.3.23, the PostgreSQL interactive terminal.

Type:  \copyright for distribution terms
       \h for help with SQL commands
       \? for help with psql commands
       \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
       \q to quit

bareos=> \dt
                 List of relations
 Schema |          Name          | Type  |  Owner
 public | basefiles              | table | postgres
 public | cdimages               | table | postgres
 public | client                 | table | postgres
 public | counters               | table | postgres
 public | device                 | table | postgres
 public | devicestats            | table | postgres
 public | file                   | table | postgres
 public | filename               | table | postgres
 public | fileset                | table | postgres
 public | job                    | table | postgres
 public | jobhisto               | table | postgres
 public | jobmedia               | table | postgres
 public | jobstats               | table | postgres
 public | location               | table | postgres
 public | locationlog            | table | postgres
 public | log                    | table | postgres
 public | media                  | table | postgres
 public | mediatype              | table | postgres
 public | ndmpjobenvironment     | table | postgres
 public | ndmplevelmap           | table | postgres
 public | path                   | table | postgres
 public | pathhierarchy          | table | postgres
 public | pathvisibility         | table | postgres
 public | pool                   | table | postgres
 public | quota                  | table | postgres
 public | restoreobject          | table | postgres
 public | status                 | table | postgres
 public | storage                | table | postgres
 public | unsavedfiles           | table | postgres
 public | version                | table | postgres
(30 rows)

bareos=> select * from Version;
(1 row)

bareos=> \du
                                 List of roles
   Role name   | Superuser | Create role | Create DB | Connections | Member of
 bareos        | no        | no          | no        | no limit    | {}
 postgres      | yes       | yes         | yes       | no limit    | {}
(2 rows)

bareos=> \dp
                 Access privileges for database "bareos"
 Schema |               Name                |   Type   |  Access privileges
 public | basefiles                         | table    | {root=arwdxt/root,bareos=arwdxt/root}
 public | basefiles_baseid_seq              | sequence | {root=rwU/root,bareos=rw/root}


Remote PostgreSQL Database

When configuring bareos with a remote database, you need a PostgreSQL superuser login account able to connect to the remote database host. Your first step is to check the connection from the Bareos Director host into the database.

You can then export the needed environment PG variable, and execute the scripts in the same order than local installation. A functional connection can be verified by

Access the remote PostgreSQL database
export PGUSER=remotedba
export PGPASSWORD=dbasecret
psql -d postgres

With a correct configuration you can access the database. If it fails, you need to correct the PostgreSQL servers’ configuration files, or the exported PGVARS.

One way to manually create the database is to execute the Bareos database preparation scripts with the export PGVARS as explained later. However, it is advised to use the dbconfig-common. Both methods require you to add the database hostname/address as DB Address (Dir->Catalog).

If you’re using dbconfig-common you should choose New Host, enter the hostname or the remote address followed by the password. As dbconfig-common uses the ident authentication by default the first try to connect will fail. Don’t be bothered by that. Choose Retry when prompted. From there, read carefully and configure the database to your needs. The authentication should be set to password, as the ident method will not work with a remote server. Set the user and administrator according to your PostgreSQL servers settings.

Set the PostgreSQL server IP as DB Address (Dir->Catalog) in Catalog Resource. You can also customize other parameters or use the defaults. A quick check should display your recent changes:

Show current database configuration
/usr/sbin/bareos-dir --xc Catalog MyCatalog
Catalog {
   Name = "MyCatalog"
   DbAddress =
   DbPassword = "secret"
   DbUser = "bareos"
   DbName = "bareos"

If dbconfig-common did not succeed or you choose not to use it, run the Bareos database preparation scripts with:

Setup Bareos catalog database
export PGUSER=remotedba
export PGPASSWORD=dbasecret

PostgreSQL Database

Database Size Planning

Your Catalog will grow each time you run a Job, and the space used in tables will be relaxed when a volume get recycled and the previous job removed. You can make a calculation assuming approximately 154 bytes for each File saved and knowing the number of Files that are saved during each backup and the number of Clients you backup.

For example, suppose you do a backup of two systems, each with 100,000 files. Suppose further that you do a Full backup weekly and an Incremental every day, and that the Incremental backup typically saves 4,000 files. The size of your database after a month can roughly be calculated as:

Size = 154 * No. Systems * (100,000 * 4 + 10,000 * 26)

Where we have assumed four weeks in a month and 26 incremental backups per month. This would give the following:

Size = 154 * 2 * (100,000 * 4 + 10,000 * 26) = 203,280,000 bytes
Indexes Size = (154 * 2 * (100,000 * 4 + 10,000 * 26))/3 = 67,760,000

So for the above two systems, we should expect to have a database size of approximately 270 Megabytes including the indexes. Of course, this will vary according to how many files are actually backed up.

You will note that the File table (containing the file attributes) make up the large bulk of the number of records as well as the space used.

Without proper setup and maintenance, your Catalog may continue to grow indefinitely read carefully the following sections for planning free space and autovacuuming.

Free space needed with PostgreSQL Database

To ensure that all PostgreSQL maintenance operations like vacuuming and reindexing roll out smoothly we highly recommend not to fill the disk containing the postgresql data directory to more than 50% during normal operation. If this is not possible, you might need to make more space available at least temporary when the database is being upgraded to a new schema version.

Normal Bareos operation can create huge temp file requiring free space. Upgrading to a new PostgreSQL major version, will from time to time, impose a reindex operation which will use temp space too, especially if option concurrently is used.

You can create and use a dedicated tablespace for temporary files, check PostgreSQL documentation.

To check how much temp files and bytes have been used you can run the following query.

SQL query to show temporary number of files and bytes used
Entering SQL query mode.
Terminate each query with a semicolon.
Terminate query mode with a blank line.
Enter SQL query: select datname,temp_files,temp_bytes
from pg_stat_database where datname='bareos';
| datname | temp_files | temp_bytes    |
| bareos  |         35 | 7,646,920,704 |
Enter SQL query:
End query mode.

Compacting Your PostgreSQL Database

Over time, as noted above, your database will tend to grow until Bareos starts deleting old expired records based on retention periods. After that starts, it is expected that the database size remains constant, provided that the amount of clients and files being backed up is constant.

Note that PostgreSQL uses multiversion concurrency control (MVCC), so that an UPDATE or DELETE of a row does not immediately remove the old version of the row. Space occupied by outdated or deleted row versions is only reclaimed for reuse by new rows when running VACUUM. Such outdated or deleted row versions are also referred to as dead tuples.

Since PostgreSQL Version 8.3, autovacuum is enabled by default, so that setting up a cron job to run VACUUM is not necessary in most of the cases. Note that there are two variants of VACUUM: standard VACUUM and VACUUM FULL. Standard VACUUM only marks old row versions for reuse, it does not free any allocated disk space to the operating system. Only VACUUM FULL can free up disk space, but it requires exclusive table locks so that it can not be used in parallel with production database operations and temporarily requires up to as much additional disk space that the table being processed occupies.

All database programs have some means of writing the database out in ASCII format and then reloading it. Doing so will re-create the database from scratch producing a compacted result, so below, we show you how you can do this for PostgreSQL.

For a PostgreSQL database, you could write the Bareos database as an ASCII file (bareos.sql) then reload it by doing the following:

Instruction to dump and reload Bareos catalog database
pg_dump -c bareos > bareos.sql
cat bareos.sql | psql bareos
rm -f bareos.sql

Depending on the size of your database, this will take more or less time and a fair amount of disk space. For example, you can cd to the location of the Bareos database (typically /var/lib/pgsql/data or possible /usr/local/pgsql/data) and check the size.

Except from special cases PostgreSQL does not need to be dumped/restored to keep the database efficient. A normal process of vacuuming will prevent the database from getting too large. If you want to fine-tweak the database storage, commands such as VACUUM, VACUUM FULL, REINDEX, and CLUSTER exist specifically to keep you from having to do a dump/restore.

More details on this subject can be found in the PostgreSQL documentation. The page contains links to the documentation for all PostgreSQL versions. The section Routine Vacuuming explains how VACUUM works and why it is required, see for the current PostgreSQL version.

What To Do When The Database Keeps Growing

Especially when a high number of files are being backed up or when working with high retention periods, it is probable that default autovacuuming will not be triggered. When starting to use Bareos with an empty Database, it is normal that the file table and other tables grow, but the growth rate should drop as soon as jobs are deleted by retention or pruning. The file table is usually the largest table in Bareos.

The reason for autovacuuming not being triggered is then probably the default setting of autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor = 0.2, the current value can be shown with the following query or looked up in postgresql.conf:

SQL statement to show the autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor parameter
bareos=# show autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor;
  (1 row)

In essence, this means that a VACUUM is only triggered when 20% of table size are obsolete. Consequently, the larger the table is, the less frequently VACUUM will be triggered by autovacuum. This make sense because vacuuming has a performance impact. While it is possible to override the autovacuum parameters on a table-by-table basis, it can then still be triggered at any time.

SQL statement to set the autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor parameter for table file
root@localhost# su postgres -c 'psql -d bareos -c "ALTER TABLE public.file SET (autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor = 0.02);"'

To learn more details about autovacuum see

The following example shows how to configure running VACUUM on the file table by using an admin-job in Bareos. The job will be scheduled to run at a time that should not run in parallel with normal backup jobs, here by scheduling it to run after the BackupCatalog job.

First step is to check the amount of dead tuples and if autovacuum triggers VACUUM:

Check dead tuples and vacuuming on PostgreSQL
bareos=# SELECT relname, n_dead_tup, last_vacuum, last_autovacuum, last_analyze, last_autoanalyze
FROM pg_stat_user_tables WHERE n_dead_tup > 0 ORDER BY n_dead_tup DESC;
-[ RECORD 1 ]----+------------------------------
relname          | file
n_dead_tup       | 2955116
last_vacuum      |
last_autovacuum  |
last_analyze     |
last_autoanalyze |
-[ RECORD 2 ]----+------------------------------
relname          | log
n_dead_tup       | 111298
last_vacuum      |
last_autovacuum  |
last_analyze     |
last_autoanalyze |
-[ RECORD 3 ]----+------------------------------
relname          | job
n_dead_tup       | 1785
last_vacuum      |
last_autovacuum  | 2015-01-08 01:13:20.70894+01
last_analyze     |
last_autoanalyze | 2014-12-27 18:00:58.639319+01

In the above example, the file table has a high number of dead tuples and it has not been vacuumed. Same for the log table, but the dead tuple count is not very high. On the job table autovacuum has been triggered.

Note that the statistics views in PostgreSQL are not persistent, their values are reset on restart of the PostgreSQL service.

To setup a scheduled admin job for vacuuming the file table, the following must be done:

  1. Create a file with the SQL statements for example /usr/local/lib/bareos/scripts/postgresql_file_table_maintenance.sql with the following content:

    SQL Script for vacuuming the file table on PostgreSQL
    \t \x
    SELECT relname, n_dead_tup, last_vacuum, last_autovacuum, last_analyze, last_autoanalyze
    FROM pg_stat_user_tables WHERE relname='file';
    SELECT relname, n_dead_tup, last_vacuum, last_autovacuum, last_analyze, last_autoanalyze
    FROM pg_stat_user_tables WHERE relname='file';
    \t \x
    SELECT table_name,
      pg_size_pretty(pg_total_relation_size(table_name)) AS total_sz,
      pg_size_pretty(pg_total_relation_size(table_name) - pg_relation_size(table_name)) AS idx_sz
      FROM ( SELECT ('"' || relname || '"' ) AS table_name
        FROM pg_stat_user_tables WHERE relname != 'batch' ) AS all_tables
      ORDER BY pg_total_relation_size(table_name) DESC LIMIT 5;

    The SELECT statements are for informational purposes only, the final statement shows the total and index disk usage of the 5 largest tables.

  2. Create a shell script that runs the SQL statements, for example /usr/local/lib/bareos/scripts/ with the following content:

    SQL Script for vacuuming the file table on PostgreSQL
    psql bareos < /usr/local/lib/bareos/scripts/postgresql_file_table_maintenance.sql
  3. As in PostgreSQL only the database owner or a database superuser is allowed to run VACUUM, the script will be run as the postgres user. To permit the bareos user to run the script via sudo, write the following sudo rule to a file by executing visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/bareos_postgres_vacuum:

    sudo rule for allowing bareos to run a script as postgres
    bareos ALL = (postgres) NOPASSWD: /usr/local/lib/bareos/scripts/

    and make sure that /etc/sudoers includes it, usually by the line

    #includedir /etc/sudoers.d
  4. Create the following admin job in the director configuration

    SQL Script for vacuuming the file table on PostgreSQL
    # PostgreSQL file table maintenance job
    Job {
      Name = FileTableMaintJob
      JobDefs = DefaultJob
      Schedule = "WeeklyCycleAfterBackup"
      Type = Admin
      Priority = 20
      RunScript {
        RunsWhen = Before
        RunsOnClient = no
        Fail Job On Error = yes
        Command = "sudo -u postgres /usr/local/lib/bareos/scripts/"

    In this example the job will be run by the schedule WeeklyCycleAfterBackup, the Priority should be set to a higher value than Priority in the BackupCatalog job.

Repairing Your PostgreSQL Database

For Bareos specific problems, consider using bareos-dbcheck program. In other cases, consult the PostgreSQL documents for how to repair the database.

Backing Up Your Bareos Database

If ever the machine on which your Bareos database crashes, and you need to restore from backup tapes, one of your first priorities will probably be to recover the database. Although Bareos will happily backup your catalog database if it is specified in the FileSet, this is not a very good way to do it, because the database will be saved while Bareos is modifying it. Thus the database may be in an instable state. Worse yet, you will backup the database before all the Bareos updates have been applied.

To resolve these problems, you need to backup the database after all the backup jobs have been run. In addition, you will want to make a copy while Bareos is not modifying it. To do so, you can use two scripts provided in the release make_catalog_backup and delete_catalog_backup. These files will be automatically generated along with all the other Bareos scripts. The first script will make an ASCII copy of your Bareos database into bareos.sql in the working directory you specified in your configuration, and the second will delete the bareos.sql file.

The basic sequence of events to make this work correctly is as follows:

  • Run all your nightly backups

  • After running your nightly backups, run a Catalog backup Job

  • The Catalog backup job must be scheduled after your last nightly backup

  • You use Run Before Job (Dir->Job) to create the ASCII backup file and Run After Job (Dir->Job) to clean up

Assuming that you start all your nightly backup jobs at 1:05 am (and that they run one after another), you can do the catalog backup with the following additional Director configuration statements:

Job {
   Name = "BackupCatalog"
   Description = "Backup the catalog database (after the nightly save)"
   JobDefs = "DefaultJob"
   Level = Full
   Schedule = "WeeklyCycleAfterBackup"

   # This creates an ASCII copy of the catalog
   # Arguments to make_catalog_backup are:
   #  make_catalog_backup <catalog-name>
   RunBeforeJob = "/usr/lib/bareos/scripts/make_catalog_backup MyCatalog"

   # This deletes the copy of the catalog
   RunAfterJob  = "/usr/lib/bareos/scripts/delete_catalog_backup MyCatalog"

   # This sends the bootstrap via mail for disaster recovery.
   # Should be sent to another system, please change recipient accordingly
   Write Bootstrap = "|/usr/sbin/bsmtp -h localhost -f \"\(Bareos\) \" -s \"Bootstrap for Job %j\" root@localhost"
   Priority = 11                   # run after main backup
# This schedule does the catalog. It starts after the WeeklyCycle
Schedule {
  Name = "WeeklyCycleAfterBackup"
  Run = Level=Full sun-sat at 1:10
# This is the backup of the catalog
FileSet {
  Name = "Catalog"
  Include {
    Options {
    File = "/var/lib/bareos/bareos.sql" # database dump
    File = "/etc/bareos"                # configuration

It is preferable to write/send the bootstrap file to another computer. It will allow you to quickly recover the database backup should that be necessary. If you do not have a bootstrap file, it is still possible to recover your database backup, but it will be more work and take longer.

Provide postgresql.service with PGDG packages

If you are using packages from PostgreSQL Global Development Group aka PGDG the delivered systemd postgresql-XX.service needs to be edited to add the standard postgresql.service alias which is required to start Bareos Director after postgresql.

You can either override bareos-dir.service to add the corresponding After requirement.

Add After requirement line in bareos-dir.service with PGDG postgresql-15 server
systemctl edit bareos-dir.service

### Editing /etc/systemd/system/bareos-dir.service.d/override.conf
### Anything between here and the comment below will become the new contents of the file


systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl reload bareos-dir

Or surcharge the PGDG postgresql-XX.service to add the missing postgresql.service alias.

Add alias postgresql.service in install section
systemctl edit postgresql-15.service

### Editing /etc/systemd/system/postgresql-15.service.d/override.conf
### Anything between here and the comment below will become the new contents of the file


systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable --now postgresql-15

Job Statistics

Bareos catalog contains lot of information about your IT infrastructure, how many files, their size, the number of video or music files etc. Using Bareos catalog during the day to get them permit to save resources on your servers.

In this chapter, you will find tips and information to measure Bareos efficiency and report statistics.

If you want to have statistics on your backups to provide some Service Level Agreement indicators, you could use a few SQL queries on the Job table to report how many:

  • jobs have run

  • jobs have been successful

  • files have been backed up

However, these statistics are accurate only if your job retention is greater than your statistics period. Ie, if jobs are purged from the catalog, you won’t be able to use them.

Now, you can use the update stats [days=num] console command to fill the JobHistory table with new Job records. If you want to be sure to take in account only good jobs, ie if one of your important job has failed but you have fixed the problem and restarted it on time, you probably want to delete the first bad job record and keep only the successful one. For that simply let your staff do the job, and update JobHistory table after two or three days depending on your organization using the [days=num] option.

These statistics records aren’t used for restoring, but mainly for capacity planning, billings, etc.

The Statistics Retention (Dir->Director) defines the length of time that Bareos will keep statistics job records in the Catalog database after the Job End time. This information is stored in the JobHistory table. When this time period expires, and if user runs prune stats command, Bareos will prune (remove) Job records that are older than the specified period.

You can use the following Job resource in your nightly BackupCatalog (Dir->Job) job to maintain statistics.

Job {
  Name = BackupCatalog
  RunScript {
    Console = "update stats days=3"
    Console = "prune stats yes"
    RunsWhen = After
    RunsOnClient = no