Open Source Network backup with Amanda

According to Zmanda, Amanda is the most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world. Amanda protects more than half a million servers and desktops running various versions of Linux, UNIX, BSD, Mac OS-X and Microsoft Windows operating systems worldwide.

I was looking for a better network backup for my servers than what I am using.  I found this one with some research, and I and going to set it up and try it out.  I will post how I it performed for me and any problems I have.  Here are some of the features and issues form their website.


  • Backup of open files (Volume Shadow Services must be enabled)
  • Backs up NTFS filesystem
  • Uses open format for backup images (ZIP64)
  • Client backup compression using deflate algorithm
  • Client configuration tool – ZWCconfig. Allows configuration of ports that are used and amanda server name.
  • Support for exclude patterns (wildcard * is supported, full path must be specified)
  • Installshield based installer.

Issues and Limitations

  • Zmanda Windows Client only supports bsdtcp authentication. So, the dumptype for ZWC should have “auth bsdtcp”.
  • Zmanda Windows Client does not support maxdumps parameter. It does not do backups in parallel.
  • Zmanda Windows Client uses port 10080 and 10081. No other service on the client should use these ports. ZWC service will fail to start if these ports are used.
  • Zmanda Windows Client only supports ‘estimate server’ and ‘estimate client’, not ‘estimate calcsize’. Do not use ‘estimate calcsize’ with a ZWC DLE.
  • The amanda user on the Amanda server should be “amandabackup”. If you want to use a different account.
  • You need to register the server on the windows client (by editing the registry or using the ZWC configuration GUI tool). It currently appears that name resolution does not work (amcheck says something like: Server validation failed). Workaround: use IP address instead of the server’s name.

Key Reasons for Wide Adoption of Amanda

  • Amanda simplifies the life of a System Administrator who can easily set up a single server to back up multiple networked clients to a tape- or disk-based storage system.
  • Amanda is well documented and can be set up very rapidly.
  • Amanda provides the unique capability of writing backups to tape and disk simultaneously. The very same data could be available on-line for quick restores from a disk and off-site for disaster recovery and long-term retention.
  • Since Amanda does not use proprietary device drivers, any device supported by an operating system works well with Amanda. The System Administrator does not have to worry about breaking support for a device when upgrading Amanda.
  • Amanda uses native dump and/or GNU tar utilities. Since there are no proprietary formats, in case of emergency, data could be recovered with native utilities, regardless of whether or not Amanda is still installed.
  • Amanda is very secure. Encryption on the client ensures security of data in transit and encryption on the backup server ensures security of data at rest, e.g. on a tape or on a Cloud. Amanda supports up to 4096-bit keys with public-key cryptography as well as 256-bit AES encryption.
  • A unique scheduler optimizes backup level for different clients in such a way that total backup time is about the same for every backup run. Amanda frees the System Administrators from having to guess the rate of data change in their environments.
  • Amanda is stable and robust because of high quality code.
  • The Open Source Amanda project has a large and productive Community that grows every day.


You can find Amanda at

Their Wiki is here.

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3 Responses

  1. avatar ogwatermelon says:

    I stopped using this software some time ago. Everything is virtual now and we use vSphere Date Protection now.

  2. avatar pwason says:

    15 minutes? I’ve been trying to set this up off and on for over 5 years. Something is broken. Help appreciated.

  3. avatar Andrew James says:

    Thank you for this article.This is what I was searching for,a good review about Amanda.This gave me everything I need.I found some more information at

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