Windows Client (Cygwin)

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The Zmanda Windows Client is the recommended tool for backing up Windows systems.

Cygwin based Amanda windows client is a packaged version (using Microsoft installer) of Amanda client including Cygwin modules. It is built from the Amanda sourceforge tree. It is available only for old releases of Amanda (2.5.2 or older).



  • Amanda packages for 2.5.2 and earlier releases are available for download from Zmanda downloads page. To download the windows installer image (.msi), choose "Save Link As" from the mouse right click menu. Clicking on the HTML link will not work in some browsers.

Supported versions

  • Amanda Windows client is available for Amanda 2.5.2p1 and earlier releases. It works with Amanda server 2.6.0 and earlier releases.
  • Amanda Windows client has been tested with
    • Windows XP Pro (Server pack 2) running on x86 platform.
    • Windows 2003 server running on x86 platform.


The Amanda Windows client package uses the Microsoft Windows installer and includes Amanda client dependencies (Gnu tar, GnuZip, OpenSSH) as part of the package. This Windows client uses Cygwin and will install Cygwin binaries. If you have Cygwin installed, this package may not work.

Pre-installation checklist

You will need:

  • Administrator privileges to install the Amanda client on Windows.
  • The fully qualified hostname of the Amanda backup server.
 The Amanda server should be accessible and should be part of
 your network's LDAP/DNS name services.
  • The name of the Amanda backup configuration (maintained on the Amanda backup server) to which the Windows client belongs.
 Example: TestConfig.
  • The type of authentication, either bsdtcp or ssh, to be used between the Amanda server and the Windows client.
 ssh provides a more secure backup but will require
 additional steps to configure.
  • Access to the Amanda backup server as the Amanda user (amandabackup).

Windows client installation creates two Amanda users: amandabackup and amandaroot.

  • One password used for both users is requested during installation.
  • The amandabackup user is a member of the Backup Operators group.
 The Amanda Maintenance Shell runs with amandabackup
 access rights and is used for all Amanda operations except recovery.
  • The amandaroot user is a member of the Backup Operators group.
 amandaroot is used for all Amanda recovery operations.
 The amrecover and amoldrecover programs are run using
 Amanda Data Recovery Shell shell with amandaroot
 access rights.

Installation on Windows Server 2003 also requires user sshd_server to be created.

  • sshd_server is responsible for starting sshd and inetd services.

Client installation

You must have Administrator privileges in order to install Amanda Backup Client.

To install Amanda simply double-click on the downloaded package and the first screen in the installation process will appear:

Page 1 - Copyright information

This screen of the Amanda installation wizard gives you an opportunity to cancel or continue the installation.

Click Next to proceed with the installation process.

Page 2 - Network Authentication Selection

Select the desired authentication method to be used between the Windows client and the Amanda server.

  • bsdtcp is selected by default. It authenticates via well known ports and the .amandahosts files on the client and server. Transfers between the client and server are not encrypted.
  • ssh additionally authenticates using ssh user authentication and encrypts data transfers between the client and the server.

Select BSDTCP if the network is secure enough and performance is an issue.
Select SSH if network security is an issue.

Click Next when the correct authorization is selected.

Page 3 - Server Configuration

The parameters are:

  • Server:
 This must be the fully qualified domain name of the tape/index server.
 The server should be available for access during the installation process.
  • Amanda Configuration Name
 The installation process will use the provided name to create a working
 set of amanda client configuration files.
 If the configuration already exists it will not be overwritten or
 modified by the installer.
  • Server login ID for ssh key exchange
 This parameter is ignored for bsdtcp authentication.
 For ssh authentication this will normally this will be amandabackup.
 Another user with access to /var/lib/amanda/.ssh/authorized_keys may be used.
 Leaving this field blank will force the installer to skip the ssh key exchange.
 Instructions for setting up manually will be printed out at the end of the
 installation process.

Click Next when finished editing the server parameters.

Page 4 - Set User and Group Names
 This screen allows entry of standard account names for non-english installations.
 Only change these values if you are installing on an non-english version of Windows and the standard 
 account names differ from those shown on the screen.

Click Next when the account names are correct.

Page 5 - Confirm installation

This is the last point at which you can change your installation settings before beginning the actual installation. Please consider your choices carefully, as later changes will require manual modifications to configuration files. To modify your settings, click Back.

Click Next if the supplied parameters are acceptable.

Page 6 - Installation progress

The installer will continue automatically to the next screen.

Page 7 - Enter Password

After the basic files are loaded on the client a post-installation script is run. Output from the post-installation process will be displayed in a command shell and also logged to /tmp/amanda/amanda_install.log.

The first thing the script does is ask for a password to be used when setting up local accounts:
Amanda requires an amandabackup user and an amandaroot user for normal operations. The installer will create any required account with the password supplied here.

Amanda accounts will not be displayed on the login screen or in the user manager program.

  • To change amandabackup (Amanda Maintainence Shell) password:
 net user amandabackup <New Password>
  • To change amandaroot (Amanda Data Recovery Shell) password:
 net user amandaroot <New Password>

It is important to remember the password: it will be required every time an Amanda Maintainence Shell or an Amanda Data Recovery Shell is started.

Page 8 - Server Key Exchange

If SSH authentication is selected the ssh is used to swap keys with the server. You may be prompted for acceptance of the server's fingerprint and password at this point:
The installation process will proceed after required information is entered.

Page 9 - Confirm Successful Installation

If everything has gone well then the following screen will be displayed:
Press return or enter to proceed.

Page 10 - Confirm With Additional Instructions

If there were problems then instructions on how to correct the problems manually will be displayed:
Follow the displayed instructions to manually complete the installation.

Press return or enter to proceed.

Page 11 - Installation Complete

The end of the configuration process displays a confirmation screen which informs you of a successful Amanda installation.
Click Close and you are done.

If ssh authentication is used then you now need to exchange transfer the host fingerprints to the known_hosts files.

  • From the client click start > All Program > amanda > Amanda Data Recovery Shell and use ssh to log into the server using the server's fully qualified domain name.
 Client> ssh  #Note: amandabackup is not a typo.
  • From the server use ssh to log into the client using the client's fully qualified domain name
 Server> ssh

If the logins were successful, you are now ready to start using Amanda.

Check installation logs

  • Amanda installation messages (including Amanda configuration information) are available in C:/Cygwin/tmp/amanda/amanda_install.log
  • These logs can be viewed using the Amanda Maintenance Shell. The Amanda Maintenance Shell is a custom Unix shell (bash). Commands to view log files and Amanda commands are available from the shell.

Windows client configuration

Changes to configuration files on the server

  • If you are using ssh authentication between the Amanda backup server and the Windows client and no server user was specified during installation, then remember to add the ssh keys for the amandabackup user on the Windows client to the amandabackup user on the backup server. You can use the amkeyswap tool under Start > Programs > Amanda > Amanda Maintenance Shell for this operation.
  • Add an entry for the Windows client, including the Amanda user name (amandabackup) and the names of the Amanda services (amindexd and amidxtaped), to the .amandahosts file in the /var/lib/amanda directory on the Amanda backup server.

For example: amandabackup amindexd amidxtaped
  • If ssh security is being used then ssh login to the Amanda Windows Client from the Amanda backup server using the Fully qualified domain name of the Amanda client to finalize and test the connection from the erver to the client.

For example:

AmandaServer> ssh
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 38:d3:9c:a6:96:43:50:c8:29:90:3e:7e:41:86:b1:57.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
  • If ssh security is being used then also ssh login to Amanda backup server from the Amanda Windows Client using the Fully qualified domain name of the Amanda backup server to finalize and test the connection from the client to the server.

Check the Windows Start programs menu

After a standard installation, under Start > Programs > Amanda, you will find:

  • Amanda Maintenance Shell: View Amanda debug files, SSH configuration.
  • Amanda Data Recovery Shell: Restore data from backups.

List of configuration files in the Windows client

The Amanda client installation process creates or modifies multiple configuration files on the Windows client. The amanda configuration files modified and their locations are as follows:

  • amanda-client.conf(5) : C:\Cygwin\etc\amanda\amanda-client.conf
  • amanda-client.conf(5) : C:\Cygwin\etc\amanda\<configuration>\amanda-client.conf
  • .amandahosts file : C:\Cygwin\var\lib\amanda\.amandahosts
  • SSH keys : C:\Cygwin\var\lib\amanda\.ssh\authorized_keys

Changing client configuration

To change the configuration of the Amanda Windows client, use the Amanda Maintenance Shell.
From Start > Programs > Amanda, select Amanda Maintenance Shell.

Modify amanda.conf(5) to change:

  • Authentication method: Available options are bsdtcp and ssh.
  • Amanda server: The server that will backup your Windows client.
  • Amanda configuration name: The backup configuration that includes your Windows client.

Please note that switching from bsdtcp to ssh authentication will require additional changes to the Windows client.

Changing amandabackup/amandaroot Password

Amanda Windows client creates two users : amandabackup and amandaroot
amandabackup is the default user for Amanda Maintenance Shell and amandaroot is the user for the Amanda data recovery shell

To change the password for these users, type the following in "Start > Run" or in your command prompt: Type

 net user <user-name> <new password>

For example:

 net user amandabackup <new password>

Windows client configuration on Amanda server

All Windows filesystems can be added to the disklist file on the Amanda server. Only GNU tar program can be used in the dumptype. An example disklist entry for Windows filesytem : /cygdrive/c root-tar

You can also use C:\ (drive letter) notation to specify filesystems.

Run amcheck on the Amanda server

Fix all configuration problems found by the amcheck(8) command. Run amcheck as the amandabackup user on the Amanda server.

For example:

$ amcheck -c TestConfig

If there are no amcheck errors, you are ready to do backup of Windows client. In case of amcheck errors, take a look at amcheck troubleshooting section.

Restoring files on the Windows client

  • Restore files from the backup using amrecover(8). From Start > Programs > Amanda, select Amrecover. Restore the files to a temporary directory on the Amanda Windows client.
  • Compare the recovered files to the original files on the Amanda client.
  • In case of errors, you can check the debug log files in the C:\Cygwin\tmp\amanda directory on the Amanda Windows client by using the Amanda Maintenance Shell option.
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