Thursday, February 17

BackupPC error 001E - Is your shell clean?

Just spent the last afternoon ripping my hair out after setting up BackupPC for a load of windows machines and having not much trouble at all, only to come and try and backup my own linux machine to meet a world of pain.

The problem is, as the program has evolved, some things seem to never have been documented. Hopefully this will help someone in the future if they ever have the same issues I've just seen.

BackupPC wouldn't connect to my system - I saw no mention of the connection in the /var/log/auth.log.

I had already tried using passwords instead of keys, looking at log files on both machines and getting nothing helpful. I could ssh from both sides to the other - without needing to give any kind of infomation.

However when I ran the rsync command, either within backupPC itself, or on my own root commandline I'd get an error telling me my shell was not clean. Lol. WHAT?

Normally this is due to the fact your shell is returning something other than a normal bash prompt. This can be caused by some funky scripting of your own in your bashrc or profile files. Mine were blank, I then commented out the "default" ones in /etc/profile and /etc/bash.bashrc "just in case".

All through this whole process I forgot one important point. Due to security concerns, backupPC no longer runs as root. It runs as its own user - backuppc.

After much moving of files "just in case backuppc can't read them" I realised I needed to try and connect AS backupPC to see what was happening.

su backuppc

/usr/bin/ssh user@host

OMG I doesn't return a bash prompt! Nope.... Instead its asking me if the key is ok. How could I forgotten to accept that?

Accepted and now backupPC works beautifully!

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