Compiling and Installing Box Backup from Source

If none of the more specific instructions given on the Installation page apply, then you may be able to adapt these general installation instructions to your system.

Before You Start

Firstly, check that all the clocks on your clients, servers and signing machines are accurate and in sync. A disagreement in time between a client and a server is the biggest cause of installation difficulties, as the times in the generated certificates will cause login failures if the start date is in the future.

Box Backup Compilation and Installation

In the following instructions, replace 0.00 with the actual version number of the archive you have downloaded.

You need the latest version of OpenSSL, as some of the extra APIs it provides are required. You should have this anyway, as earlier versions have security flaws. (If you have an earlier version installed, the configuration script will give you instructions on enabling experimental support for older versions.)

See OpenSSLNotes for more information on OpenSSL issues.

There are some notes in the archive about compiling on various platforms within the boxbackup-0.00 directory - read them first. For example, if you are compiling under Linux, look for LINUX.txt as boxbackup-0.00/LINUX.txt after untaring the archive.

Download the archive, then in that directory type the following commands:

tar xvzf boxbackup-0.00.tgz
cd boxbackup-0.00

The server and client will be built and packaged up for installation on this machine, or ready to be transferred as tar files to another machine for installation.

This builds two parcels of binaries and scripts, backup-client and backup-server. The generated installation scripts assumes you want everything installed in /usr/local/sbin.

Optionally, type the following to run all of the included tests:

make test

Local Installation

Following compilation, you can use the following command to install the backup client on the local machine:

make install-backup-client

Remote Installation

In the parcels directory, there are tar files for each parcel. The name reflects the version and platform you have built it for.

Transfer this tar file to the remote server, and unpack it, then run the install script. For example:

tar xvzf boxbackup-0.00-backup-server-OpenBSD.tgz
cd boxbackup-0.00-backup-server-OpenBSD

Configuration Options

You can use arguments to the configure script to adjust the compile and link lines in the generated Makefiles, should this be necessary for your platform. The configure script takes the usual GNU autoconf arguments; a full list of which can be obtained with --help. Additional options for Box Backup include:

  • --enable-gnu-readline. Use GNU readline if present. Linking Box Backup against GNU readline may create licence implications if you then distribute the binaries. libeditline is also supported as a safe alternative, and is used by default if available.
  • --disable-largefile. Omit support for large files
  • --with-bdb-headers=DIR. Specify Berkeley DB headers location
  • --with-bdb-lib=DIR. Specify Berkeley DB library location
  • --with-random=FILE. Use FILE as random number seed (normally auto-detected)
  • --with-tmp-dir=DIR. Directory for temporary files (normally /tmp)

See OpenSSLNotes for the OpenSSL-specific options.


There are a number of unit tests provided. To compile and run one use one of the following commands:

./ bbackupd release
./ common debug
./ ALL

The script will compile and run the test. The first argument is the test name, and the second the type of build. Use ALL as a test name to run all the tests.

The output from the tests is slightly muddled using this script. If you're developing, porting or trying out new things, it might be better to use the following scheme:

cd test/bbackupd
cd ../../debug/test/bbackupd

or, in release mode:

cd test/bbackupd
cd ../../release/test/bbackupd

(use RELEASE=1 with GNU make)

It is often convenient to use two windows, one for compilation, and one for running tests.

Finishing the Installation

To get Box Backup to do something useful, configure the server, and then configure the clients.

Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on Mar 26, 2011, 5:18:09 PM