I have just released version 1.20 of Obnam, my backup program. It’s been nine months since the previous release, and that’s a long time: I’ve had an exciting year, and not entirely in a good way. Unfortuntely that’s eaten up a lot of my free time and enthusiasm for my hobby projects.

See below for a snippet of NEWS, with a summary of the user-visible changes. A lot of the effort has gone into improving FORMAT GREEN ALBATROSS, but that isn’t documented in the NEWS file.

I’ve received patches and actionable bug reports from a number of people, and I’m grateful for those. I try to credit them by name in the NEWS file.

Obnam NEWS

This file summarizes changes between releases of Obnam.

NOTE: Obnam has an EXPERIMENTAL repository format under development, called green-albatross-20160813. It is NOT meant for real use. It is likely to change in incompatible ways without warning. DO NOT USE it unless you’re willing to lose your backup.

Version 1.20, released 2016-10-29

  • The format name for green-albatross is renamed to green-albatross-20160813 and will henceforth be renamed every time there’s a change, to avoid confusing Lars because of backwards incompatibilities. When it reaches stability and the on-disk format is frozen, it’ll be renamed back to a date-less version.

  • Those using the experimental green-albatross repository format will have to start over with fresh repositories. This release contains backwards incompatible changes that mean existing repositories no longer work. Sorry, but that’s what experimental means.

  • A green-albatross change is that the “chunk index” data structure is no longer a single blob, and instead it’s broken down into smaller objects. This avoids keeping all of the chunk indexes in memory at once, which should reduce memory use.

  • Remi Rampin started updating and continuing the French translation of the Obnam manual.

  • Lars Wirzenius changed the default so that Obnam reads random data when creating encryption key from /dev/urandom instead of /dev/random. The goal is to make it less likely that Obnam stops at the key generation stage on machines with little entropy. Set weak-random = no in your configuration to override this.

Minor changes:

  • Lars Wirzenius changed obnam forget so that if there is nothing to do, it doesn’t even try to connect to the repository.

  • Lars Wirzenius added a chapter on participating in the Obnam project to the manual.

  • Lars Wirzenius changed --one-file-system to work for bind mounts. It only works for bind mounts that exist at the time when Obnam starts, however. Also, /proc/mounts must be an accurate list of mount points.

  • Lars Wirzenius added the gpg command line to the error message about gpg failing.

Bug fixes:

  • The manual and manual page used to claim you could break only the locks for one client. This was not true. The manuals has been fixed.

  • A whole bunch of typo fixes, from Andrea Gelmini.

  • Michel Alexandre Salim fixed a bug in the FUSE (obnam mount) plugin, which was a typo in a method name (get_clientgeneration_ids).

  • Lars Wirzenius fixed obnam restore to require a target set with --to. Jonathan Dowland reported the problem.

  • Lars Wirzenius fixed obnam list-errors so that it doesn’t crash on error classes that only exist to make the exception hierarchy neater, such as EncryptionError. Bug reported by Rik Theys.

  • Ian Cambell fixed a bug in obnam kdirstat and its handling of FIFO sockets.