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[Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

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MX-16_fan
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[Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#1 Post by MX-16_fan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:57 am

Since our Déjà Dup version on the MX-Test Repo still seems to have one or more major issues (viewtopic.php?f=121&t=41959&p=411697#p411697), I'd love to give Areca Backup (http://www.areca-backup.org/) a try. Areca Backup has had extremely positive reports in a Linux magazine, and it is to be full of cool features (http://www.areca-backup.org/features.php) like

- a GUI with many options,
- having backups compressed and encrptd (making backup media safer against burglars and thieves),
- ways of browsing files (I didn't find this function in deja-dup),
- storage and recovry of symbolic links and named pipes,
- MS Windows version available (so this might make having a look at MX-16 more attractive for newbies),
- a plugin API,
- FTP connection,
- plus man more.

I read an article saying that it had been somewhat unreliable before 2011, which also indicated that was fixed by then.

Source of version 7.5 is on SourceForge: https://sourceforge.net/projects/areca/ ... areca-7.5/. There's what looks like an installer in that directory too.

There's an Ubuntu PPA available (however it's not featuring the newest version): https://launchpad.net/~lcid-fire/+archive/ubuntu/areca.

The whole thing relies on Java. Don't know if that makes the whole thing more difficult to build, or easier.

If you think it's possible to have it on MX-16, and if you'd like to compile it and to put it on MX-Test Repo, I'd be happy to test it and report to you all how well it works.


Greetings, Joe

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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#2 Post by richb » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:03 pm

As this is a package request, I am moving it to the MX-16 Package Request Forum.
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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#3 Post by Jerry3904 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:06 pm

You don't need to have it packaged to try it, since it is a java application. Follow the directions on that webpage-- but it is looking in the wrong place:

Code: Select all

$ ./areca.sh 
ls: cannot access /usr/java: No such file or directory
No valid JRE found in /usr/java.
Since such a location contradicts the Linux filesystem convention, that mistake does not augur well for the application IMO.
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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#4 Post by MX-16_fan » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:58 pm

Jerry3904 wrote:You don't need to have it packaged to try it, since it is a java application. Follow the directions on that webpage
Thanks, Jerry. What does "it's a java application" exactly does that mean for my system? Will it spoil my clean system via some weird installer? I had very bad experiences with installers of all kinds over the years, that's why I was asking for a packaged version.
Jerry3904 wrote: -- but it is looking in the wrong place:

Code: Select all

$ ./areca.sh 
ls: cannot access /usr/java: No such file or directory
No valid JRE found in /usr/java.
Someone wrote an article on how to fix this issue here: https://www.tylerburton.ca/2016/12/fixi ... ributions/. He writes:
Now I’m quite sure there is a far more elegant solution than this but I simply commented out the vast majority of this function and hard coded the directory of my system’s Java binary.
Would you say this is a clean solution described there, or would you know better?
Jerry3904 wrote: Since such a location contradicts the Linux filesystem convention, that mistake does not augur well for the application IMO.
Ouch. Right you are. However, it seems to me that Java paths are often troublesome, see e.g. here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1946 ... -java-path.

I guess if there was a real package and a real program start icon more people would test it, which would get little issues around this application cleaned out, which would be a gain for all. Just my personal opinion.


Greetings, Joe

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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#5 Post by Jerry3904 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:17 pm

I guess if there was a real package and a real program start icon more people would test it, which would get little issues around this application cleaned out, which would be a gain for all. Just my personal opinion.
It is your personal opinion, but you can give it some weight by testing it yourself first and telling the Community about your experience.

I myself don't happen to see a need, since typing "backup" in the Synaptic search box shows a zillion choices already in the repos.
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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#6 Post by MX-16_fan » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:07 pm

@Jerry3904:
Jerry3904 wrote:
I guess if there was a real package and a real program start icon more people would test it, which would get little issues around this application cleaned out, which would be a gain for all. Just my personal opinion.
It is your personal opinion, but you can give it some weight by testing it yourself first and telling the Community about your experience.
I will happily do this, but could you or someone else please help me by answering my questions (see above) regarding fixing the installation? I can't proceed without that knowledge.
Jerry3904 wrote:I myself don't happen to see a need, since typing "backup" in the Synaptic search box shows a zillion choices already in the repos.
Which of them actually does have

- at least a terminal GUI and
- secure password protection (to secure the backups against burglary or theft),
- while therein not relying on eCryptfs, which would get you running into the well-known filename restriction issue (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ecryptfs/+bug/344878)?


Greetings, Joe

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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#7 Post by MX-16_fan » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:57 pm

UPDATE:

Someone has published what seems to be a clean fix to the Java path issue: https://sourceforge.net/p/areca/bugs/612/. However, the developer seems to have abandoned his project.

Maybe some people who love Areca Backup should fork it. Having to see all this unuseable potential really hurts.


Greetings, and have a nice weekend, Joe

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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#8 Post by Stevo » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:13 pm

Have you made the changes to the file as suggested in the post (comment out the three lines in the first change, then add the lines in the second fix) to see if it works in your install? If it works, that fix is easy enough to package as a patch.

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Re: [Needs packaging] Areca Backup, a GPL v2 backup software full of cool features

#9 Post by MX-16_fan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:28 am

@Stevo:
Stevo wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:13 pm
Have you made the changes to the file as suggested in the post (comment out the three lines in the first change, then add the lines in the second fix) to see if it works in your install? If it works, that fix is easy enough to package as a patch.

Thanks for the hint! Will do so as soon as I have another system for testing purposes available that can be wrecked without hesitation.

After some research, I noticed that if the fix works, it might also be possible to easily get it into the upstream code.

Unfortunately aventin, the developer, has never responded to some user's proposal to open up a GitHub repository (https://sourceforge.net/p/areca/feature-requests/300/). However, apparently three people have mirrored the code on GitHub anyway:


1) There's some "unofficial release mirror of Areca Backup" maintained by someone named "chfoo" (https://github.com/chfoo/areca-backup-release-mirror). Last commit: August 26th, 2015 (the day when the most current areca-7.5 was published on SourceForge).

2) There's also some "Git development fork of Areca Backup" by someone named "Koios" (https://github.com/Koios/areca-backup). Last commit, however: July 10th, 2015. So this one seems to be less interesting.

3) Koios's repo seems to have been forked by "Wulkop". Wulkop's repo seems to be the most up-to-date one available: https://github.com/Wulkop/areca-backup (also named "Git development fork of Areca Backup"). Last commit: June 23rd, 2017. The downside is that, according to that page, his primary objective seems to be developing a a "dirty workaround for an issue with postprocessing during Checking". Don't know if you'd want to use a backup application that has been spoiled by any "dirty workaround".

4) A fourth interesting repo is this one: https://github.com/starofrainnight/abhealer ("abhealer: An Areca Backup helper program"), maintained by someone named "starofrainnight". abhealer is to fix some important Areca Backup issues, including (probably) the Java path issue (see https://github.com/starofrainnight/dock ... /README.md, "Preface" chapter on this). The downside of this helper application IMHO seems to be that it seems to be merely Docker-oriented, plus it doesn't seem to have been documented properly (see https://abhealer.readthedocs.io/en/latest/readme.html). Besides, I can think of no reason why anyone would want to fix things building a helper application and playing with Docker while he has the knowledge to fix things by committing fixes to the original code.


To sum up: In case the fix works, the best place for committing the fix would probably be chfoo's above-mentioned GitHub repo.



Greetings, Joe

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