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AMANDA(8) System Administration Commands AMANDA(8)


amanda - The Open Source Backup Platform


This manual page gives an overview of the Amanda commands and configuration files for quick reference.


Here are all the Amanda commands. Each one has its own manual page. See them for all the gory details.





There are five user-editable files that control the behavior of Amanda.

The first two are amanda.conf(5) and amanda-client.conf(5), the main configuration files for the server and client, respectively. They contain parameters to customize Amanda for the site.

Next is the disklist(5) file, which lists hosts and disk partitions to back up.

Last is the seldom-edited tapelist(5) file, which lists tapes that are currently active. These files are described in more detail in the following sections.

All configuration files are stored in individual configuration directories, usually under /etc/amanda/. A site will often have more than one configuration. For example, it might have a normal configuration for everyday backups and an archive configuration for infrequent full archival backups. The configuration files would be stored under directories /etc/amanda/normal/ and /etc/amanda/archive/, respectively. Part of the job of an Amanda administrator is to create, populate and maintain these directories.

Most Amanda applications take a "config" parameter; this is generally the (unqualified) name of the configuration directory, e.g., normal. If the parameter is . (dot), the current directory is used. This feature is present for backward compatibility, but is not commonly used.

Configuration Override

Most commands allow the override of specific configuration options on the command line, using the -o option. This option has the form -oname=value. An optional space is allowed after the -o. Each configuration option should be specified in a separate command-line option.

For global options, name is simply the name of the option, e.g.,

amdump -oruntapes=2
For options in a named section of the configuration, name has the form SECTION:section_name:name, where SECTION is one of TAPETYPE, DUMPTYPE, HOLDINGDISK, or INTERFACE, and section_name is the name of the tapetype, dumptype, holdingdisk, or interface. Examples:

amdump -o TAPETYPE:HP-DAT:length=2000m
amdump -o DUMPTYPE:no-compress:compress="server fast"
amdump -o HOLDINGDISK:hd1:use="-100 mb"
amdump -o INTERFACE:local:use="2000 kbps"

When overriding device properties, one must carefully quote the command line to simulate the syntax of real configuration files. The following example should serve as a guide:

amdump -o 'device-property="PROPERTY_MAX_VOLUME_USAGE" "100000"'

Note that configuration overrides are not effective for tape changers, which supply a tapedev based on their own configuration. In order to override tapedev, you must also disable any changer:

amdump -otapedev=/dev/nst1 -otpchanger=''


James da Silva <>

Stefan G. Weichinger <>

12/01/2017 Amanda 3.5.1