crashplan

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Crashplan has an auto-update feature built into it’s software, which is a good thing except that Crashplan on a headless QNAP box will start failing when this happens.   If the package maintainer would update the QNAP package when this happens this wouldn’t become a problem.  But I’ve yet to see this ever happen.

Here’s the fix.

You will notice an upgrade directory in your root Crashplan directory, my default directory is /share/MD0_DATA/.qpkg/CrashPlan/upgrade.  If your directory is anything like mine, you will have a bunch of directories with #s on them…these are all the failed automatic upgrades the Crashplan attempted to perform and has failed.  I didn’t even noticed it was failing until my weekly email came out from Code42 and noticed my backups have been failing for about a week due to this.

First stop crashplan on your Qnap,

Find the last failed attempt..

cd into the last one listed.

In this directory you will find two jar files, c42_protolib.jar and com.backup42.desktop.jar .

(make note of this directory as we will be needing this in a second..)

Now jump over to the main default CrashPlan lib directory, mine is in

/share/MD0_DATA/.qpkg/CrashPlan/lib/

Need to copy the two jar files listed above into this lib directory, but first make backups of these files..

Once these are copied, now restart crashplan.

Now re-open your Crashplan client that runs over the SSH tunnel and viola.. you should be good to go..  It should be scanning for changed files to back up.

Once you have verfied this is working again, then remember to clean up the upgrade directory .. you can remove all those numbered directories.

 

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Overview

CrashPlan is designed with the assumption that the CrashPlan app and the CrashPlan service are running on the same machine. Although running the CrashPlan service on a machine without a graphical environment (i.e. running a headless client) is anunsupported feature, this article provides a process for doing so that some users have found useful.

Unsupported Process
The information presented here is intended to offer information to advanced users. However, Code42 does not design or test products for the use described here. This information is presented because of user requests.
Our Customer Champions cannot assist you with unsupported processes, so you assume all risk of unintended behavior. You may want to search our support forum for information from other users.

Definitions

A headless CrashPlan app means that the CrashPlan service is running on a machine without a graphical environment (headless mode), like a Linux or Solaris server. Running a headless CrashPlan app allows you to remotely administer the CrashPlan service that is running as a backup destination.
CrashPlan is comprised of two components:

  1. CrashPlan service: This is always running from the moment you install CrashPlan and continues to run even if you log out. It is responsible for the actual backup functions.
  2. The CrashPlan app:  This runs as an application that you can launch from a user’s desktop. This is what most people mean when they refer to “CrashPlan.” Headless means you do not open the CrashPlan app.

Before You Begin

  • Have a good understanding of networking, TCP/IP
  • Feel comfortable using a command line terminal
  • Be familiar with SSH

Considerations

  • Installing CrashPlan directly on a NAS device is unsupported. That means that our Customer Champions are unable to assist if you encounter any issues with this configuration.
  • Most NAS hardware isn’t able to handle high-I/O operations like compression, encryption, and de-duplication, which are essential components of CrashPlan. We strongly recommend directly attached storage for best performance.
  • CrashPlan normally tries to use more CPU when it detects that a user is “away” or idle. Headless clients are almost always in this state, so CrashPlan will try to use a larger percentage of available CPU. If you observe high load when running a hosted client, consider lowering the allowed CPU percentage in the CrashPlan app.
  • If the CrashPlan app you use to run the GUI is configured only to connect to the headless client, then you must upgrade manually. It will not upgrade on its own if it does not connect to a local CrashPlan service.
  • When you launch the CrashPlan app, it connects to the CrashPlan service on port 4282, which is bound to the loopback device 127.0.0.1, or localhost. This is the key point to being able to connect to the service remotely. Because the port is bound to the loopback device, you cannot connect to it directly via a public network interface.
  • CrashPlan does support backing up NAS where the share-point is mounted directly on the computer itself for Mac, Linux, and Solaris (Windows is unsupported).

Using SSH

Use an SSH tunnel to connect the CrashPlan app on one machine (1.1.1.1) to the CrashPlan service on a computer that is text-only (2.2.2.2).

Configuring a Headless Client

 

  1. Install and start engine on the text-only server (2.2.2.2).
  2. Install the CrashPlan app on the CrashPlan Desktop computer (1.1.1.1).
    Use Mac, Windows, Linux. It doesn’t matter which platform you use.
  3. Close the CrashPlan app if it’s running.
  4. On 1.1.1.1, navigate to CrashPlan\conf on 1.1.1.1.
  5. Open file ui.properties in a text editor. (locations)
  6. Edit the line:

to this:

  1. Open a terminal window on 1.1.1.1.
  2. Using SSH, forward port 4200 on 1.1.1.1 to port 4243 on 2.2.2.2.
    The command is: ​

  1. On 1.1.1.1, open the CrashPlan app.
    Your CrashPlan app is now connected to the CrashPlan service on 2.2.2.2. You can now configure CrashPlan on 2.2.2.2.

Switch Your CrashPlan App Back

When you’re done using the CrashPlan app on the text-only computer, switch your CrashPlan app back.

  1. On 1.1.1.1, open the ui.properties file in a text editor. (locations)
  2. Comment out the servicePort line.

  1. Save your changes.

Using PuTTY

Putty is a free Windows SSH client that you can use to do the port forwarding necessary to control a remote CrashPlan client.

Before You Begin

  • Be sure CrashPlan is running on your remote machine.
  • Verify on the headless machine (with netstat) that it is listening on port 4242 on all addresses and on port 4243 on the local address (this is the UI service port).

Output should look like this:

We want to use SSH to tunnel a local Windows port (4200) to the remote host’s service port (4243).

Steps

  1. Enter the IP for SSH as you normally would, but don’t open the connection yet.
    Putty Step 1
  2. In the Connection > SSH > Tunnels section, add the following:
    Putty Step 2
  3. Click the Add button.
    If you don’t click the Add button, the CrashPlan connection will fail.
  4. Now open the session and log in.
  5. You can use telnet to confirm the connection:

A successful connection displays “Connected to HOST_IP” with a long, encrypted string. It looks something like this:

Once you have confirmed the connection you should be able to stop the local CrashPlan app. Make sure the servicePort is 4200 in the conf/ui.properties file and restart the CrashPlan app.

UI.PROPERTIES File Location

  • Linux (if installed as root): /usr/local/crashplan/conf/ui.properties
  • Mac: /Applications/CrashPlan.app/Contents/Resources/Java/conf/ui.properties
  • Solaris (if installed as root): /opt/sfw/crashplan/conf/ui.properties
  • Windows: C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\conf\ui.properties

Headless Mode FAQ

How do I put the CrashPlan app into Headless Mode?

You do not have to do anything to run in ‘headless mode’. Headless just means you do not run the CrashPlan app UI. The CrashPlan service is running once you install the CrashPlan app.