Lotus Domino and Notes Backup with Bacula
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Lotus is an application suite that includes the following components: e-mail, calendar, scheduling, address book, database, Web server, and programming [1]. The Lotus server portion is called a domino. The client, Notes.

Lotus Domino

The Lotus Domino server is a collection of databases using a simple file structure. If you review the database files in a Lotus Domino environment, you will see that each user has a unique database for email and they can share application databases. This results in hundreds or thousands of smaller, unique database files in the Lotus Notes data directory. Databases are accessed using Lotus Notes clients. A Lotus Domino database has a “.nsf” file extension. Within the database file, there may be data, design elements, and programming code. Each database file also has its own security in the form of an access control list (ACL) [2].

A backup of a Domino server should include:

  • Domino Server Data Files
  • All databases
  • Template files
  • The notes.ini file
  • ID files

The files needed to open a Domino server for execution are:

  • Logs.nsf
  • Names.nsf
  • Mailbox
  • Server ID file

Include the Lotus Domino installation directory in Backup In Bacula’s FileSet.

Bacula’s simple open file backup on Linux (VSS on Windows) will be able to provide a consistent backup. To do this, a Bacula ClientRunBeforeJob script should execute the following two commands:

nserver –c “drop all”
nserver –c “dbcache flush”

These commands can be placed in a single script before the job on the Domino server. It frees up all open sessions and closes most open files. This backup will be considered pseudo-consistent because some Notes client can connect again and open the database [3]. Therefore, the backup must be done at the times of the least employee movement.

Lotus Notes

If you also want to back up Notes clients (workstations) no script is required. Just include in FileSet the following directories in the case of Linux [4]:

/opt/ibm/lotus/notes -- Notes product and binary files installation directory
/root/lotus/notes/data -- Notes data files installation directory
/root/lotus/notes/data/workspace -- Notes workspace directory
/opt/ibm/lotus/notes/framework -- Notes Java code installation directory
/etc/lotus/notes/data -- Shared data directory
/{$HOME}/lotus/notes/data -- Notes data files directory for each user

On Windows [5]:

Windows XP Data directory:
:Documents and Settings\Local SettingsApplication DataLotusNotesData
Windows XP Workspace directory:
:Documents and Settings\Local SettingsApplication DataLotusNotesDataWorkspace
Windows Vista Data Directory:
Windows Vista Workspace Directory:


[1] https://www.nsftools.com/misc/WhatIsNotes.htm

[2] https://support.unitrends.com/UnitrendsBackup/s/article/000002389

[3] https://forums.veeam.com/vmware-vsphere-f24/backing-up-ibm-lotus-domino-9-t36059.html

[4] https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/en/SSKTMJ_8.5.3/com.ibm.help.domino.admin85.doc/H_DEFAULT_AND_RECOMMENDED_INSTALLATION_DIRECTORIES_ON_LINUX_OVER.html

[5] https://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/dx/Backing_up_and_restoring_Notes_client_data

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