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Re: [obnam-announce] Retiring Obnam

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UNEARTH REVIVAL STAIRWAY

From: RĂ©mi Rampin <remirampin@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 20:55:27 -0400

   2017-08-13 14:48 EDT, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi>:
   
   I'm afraid I've had enough. I'm going to retire Obnam as a project and
   as a program, and move on to doing something else, so I can feel
   excitement and pleasure again.
   
   
   Thanks for your hard work all those years! It's been a pleasure using
   Obnam, and be part of this community with my meager manual patches.
   
   Obnam is a really cool design, that has inspired some of my work (though I
   wasn't brave enough to do without a server component, scp'ing data around).
   
   I know what it's like getting burnt out on a project, good on you for
   getting out. I look forward to hearing about your next projects. See you
   around!
From: Neal Becker <ndbecker2@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:32:16 +0000

   Thank you for all your work that made obnam a great project.  Although I
   enjoyed using obnam for several years, I have recently switched to
   borgbackup and recommend this to anyone looking for a system with similar
   features to obnam.
   
   Neal
   
   On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 5:22 PM Lars Kruse <lists@sumpfralle.de> wrote:
   
   > Hello Lars,
   >
   > it was a pleasure for me to follow the evolution of this project.
   > Specifically I liked your approach of clear communication regarding the
   > amount and direction of work that you plan to put into this project.
   > Your dissolution of the project (skipping the dreadful hiatus of
   > stagnation)
   > also follows this culture of clear communication. I appreciate that and
   > learned
   > a good bit for myself.
   >
   > Thank you for your work.
   > I wish you joyful upcoming projects! (if there are any)
   >
   > Cheers,
   > Lars
   > _______________________________________________
   > obnam-support mailing list
   > obnam-support@obnam.org
   >
   > http://listmaster.pepperfish.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/obnam-support-obnam.org
   >
From: SanskritFritz <sanskritfritz@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 22:43:53 +0200

   Hi.
   This is very sad news for me. I rely on Obnam for my backup. Although I
   already know which alternative I'll use (zbackup), I actually think Obnam
   could live on in a form of a fork. I wonder if anyone is willing to
   maintain a fork. I don't dare to stup up in such role, my coding knowledge
   is not enough to do that. Will you pull the code from your site as well?
   Because if you will, we would like to transfer the code base to github or
   the like.
   Having all said that, I also want to express my gratitude and THANK YOU for
   Obnam!
   
   
   
   
   On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
   
   > This is a difficult announcement to write. The summary is that you
   > should switch to another backup program in the coming months.
   >
   > The first commit to Obnam's current code base is this:
   >
   >     commit 7eaf5a44534ffa7f9c0b9a4e9ee98d312f2fcb14
   >     Author: Lars Wirzenius <liw@iki.fi>
   >     Date:   Wed Sep 6 18:35:52 2006 +0300
   >
   >         Initial commit.
   >
   > It's followed by over 5200 more commits until the latest one, which is
   > from yesterday. The NEWS file contains 58 releases. There are 20761
   > lines of Python, 15384 words in the English language manual, with
   > translations in German and French. The yarn test suite, which is a
   > kind of a manual, is another 13382 words in English and
   > pseudo-English. That's a fair bit of code and prose. Not all of it
   > mine, I've had help from some wonderful people. But most of it mine.
   >
   > I wrote all of that because backups were fun. It was pleasing to use
   > my own program to guarantee the safety of my own data. The technical
   > challenges of implmenting the kind of backup program I wanted were
   > interesting, and solving interesting problems is a big part of why
   > I am a programmer.
   >
   > Obnam has a kind user base. It's not a large user base: the Debian
   > "popularity contest" service estimates it at around 500. But it's a
   > user base that is kind and has treated me well. I have tried to
   > reciprocate.
   >
   > Unfortunately, I have not had fun while developing Obnam for some time
   > now. This has changed. A few years ago, I lived in Manchester, UK, and
   > commuted by train to work. It was a short train ride, about 15
   > minutes. At times I would sit on the floor with my laptop on my knees,
   > writing code or the manual. Back then Obnam was a lot of fun. I was
   > excited, and enthusiastic.
   >
   > In the past two years or so, I've not been able to feel that
   > excitement again. My native language, Finnish, has an expression
   > describing unpleasant tasks: something is as much fun as drinking tar.
   > That describes Obnam in recent years for me.
   >
   > Obnam has not turned out well, from a maintainability point of view.
   > It seems that every time I try to fix something, I break something
   > else. Usuaully what breaks is speed or memory use: Obnam gets slower
   > or starts using even more memory.
   >
   > For several years now I've been working on a new repository format for
   > Obnam, code names GREEN ALBATROSS. It was meant to solve Obnam's
   > problems as far as extensibility, performance, and resource use were
   > concerned. It seems to have failed.
   >
   > I'm afraid I've had enough. I'm going to retire Obnam as a project and
   > as a program, and move on to doing something else, so I can feel
   > excitement and pleasure again.
   >
   > After some careful thought, I fear that the maintainability problems
   > of Obnam can realistically only be solved by a complete rewrite from
   > scratch, and I'm not up to doing that.
   >
   > If you use Obnam, you should migrate to some other backup solution.
   > Don't worry, you have until the end of the year. I will be around and
   > I intend to fix any serious bugs in Obnam; in particular, security
   > flaws. But you should start looking for a replacement sooner rather
   > than later.
   >
   > I will be asking Obnam to be removed from the Debian unstable and
   > testing branches. The next Debian release (buster, Debian 10) won't
   > include Obnam.
   >
   > The Obnam mailing lists are kindly hosted by Daniel Silverstone, and
   > they will remain, but later this year I will change them to be
   > moderated. The Obnam git repository will remain. The web site will
   > remain, but I will add a note that Obnam is no longer maintained.
   > Other Obnam online resources may disappear.
   >
   > If you would like to take over the Obnam project, and try to resolve
   > the various issues, please contact me to discuss that.
   >
   > Thank you, and may you never need to restore.
   >
   > _______________________________________________
   > obnam-announce mailing list
   > obnam-announce@obnam.org
   > http://listmaster.pepperfish.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/
   > obnam-announce-obnam.org
   >
   >
From: Lars Kruse <lists@sumpfralle.de>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2017 23:21:58 +0200

   Hello Lars,
   
   it was a pleasure for me to follow the evolution of this project.
   Specifically I liked your approach of clear communication regarding the 
   amount and direction of work that you plan to put into this project. 
   Your dissolution of the project (skipping the dreadful hiatus of stagnation)
   also follows this culture of clear communication. I appreciate that and learned
   a good bit for myself.
   
   Thank you for your work.
   I wish you joyful upcoming projects! (if there are any)
   
   Cheers,
   Lars
From: Adrien <adrien@antipoul.fr>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:17:50 +0200

   Hi,
   
   This is indeed a difficult news to read, that must have been more 
   difficult to write.
   As all backup software, obnam cannot really be in the TOP 10 news, but 
   it was one of my most important program.
   I used to (and always do) a full system backup, and I did a complete 
   reinstallation of my home server from x86 to x86_64. Obnam brought me an 
   invaluable help in this risky task.
   
   I also had troubles with obnam. Repository corruption, mainly. Fixing 
   the repository was long, and it was usually faster to drop the existing 
   data, and starting from scratch.
   I moved not so long ago from obnam to borgbackup, but I was still 
   watching how obnam evolved, in the hope that it will come back with a 
   faster and safer algorithm. It did not, and I can totally understand why.
   
   Obnam introduced me to a whole new world of backup, which I'm still 
   sticking to, since borgbackup follows exactly the same design. I have to 
   thank all obnam developers, and especially Lars for that. Now, you will 
   have more time to focus on your other projects, and that will be as good 
   as obnam for the open source community.
   
   Have a nice developing time !
   
   Adrien
   
   _______________________________________________
   obnam-support mailing list
   obnam-support@obnam.org
   http://listmaster.pepperfish.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/obnam-support-obnam.org
From: Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:18:17 +0300

   On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 10:43:53PM +0200, SanskritFritz wrote:
   > Will you pull the code from your site as well?
   
   The Obnam code will stay on my git server.
From: Serge Victor <dr.serge@random.re>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:27:07 +0700

   Thanks for your attempt! Currently there are definitely better
   (compression rate), faster and more flexible GPL licensed backup
   solutions, this is why your decision to postpone the project is
   rational.
   
   Thanks,
   Serge
   
   _______________________________________________
   obnam-support mailing list
   obnam-support@obnam.org
   http://listmaster.pepperfish.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/obnam-support-obnam.org
From: SanskritFritz <sanskritfritz@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 09:50:47 +0200

   On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 8:18 AM, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
   
   > On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 10:43:53PM +0200, SanskritFritz wrote:
   > > Will you pull the code from your site as well?
   >
   > The Obnam code will stay on my git server.
   >
   >
   Thanks that is reassuring.
From: Jan Niggemann <jn@hz6.de>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:49:15 +0200

   Hello Lars,
   
   a lot has been already said, so let me just say:
   Thank you for your hard work creating and maintaining obnam!
   I like how you designed obnam and how you lead this project.
   
   May your next project be exciting and joyful.
   Thank you for letting me participate and learn!
   
   Jan
From: Juergen Nickelsen <ni@w21.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:59:57 +0200

   On 2017-08-13, at 22:43, SanskritFritz <sanskritfritz@gmail.com> wrote:
   
   > This is very sad news for me. [...]
   
   Sad news indeed! Obnam met my backup needs quite well, and I am not sure any other tool will do the same.
   
   Lars, you have every right to make that decision, and while we users are sorry to hear that, I appreciate very much that you are upfront with it instead of letting the project wither and slowly die. I sincerely wish that you indeed have more fun other other projects. So far, thanks a lot for obnam!
   
   Best Regards,
   Juergen.
From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:58:13 +0300

   On Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
   > The summary is that you
   > should switch to another backup program in the coming months.
   
   Thank you for your work on Obnam.
   
   On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   planning on using for your own data going forward?
From: Paul Waring <paul@xk7.net>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:13:01 +0100

   On 15/08/17 17:55, SanskritFritz wrote:
   > On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi 
   > <mailto:hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>> wrote:
   > 
   >     On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   >     recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   >     planning on using for your own data going forward?
   > 
   > 
   > There are basically two other backup programs that are similar to Obnam: 
   > Borgbackup (a fork of Attic) and Zbackup. Both use a rolling hash 
   > algorithm for chunking, a feature that was planned in Obnam.
   > Borgbackup is really similar to Obnam even features-wise. It is very 
   > actively developed.
   > Zbackup is more like stability oriented and simpler, hence more robust.
   > Try both. I don't know of any other chunking deduplicating free open 
   > source backup tool.
   
   I have not looked into the technical details but restic appears to have 
   a similar interface to borgbackup and obnam:
   
   https://restic.github.io/
   
   The downside I have found with borg is that it doesn't seem to have a 
   configuration file format, which means you have to supply all the 
   arguments on the command line each time.
From: Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:17:03 +0300

   On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 05:58:13PM +0300, Henri Sivonen wrote:
   > On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   > recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   > planning on using for your own data going forward?
   
   I'm reluctant to recommend anything, because I have so little
   experience with other software, and people's needs are so different,
   I'm afraid.
From: SanskritFritz <sanskritfritz@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:55:43 +0200

   On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi> wrote:
   
   > On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   > recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   > planning on using for your own data going forward?
   >
   >
   There are basically two other backup programs that are similar to Obnam:
   Borgbackup (a fork of Attic) and Zbackup. Both use a rolling hash algorithm
   for chunking, a feature that was planned in Obnam.
   Borgbackup is really similar to Obnam even features-wise. It is very
   actively developed.
   Zbackup is more like stability oriented and simpler, hence more robust.
   Try both. I don't know of any other chunking deduplicating free open source
   backup tool.
From: Sharon Kimble <boudiccas@skimble.plus.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:52:04 +0100

   Paul Waring <paul@xk7.net> writes:
   
   > On 15/08/17 17:55, SanskritFritz wrote:
   >> On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi
   >> <mailto:hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>> wrote:
   >>
   >>     On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   >>     recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   >>     planning on using for your own data going forward?
   >>
   >>
   >> There are basically two other backup programs that are similar to Obnam: Borgbackup (a fork of
   >> Attic) and Zbackup. Both use a rolling hash algorithm for chunking, a feature that was planned in
   >> Obnam.
   >> Borgbackup is really similar to Obnam even features-wise. It is very actively developed.
   >> Zbackup is more like stability oriented and simpler, hence more robust.
   >> Try both. I don't know of any other chunking deduplicating free open source backup tool.
   >
   > I have not looked into the technical details but restic appears to have a similar interface to
   > borgbackup and obnam:
   >
   > https://restic.github.io/
   >
   > The downside I have found with borg is that it doesn't seem to have a configuration file format,
   > which means you have to supply all the arguments on the command line
   > each time.
   
   Sorry Paul, you're incorrect.
   
   This page [1] shows an example script which then allows you to use cron
   for daily backups, and it seems to be working, although today is only
   day three of using borg.
   
   Using that script as a base I'm having a play and see if I can get it to
   do backups via cron for n-hours, perhaps every six hours, who knows! But
   its still just something that I'm tinkering with.
   
   Thanks
   Sharon.
   
   [1] https://borgbackup.readthedocs.io/en/stable/quickstart.html#automating-backups
From: Paul Waring <paul@xk7.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:36:30 +0100

   On 15/08/17 22:52, Sharon Kimble wrote:
   > Paul Waring <paul@xk7.net> writes:
   > 
   >> On 15/08/17 17:55, SanskritFritz wrote:
   >>> On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@hsivonen.fi
   >>> <mailto:hsivonen@hsivonen.fi>> wrote:
   >>>
   >>>      On the topic of switching to another backup program: Do you have a
   >>>      recommendation? Or, phrased another way, what backup solution are you
   >>>      planning on using for your own data going forward?
   >>>
   >>>
   >>> There are basically two other backup programs that are similar to Obnam: Borgbackup (a fork of
   >>> Attic) and Zbackup. Both use a rolling hash algorithm for chunking, a feature that was planned in
   >>> Obnam.
   >>> Borgbackup is really similar to Obnam even features-wise. It is very actively developed.
   >>> Zbackup is more like stability oriented and simpler, hence more robust.
   >>> Try both. I don't know of any other chunking deduplicating free open source backup tool.
   >>
   >> I have not looked into the technical details but restic appears to have a similar interface to
   >> borgbackup and obnam:
   >>
   >> https://restic.github.io/
   >>
   >> The downside I have found with borg is that it doesn't seem to have a configuration file format,
   >> which means you have to supply all the arguments on the command line
   >> each time.
   > 
   > Sorry Paul, you're incorrect.
   > 
   > This page [1] shows an example script which then allows you to use cron
   > for daily backups, and it seems to be working, although today is only
   > day three of using borg.
   
   Erm, that script demonstrates the point I was making - it is providing 
   all the arguments on the command line.
From: SanskritFritz <sanskritfritz@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:36:35 +0200

   On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 9:36 AM, Paul Waring <paul@xk7.net> wrote:
   
   >
   > Erm, that script demonstrates the point I was making - it is providing all
   > the arguments on the command line.
   >
   
   Borg uses environment variables:
   https://borgbackup.readthedocs.io/en/stable/usage.html#environment-variables
From: Adam Porter <adam@alphapapa.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:24:24 -0500

   Lars,
   
   I am very sad to hear this, but I understand your decision.  You have
   put an enormous amount of work into Obnam, and created a wonderful tool,
   but there are some problems that can't be solved perfectly without
   solving them, shall we say, suboptimally, first.  ;)  Such is the nature
   of cutting-edge software.
   
   Obnam is what it is because you put your heart into it, but if that's no
   longer the case, then it's time to move on.  I appreciate that you have
   made the decision, rather than letting the project exist in limbo with
   false hope.  Maybe someone else will carry it forward.
   
   As for the users, I think Obnam has helped inspire other tools that will
   carry on in spirit, if by another name.  I don't know if any of them
   will match Obnam's attention to detail, documentation, testing tools,
   etc., but we will make do.
   
   Today I've been experimenting with restic, and so far I am impressed.  A
   significant drawback is that it doesn't yet support compression (it's on
   their list), but it has impressive speed, and its expiration tools
   address one shortcoming of Obnam's implementation.  borg is another tool
   I plan to try out, as well as zbackup.
   
   I wonder if we should start some kind of "Obnam users support group."  I
   feel almost as if I've lost a trusted friend.  :)  But, as they say, all
   good things...
   
   I'm looking forward to seeing what projects you come up with in the
   future, Lars.  Thanks for Obnam.
   
   Adam
   
   
   
   
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From: Biltong <biltong@fastmail.fm>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:01:22 +0200

   Thanks for your hard work Lars. obnam is a great tool, and you have
   inspired other great tools.