Configuration

Configuration File Location

Benji will by default search the following locations for configuration files:

  • /etc/benji.yaml

  • /etc/benji/benji.yaml

  • ~/.benji.yaml

  • ~/benji.yaml

If multiple of these files exist, only the first file found is read.

In order to explicitly pass a configuration file, use the -c (or --configfile) parameter.

Top-level configuration directives

  • key: configurationVersion

  • type: string (integer is also accepted)

  • required

Currently this is always 1.

  • key: logFile

  • type: string

  • default: null

Benji will by default log INFO, WARNING and ERROR to this file. If you also need DEBUG information, please start Benji with --log-level DEBUG. Setting this to null disables logging to a file, this might be useful when running Benji inside a container.

  • key: blockSize

  • type: integer

  • unit: bytes

  • default: 4194304 (4MiB)

The block size can be changed on the command line on a version by version basis, but be aware that this will affect deduplication and increase the space usage. One possible use case for different block sizes would be backing up LVM volumes and Ceph images with the same Benji installation. While for Ceph 4MiB is usually the best size, LVM volume might profit from a smaller block size.

  • key: hashFunction

  • type: string

  • default: BLAKE2b,digest_bits=256

Hash function to use for calculating block checksums. There is normally no reason to change the default. Do not change this setting when backups already exist.

  • key: processName

  • type: string

  • default : benji

This name will be used to identify a specific instance of Benji in the process list and can be used to distinguish several parallel installations.

  • key: disallowRemoveWhenYounger

  • type: integer

  • default: 6

This settings disallows removal of backup versions if they are younger than the specified number of days. Set to 0 to disable, i.e. to be able to delete any backup version regardless of its age.

  • key: databaseEngine

  • type: string

  • required

See https://docs.sqlalchemy.org/en/latest/core/engines.html for options. Only PostgreSQL (dialect psycopg2) and SQLite 3 are tested with during development.

  • key: ios

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • required

List of I/O configurations. Backup sources are accessed via these configurations. They are also used as a destination during restore operations. See below.

  • key: storages

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • required

List of storage configurations used for storing backup versions. See below.

  • key: defaultStorage

  • type: string

  • required

Default storage for storing backup versions. Reference to a storage name.

  • key: transforms

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • default: empty list

List of data transformation configurations. See below.

  • key: nbd

  • type: dictionary

  • default: see below

Configuration options pertaining to Benji’s NBD server.

List of I/O Configurations

The list of I/O configurations (ios) is a list of dictionaries with the following keys:

  • key: name

  • type: string

  • default: none

This sets the name of this I/O configuration entry. It is used as the scheme in backup source or restore destination specifications.

  • key: module

  • type: string

  • default: none

Reference to a I/O module name. See below.

  • key: configuration

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • default: null

Module specific configuration for this I/O configuration entry.

List of Transform Configurations

The list of transform configuration (transforms) is a list of dictionaries with the following keys:

  • key: name

  • type: string

  • default: none

This sets the name of this transform configuration entry. It is referenced in the list of activeTransforms.

  • key: module

  • type: string

  • default: none

Reference to a transform module name. See below.

  • key: configuration

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • default: null

Module specific configuration for this transform configuration entry.

List of Storage Configurations

The list of storage configurations (storages) is a list of dictionaries with the following keys:

  • key: name

  • type: string

  • default: none

This sets the name of this storage configuration entry. It is referenced by the defaultStorage top-level configuration directive or it is specified on the command line.

  • key: module

  • type: string

  • default: none

Reference to a storage module name. See below.

  • key: storageId

  • type: integer

  • default: none

This sets the internal storage id for this storage configuration. It is no longer necessary to populate this configuration key as the storage id is now assigned automatically. This option only exists for backward compatibility with older configurations and should not be used in new configurations.

  • key: configuration

  • type: list of dictionaries

  • default: null

Module specific configuration for this storage configuration entry.

I/O Modules

  • name: simultaneousReads

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of reader threads when reading from a backup source. Also affects the internal read queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: simultaneousWrites

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of writer threads when restoring a version. Also affects the internal write queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

I/O Module file

The file I/O module supports the following configuration options:

  • name: simultaneousReads

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of reader threads when reading from a backup source. Also affects the internal read queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: simultaneousWrites

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of writer threads when restoring a version. Also affects the internal write queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

I/O Module rbd

The rbd I/O module requires that Ceph’s Python modules rados and rbd are installed. It supports the following configuration options:

  • name: simultaneousReads

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of reader threads when reading from a backup source. Also affects the internal read queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: simultaneousWrites

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of writer threads when restoring a version. Also affects the internal write queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: cephConfigFile

  • type: string

  • default: /etc/ceph/ceph.conf

Sets the path to the Ceph configuration file used by this I/O configuration.

  • name: clientIdentifier

  • type: string

  • default: admin

Sets the name of the client identifier used by this I/O configuration to access the Ceph RBD service.

  • name: newImageFeatures

  • type: list of strings

  • default: none, required

Valid values for this list are extracted from the installed Ceph RBD libraries. For recent version of Ceph this list of possible image features applies: RBD_FEATURE_LAYERING, RBD_FEATURE_EXCLUSIVE_LOCK, RBD_FEATURE_STRIPINGV2, RBD_FEATURE_OBJECT_MAP, RBD_FEATURE_FAST_DIFF, RBD_FEATURE_DEEP_FLATTEN.

I/O Module rbdaio

The rbdaio I/O module requires that Ceph’s Python modules rados and rbd are installed. The configuration options are identical to the rbd module but instead of using multiple threads the asynchronous I/O support of librbd is used to access the images and snapshots. This module is relatively new and has not seen much testing. Some non-methodical testing shows that the performance is about 10 to 20 percent better than the rbd module. It is planned that this module is going to replace the rbd module in the future.

I/O Module iscsi

This I/O module requires a special version of the libiscsi Python bindings available at https://github.com/elemental-lf/libiscsi-python. It currently has some limitations:

  • Single-threaded synchronous execution of iSCSI commands limiting achievable performance

  • No usage of GET_LBA_STATUS to detect unmapped regions

The following configuration options are supported:

  • name: username

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the CHAP username for iSCSI authentication and authorization. If this directive is not set, no authentication is attempted.

  • name: password

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the CHAP password for iSCSI authentication and authorization.

  • name: targetUsername

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the CHAP username for iSCSI target authentication. If this directive is not set, no authentication of the target is done.

  • name: targetPassword

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the CHAP password for iSCSI target authentication.

  • name: headerDigest

  • type: string

  • default: NONE_CRC32C

Sets the header digest order advertised during negotiation. Possible values are: NONE, NONE_CRC32C, CRC32C_NONE, and CRC32C.

  • name: initiatorName

  • type: string

  • default: iqn.2019-04.me.benji-backup:benji

Sets the initiator name.

  • name: timeout

  • type: string

  • default: 0 meaning unlimited

Sets the iSCSI timeout.

Transform Modules

The name given to a transform configuration is saved together with the data object to the storage. This means that you must be careful when changing the configuration after a transform has been used by a storage. For example you can’t just change the encryption key because you will lose access to all data objects already encrypted with the old key. But you can create a new encryption configuration with a new name and use it instead in the list of activeTransforms of your storage. All newly create data objects will then use this new transform. Old objects will still be encrypted with the old key but they can still be decrypted as long as the old encryption configuration is available under the old name. Key rollover is not yet implemented.

It is harmless to change the compression level. But this change will only affect newly create data objects.

Transform Module zstd

The zstd module supports the following configuration options:

  • name: level

  • type: integer

  • default: none, required

The compression level used for compressing blocks of data.

  • name: dictDataFile

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the path to a zstandard dictionary. This option has limited value in the context of Benji and shouldn’t be set.

Transform Module aes_256_gcm

This module encrypts each data block with its own randomly generated key by using AES-256 in GCM mode. The random key is then encrypted with a master key by using the key wrapping algorithm specified in RFC 3394 and then saved beside the data block.

The aes_256_gcm module supports the following configuration options:

  • name: kdfSalt

  • type: binary string encoded with BASE64

  • default: none

Sets the salt for the key derivation function.

  • name: kdfIterations

  • type: integer

  • default: none

Sets the number of iterations for the key derivation function.

  • name: password

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the password from which the master key is generated.

  • name: masterKey

  • type: binary string with a length of 32 bytes encoded with BASE64

  • default: none

Sets the master key used for encrypting the envelope keys. This key should have a high entropy. In most cases it is safer and easier to derive the key from a password.

The masterKey configuration directive is mutually exclusive to the other three directives.

When the masterKey directive is not set the master key is derived from the other three configuration directives by using PBKDF2 with SHA-512.

Regarding kdfSalt and kdfIterations: It is highly recommended to generate your own random salt and chose your own number of iterations. Don’t change the salt and iteration count after writing encrypted data objects, they cannot be decrypted anymore.

Storage Modules

All storage modules support the following configuration directives:

  • name: simultaneousReads

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of reader threads when reading from a storage. Also affects the internal read queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: simultaneousWrites

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of writer threads when writing to a storage. Also affects the internal write queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: simultaneousRemovals

  • type: integer

  • default: 1

Number of removal threads when removing blocks from a storage. Also affects the internal queue length. It is highly recommended to increase this number to increase this number to get better concurrency and performance.

  • name: bandwidthRead

  • type: integer

  • unit: bytes per second

  • default: 0

This limits the number of bytes read from the storage by second using a token bucket algorithm. A value of 0 disables this feature.

  • name: bandwidthWrite

  • type: integer

  • unit: bytes per second

  • default: 0

This limits the number of bytes written to the storage by second using a token bucket algorithm. A value of 0 disables this feature.

  • name: activeTransforms

  • type: list of strings

  • default: empty list

Sets a list of transform which are applied to each data object before it is written to the storage. The transformations are performed in order. In forward direction when writing data and in reverse direction when reading.

  • name: consistencyCheckWrites

  • type: bool

  • default: false

When this option is set to true then each write to the storage is followed by a read checking the data integrity of the written object data and metadata. This is intended to by used when developing new storage modules and should be disabled during normal use as it reduces the performance significantly.

HMAC

The metadata for each data object in a storage is written to a separate object accompanying it. This metadata as whole is not encrypted. To protect against metadata corruption or malicious manipulation an object’s metadata can be protected by a HMAC (Hash-based Message Authentication Code). Benji’s implementation conforms to RFC 2104 and uses SHA-256 as the hash algorithm.

  • name: hmac

  • type: dictionary

  • default: none

The hmac dictionary supports the following keys:

  • name: kdfSalt

  • type: binary string encoded with BASE64

  • default: none

Set ths salt for the key derivation function.

  • name: kdfIterations

  • type: integer

  • default: none

Sets the number of iterations for the key derivation function.

  • name: password

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the password from which the key is generated.

  • name: key

  • type: binary string encoded with BASE64

  • default: none

Sets the key used for seeding the hash function. In most cases it is safer and easier to derive the key from a password.

The key configuration directive is mutually exclusive to the other three directives.

When the key directive is not set the key is derived from the other three configuration directives by using PBKDF2 with SHA-512.

Read Cache

Benji supports a read cache for all storage modules. The read cache can be be beneficial when frequently restoring images that are mostly identical.

  • name: readCache

  • type: dictionary

  • default: none

The readCache dictionary supports the following keys:

  • name: directory

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the directory used by the cache.

  • name: maximumSize

  • type: integer

  • unit: bytes

  • default: none

Maximum size of the cache in bytes.

  • name: shards

  • type: integer

  • default: none

Sets the number of cache shards. Needs to be scaled together with simultaneousReads.

Storage Module file

The file storage module supports the following configuration options:

  • name: path

  • type: string

  • required

Sets the path to a directory where backup version data is stored.

Storage Module s3

  • name: awsAccessKeyId

  • type: string

  • one of awsAccessKeyId or awsAccessKeyIdFile required

Sets the access key id. This option and the awsAccessKeyIdFile option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: awsAccessKeyIdFile

  • type: string

  • one of awsAccessKeyId or awsAccessKeyIdFile required

Sets the access key id from a file. This option and the awsAccessKeyId option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: awsSecretAccessKey

  • type: string

  • one of awsSecretAccessKey or awsSecretAccessKeyFile required

Set the access key. This option and the awsSecretAccessKeyFile option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: awsSecretAccessKeyFile

  • type: string

  • one of awsSecretAccessKey or awsSecretAccessKeyFile required

Sets the access key from a file.This option and the awsSecretAccessKey option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: bucketName

  • type: string

  • required

Sets the bucket name.

  • name: regionName

  • type: string

  • default: from boto3 library, ignored if endpointUrl is specified

Sets the region of the bucket.

  • name: useSsl

  • type: bool

  • default: from boto3 library, ignored if endpointUrl is specified

If not set, the default of the underlying boto3 library is used. When this option is set to true then TLS is used to connect to the S3 API endpoint. When it is set to false HTTP is used.

  • name: endpointUrl

  • type: string

  • default: none

If not set, the default of the underlying boto3 library is used. This option sets the S3 API endpoint to use in URL format. If it is specified other options like regionName and useSsl are ignored by the underlying boto3 library. This needs to be set to https://storage.googleapis.com/ when connecting to a Google Storage bucket.

  • name: addressingStyle

  • type: string

  • default: none

If not set, the default of the underlying boto3 library is used. Valid values are path and host. This needs to be set to path when connecting to a Google Storage bucket.

  • name: signatureVersion

  • type: string

  • default: none

If not set, the default of the underlying boto3 library is used. Valid values are s3 for version 2 signatures and s3v4 for version 4 signatures.

  • name: disableEncodingType

  • type: bool

  • default: False

Some S3 compatible endpoints generate errors when an encoding type is set during some operations. Enabling this setting prevents this by not sending this HTTP header. This needs to be set to true when connecting to a Google Storage bucket.

Storage Module b2

  • name: accountId

  • type: string

  • one of accountId or accountIdFile required

Set the account id. This option and the accountIdFile option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: accountIdFile

  • type: string

  • one of accountId or accountIdFile required

Sets the account id from a file. This option and the accountId option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: applicationKey

  • type: string

  • one of applicationKey or applicationKeyFile required

Sets the application key. This option and the applicationKeyFile option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: applicationKeyFile

  • type: string

  • one of applicationKey or applicationKeyFile required

Sets the application key from a file. This option and the applicationKey option are mutually exclusive.

  • name: accountInfoFile

  • type: string

  • default: none

Sets the file for caching the authorization token. If unset, the b2 module will always authorize the user with the provided account id and application key. But the latter operation is rate limited by BackBlaze, so if Benji is invoked repeatably in a short time frame the login will fail. In this case configure this option to cache and use the authorization token in subsequent calls of Benji. The token will be renewed automatically when it expires.

  • name: bucketName

  • type: string

  • required

Sets the bucket name.

  • name: uploadAttempts

  • type: integer

  • default: 5

Sets the number of upload attempts made by the underlying b2 library.

  • name: writeObjectAttempts

  • type: integer

  • default: 3

Sometimes the b2 API shows transient errors during object writes. Benji will retry writes this number of times.

  • name: readObjectAttempts

  • type: integer

  • default: 3

Sometimes the b2 API shows transient errors during object reads. Benji will retry reads this number of times.

NBD

Configuration options pertaining to Benji’s NBD server are located under the top-level key nbd:

The only configuration option currently present in the nbd dictionary is:

  • name: directory

  • type: string

  • default: /tmp

Multiple Instance Installations

You can run Benji multiple times on different machines or in different containers simultaneously. The configurations will have to match. This is the responsibility of the user and isn’t checked by Benji! Be careful to shutdown all instances before making configuration changes that could affect other instances (like adding an encryption key).

Multiple instances open up the possibility to scale-out Benji for performance reasons, to put instances where the backup source data is or to have a dedicated instance for restores for example.

Locking between different instances is done via the database backend.