Backing up Extended Attributes Trustees Ownership Without SMS on Linux NSS Volumes

  • 7004335
  • 28-Aug-2009
  • 21-Jun-2019


Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) sp1
Open Enterprise Server 2015 (OES 2015) Linux
Open Enterprise Server 2015 (OES 2015) Linux Support Pack 1
Open Enterprise Server 2018 (OES 2018) Linux
Open Enterprise Server 2018 (OES 2018) Linux Support Pack 1


SMS is generally used when doing tape backups to preserve extended attributes such as trustees, file/directory ownership, etc. In Netware, SMS was required to preserve this information when backing up NSS and traditional volumes. In Suse linux, there is another way this can be done as not all linux based tape backup solutions are designed to work with SMS. There are 2 parameters that must be set in the nsscon utility that comes with linux.
nss /ListXattrNWMetadata 
nss /CtimeIsMetadataModTime
These parameters can be added to the /etc/opt/novell/nss/nssstart.cfg file as well. Make sure there are no typos or this could cause nss to fail to load. In the nssstart.cfg file the parameters would be set thus:


The ListXattrNWMetadata exposes an extended file attribute called  "netware.metadata". The tape backup utility has to be written to backup extended  attributes for this feature to work. A number of vendors have enhanced their backup utilities to back-up all extended attributes.  Here is the current list as of this writing:
Arcserve Brightstor
Simpana 8
Tivoli Storage Manager
Upstream Reservoir
Portlock Storage Manager
SEP Sesam
When the "netware.metadata" is restored, it will restore all guids assigned to the file including owner, modifier, etc.  For more information about extended attributes, look at the following man pages:
 man 5 attr 
 man 2 listxattr
 man 2 getxattr
 man 2 setxattr

If the back-up utility doesn't support extended attributes, then the  ListXattrNWMetadata won't work. The backup will then have to rely on SMS to preserve this information. It would be a good idea to check with the vendor of your tape backup software to make sure they support this. If you have any of the software mentioned in the above list, make sure you have the latest updates and versions. Some of the older versions may not support extended attributes. Check with the vendor to make sure you have a version of their software that does support the use of the ListXattrNWMetadata feature.