There are several entry points available for administrator to manage the configuration of Minarca. This section aims to outline those configurations and explain each option available and what it does.

Since version 4.0.0, Minarca configuration is more flexible. You may configure every option using the configuration file, command line argument or environment variable.

Take note that configuration options are distinct from the runtime setting, available from the web interface. The configuration options here usually meant to be static and set before starting the server. You may get the list of configuration options by calling minarca-server --help.

Note: If an option is specified in more than one place, the command line arguments override the environment variable, environment variables override config files, and config files override default value.

Configuration file

To use configuration files, you may call minarca-server with -f or --config to define the configuration file location. When not defined, Minarca loads all configuration files from these locations by default:

  • /etc/minarca/minarca-server.conf

  • /etc/minarca/conf.d/*.conf

Configuration file syntax must define a key and a value. The key is case-sensitive, and you may use underscore (_) or dash (-) seemlessly. All lines beginning with ‘#’ are comments and are intended for you to read. All other lines are configuration for Minarca.


# This is a comment

Environment variables

In addition to configuration files, you may pass environment variables. The options name must be uppercase and prefixed with RDIFFWEB_. As an example, if you want to change the port used to listen for HTTP request for 8081, you must define server-port option as follow.


Command line arguments

When launching minarca-server executable, you may pass as many arguments as you want on the command line. The options must be prefixed with double dash (--) and you must single dash (-) to separate words.

E.g. --server-port 8081 or --server-port=8081 are valid

Configure listening port and interface

For security reasons, Minarca listen on port 8080 for HTTP request on loopback interface ( by default. Consider configuring a reverse proxy like Nginx or Apache2 if you want to make Minarca listen on port 80 for HTTP and port 443 for HTTPS request.

Option Description Example
server-host Define the IP address to listen to. Use to listen on all interfaces. Use to listen on loopback interface.
server-port Define the port to listen for HTTP request. Default to 8080 9090

Configure administrator username & password

Using configuration file, you may setup a special administrator which cannot be deleted or renamed from the web interface. You may also configure a specific password for this user that cannot be updated from the web interface either.

In addition, you may also create other administrator users to manage Minarca.

Parameter Description Example
admin-user Define the name of the default admin user to be created admin
admin-password administrator encrypted password as SSHA. Read online documentation to know more about how to encrypt your password into SSHA or use When defined, administrator password cannot be updated using the web interface. When undefined, default administrator password is admin123 and it can be updated using the web interface. modification

Configure logging

Minarca can be configured to send logs to specific location. By default, logs are sent to /var/log/minarca folder.

Option Description Example
log-level Define the log level. ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG DEBUG
log-file Define the location of the log file. /var/log/minarca/access.log
log-access-file Define the location of the access log file. /var/log/minarca/server.log

In addition, minarca-shell and minarca-quota-api are also configure to sent log to the same folder.

Enable Debugging log

A specific option is also available if you want to enable the debugging log. We do not recommend to enable this option in production as it may leak information to the user whenever an exception is raised.

Option Description Example
debug enable debug mode - change the log level to DEBUG, print exception stack trace to the web interface and show SQL query in logs.
environment Define the type of environment: development or production. This is used to limit the information shown to the user when an error occurs. Default: production development

Configure database

Minarca use SQL database to store user preferences. The embedded SQLite database is well suited for small deployment (1-100 users). If you intended to have a large deployment, you must consider using a PostgreSQL database instead.

Option Description Example
database-uri Location of the database used for persistence. SQLite and PostgreSQL database are supported officially. To use a SQLite database, you may define the location using a file path or a URI. e.g.: /srv/minarca/file.db or sqlite:///srv/minarca/file.db. To use PostgreSQL server, you must provide a URI similar to postgresql://user:pass@ and you must install required dependencies. By default, Minarca uses a SQLite embedded database located at /etc/minarca/rdw.db. postgresql://user:pass@


To use embedded SQLite database, pass the option database-uri with a URI similar to sqlite:///etc/minarca/rdw.db or /etc/minarca/rdw.db.


To use an external PostgreSQL database, pass the option database-uri with a URI similar to postgresql://user:pass@

You may need to install additional dependencies to connect to PostgreSQL. Step to install dependencies might differ according to the way you installed Minarca.

Using Debian repository:

apt install python3-psycopg2

Using Pypi repository:

pip install psycopg2-binary

Configure LDAP Authentication

Minarca may integrates with LDAP server to support user authentication.

This integration works with most LDAP-compliant servers, including:

  • Microsoft Active Directory

  • Apple Open Directory

  • Open LDAP

  • 389 Server

LDAP options

Option Description Example
ldap-add-missing-user True to create users from LDAP when the credential is valid. True
ldap-add-user-default-role Role to be used when creating a new user from LDAP. Default: user maintainer
ldap-add-user-default-userroot Userroot to be used when creating a new user from LDAP. Default: empty /backups/{cn[0]}
ldap-allow-password-change true to allow LDAP users to update their password using Minarca web interface. This option should only be enabled if the LDAP if confiugred to allow the user to change their own password. Default to false. true
ldap-base-dn The DN of the branch of the directory where all searches should start from. dc=my,dc=domain
ldap-bind-dn An optional DN used to bind to the server when searching for entries. If not provided, will use an anonymous bind. cn=manager,dc=my,dc=domain
ldap-bind-password A bind password to use in conjunction with LdapBindDn. Note that the bind password is probably sensitive data,and should be properly protected. You should only use the LdapBindDn and LdapBindPassword if you absolutely need them to search the directory. mypassword
ldap-check-shadow-expire enable validation of shadow expired when validating user's credential. User will not be allowed to login if the account expired. true
ldap-encoding encoding used by your LDAP server. Default to utf-8 cp1252
ldap-filter A valid LDAP search filter. If not provided, defaults to (objectClass=*), which will search for all objects in the tree. (objectClass=*)
ldap-group-attribute-is-dn True if the content of the attribute ldap-group-attribute is a DN. true
ldap-group-attribute name of the attribute defining the groups of which the user is a member. Should be used with ldap-required-group and ldap-group-attribute-is-dn. member
ldap-network-timeout Optional timeout value. Default to 10 sec. 10
ldap-protocol-version Version of LDAP in use either 2 or 3. Default to 3. 3
ldap-required-group name of the group of which the user must be a member to access Minarca. Should be used with ldap-group-attribute and ldap-group-attribute-is-dn. minarca
ldap-scope The scope of the search. Can be either base, onelevel or subtree. Default to subtree. onelevel
ldap-timeout Optional timeout value. Default to 300 sec. 300
ldap-tls true to enable TLS. Default to false false
ldap-uri URIs containing only the schema, the host, and the port. ldap://localhost:389
ldap-username-attribute The attribute to search username. If no attributes are provided, the default is to use uid. It's a good idea to choose an attribute that will be unique across all entries in the subtree you will be using. cn
ldap-version version of LDAP in use either 2 or 3. Default to 3. 3

Automatically create user in Minarca

If you have a large number of users in your LDAP, you may want to configure Minarca to automatically create user in database that has valid LDAP credentials. The user will get created on first valid login.

You may optionally pass other options like ldap-add-user-default-role and ldap-add-user-default-userroot to automatically define the default user role and default user root for any new user created from LDAP.

Here a working configuration:


Restrict access to a specific LDAP group

If you are making use of LDAP credentials validation, you will usually want to limit the access to member of a specific LDAP group. Minarca support such scenario with the use of ldap-required-group, ldap-group-attribute and ldap-group-attribute-is-dn.

Here is an example of how you may limit Minarca access to members of Admin_Backup group. This configuration is known to work with LDAP PosixAccount and PosixGroup.


Configure email notifications

You may configure Minarca to send an email notification to the users when their backups did not complete successfully for a period of time. When enabled, Minarca will also send email notification for security reason when user’s password is changed.

Option Description Example
email-encryption Type of encryption to be used when establishing communication with SMTP server. Available values: none, ssl and starttls starttls
email-host SMTP server used to send email in the form host:port. If the port is not provided, default to standard port 25 or 465 is used.
email-sender email addres used for the From: field when sending email. Minarca
email-notification-time time when the email notification should be sent for inactive backups. 22:00
email-username username used for authentication with the SMTP server.
email-password password used for authentication with the SMTP server. CHANGEME
email-send-changed-notification True to send notification when sensitive information get change in user profile. Default: false True

To configure the notification, you need a valid SMTP server. In this example, you are making use of a Gmail account to send emails.

Note: notifications are not sent if the user doesn’t have an email configured in his profile.

Configure user quota

Since v2.1, it’s now possible to customize how user quota is controller for your system without a custom plugin. By defining quota-set-cmd, quota-get-cmd and QuotaUsedCmd configuration options, you have all the flexibility to manage the quota the way you want by providing custom command line to be executed to respectively set the quota, get the quota and get quota usage.

Option Description Example
quota-set-cmd Command line to set the user's quota. Yes. If you want to allow administrators to set quota from the web interface.
quota-get-cmd Command line to get the user's quota. Should print the size in bytes to console. No. Default behaviour gets quota using operating system statvfs that should be good if you are using setquota, getquota, etc. For ZFS and other more exotic file system, you may need to define this command.
quota-used-cmd Command line to get the quota usage. Should print the size in bytes to console. No.

When Minarca calls the scripts, special environment variables are available. You should make use of this variables in a custom script to get and set the disk quota.

  • RDIFFWEB_USERID: rdiffweb user id. e.g.: 34

  • RDIFFWEB_USERNAME: rdiffweb username. e.g.: patrik

  • RDIFFWEB_USERROOT: user’s root directory. e.g.: /backups/patrik/

  • RDIFFWEB_ROLE: user’s role e.g.: 10 1:Admin, 5:Maintainer, 10:User

  • RDIFFWEB_QUOTA: only available for quota-set-cmd. Define the new quota value in bytes. e.g.: 549755813888 (0.5 TiB)

Continue reading about how to configure quotas for EXT4. We generally recommend making use of project quotas with Minarca to simplify the management of permission and avoid running Minarca with root privileges. The next section presents how to configure project quota. Keep in mind it’s also possible to configure quota using either user’s quota or project quota.

Configure user quota for EXT4

This section is not a full documentation about how to configure ext4 project quota, but provide enough guidance to help you.

  1. Enabled project quota feature
    You must enable project quota feature for the EXT4 partition where your backup resides using:
    tune2fs -O project -Q prjquota /dev/sdaX
    The file system must be unmounted to change this setting and may require you to boot your system with a live-cd if your backups reside on root file system (/).
    Also, add prjquota options to your mount point configuration /etc/fstab. Something like /dev/sdaX   /   ext4    errors=remount-ro,prjquota     0    1

  2. Turn on the project quota after reboot
    quotaon -Pv -F vfsv1 /

  3. Check if the quota is working
    repquota -Ps /

  4. Add +P attribute on directory you which to control quota
    chattr -R +P /backups/admin

  5. Then set the project id on directories
    chattr -R -p 1 /backups/admin where 1 is the Minarca user’s id

Next, you may configure Minarca quota command line for your need. For EXT4 project quotas, you only need to define quota-set-cmd with something similar to the following. quota-get-cmd and quota-used-cmd should not be required with EXT4 quota management.

quota-set-cmd=setquota -P $RDIFFWEB_USERID $((RDIFFWEB_QUOTA / 1024)) $((RDIFFWEB_QUOTA / 1024)) 0 0 /

This effectively, makes use of Minarca user’s id as project id.

Configure user quota for ZFS

This section is not a full documentation about how to configure ZFS project quotas, but provide enough guidance to help you. This documentation uses tank/backups as the dataset to store Minarca backups.

  1. Quota feature is a relatively new feature for ZFS On Linux. Check your operating system to verify if your ZFS version support it. You may need to upgrade your pool and dataset using:

    zpool upgrade tank zfs upgrade tank/backups

  2. Add +P attribute on directory you which to control quota
    chattr -R +P /backups/admin chattr -R -p 1 /backups/admin OR zfs project -p 1 -rs /backups/admin Where 1 is the Minarca user’s id

Take note, it’s better to enable project quota attributes when the repositories are empty.

Configure user’s session persistence.

Minarca could be configured to persist the user’s session information either in memory or on disk. When the user’s session persists in memory, all user’s session get reset if the web server restart. If you want to persist the user’s session even if the web server gets restarted, you may persist them on disk with session-dir option.

Option Description Example
session-dir location where to store user session information. When undefined, the user sessions are kept in memory. /var/lib/minarca/session

Configure Minarca appearance

A number of options are available to customize the appearance of Minarca to your need. Most likely, you will want to make it closer to your business brand.

Option Description Example
header-name Define the application name displayed in the title bar and header menu. My Backup
default-theme Define the theme. Either: default, blue or orange. orange
welcome-msg Replace the headline displayed in the login page. It may contains HTML. Custom message displayed on login page.
favicon Define the FavIcon to be displayed in the browser title /etc/minarca/my-fav.ico

Configure repositories clean-up job

Using the web interface, users may configure a retention period on individual repository to keep only a fixed number of days in backup. This is useful to control the growth of a repository disk usage.

To support this feature, Minarca schedule a job to clean-up the repositories in backup. This job is ran once a day. You may change the default time when this schedule job is running by defining another value for option remove-older-time.

Parameter Description Example
remove-older-time Time when to execute the remove older task 22:00

Configure temporary folder location

To restore file or folder, Minarca needs a temporary directory to create the file to be downloaded. By default, Minarca will use your default temporary folder defined using environment variable TMPDIR, TEMP or TMP. If none of these environment variables are defined, Minarca fallback to use /tmp.

If you want to enforce a different location for the temporary directory, you may define the option tempdir with a different value. Take note, this directory must be created with the right ownership and permissions to allow Minarca to use it. Also make sure enough disk space is available. Usually, a 32GiB is enough.

Parameter Description Example
tempdir alternate temporary folder to be used when restoring files. Might be useful if the default location has limited disk space /tmp/minarca/

Configure repository lookup depthness.

When defining the UserRoot value for a user, Minarca will scan the content of this directory recursively to lookups for rdiff-backup repositories. For performance reason, Minarca limits the recursiveness to 5 subdirectories. This default value should suit most use cases. If you have a particular use case, it’s possible to allow Minarca to scan for more subdirectories by defining a greater value for the option max-depth. Make sure to pick a reasonable value for your use case as it may impact the performance.

Parameter Description Example
--max-depth Define the maximum folder depthness to search into the user's root directory to find repositories. This is commonly used if your repositories are organised with multiple sub-folders. Default: 5 10

Configure Minarca’s help

It’s also possible to customized how the users are reaching your company by defining a custom web page. By defining this option, users needing your help from the Minarca client application will be redirect to this page instead of the default Minarca web site.

Parameter Description Example
minarca-help-url Define URL where to redirect users

Quota Management

Minarca provide user based quota management. This allow you to define fixed amount of disk space for each user. If a user backup reach the quota, the backup will fail.

This feature might be used by service provider to define the maximum disk space allocated to a user based on the price of the service.

Default implementation of users quota support only ZFS storage. But you may customize this to fit your file system and deployment by configure the command line to be executed.

First, install minarca-quota-api on the storage server. This might be the same server as Minarca Web Server or a different one depending on your setup.

In Minarca web server configuration file /etc/minarca/minarca-server.conf, you must define the location of the quota API service to be used to set and fetch the disk usage.

Parameter Description Example
minarca-quota-api-url URL to access minarca-quota-api service either. http://minarca:secret@localhost:8081/

Advance Minarca Configuration

Minarca automatically configure where user’s backups get stored. You may customize this by using the following settings. Unless you know what you are doing it’s not recommanded to change any of these settings.

Parameter Description Example
minarca-user-setup-dir-mode Permission to be set on the user's folder created by Minarca. (Default: 0700) 448 (equals to 0700)
minarca-user-base-dir Folder where users repositories should be created. You may need to change this value if you already have your repositories created in a different location or if you are migrating from rdiffweb. Otherwise it's recommended to keep the default value. (Default: /backups/) /backups/
minarca-restricted-to-based-dir Used to enforce security by limiting the user's home directories to inside UserBaseDir. It's highly recommended to keep this feature enabled. (Default: True) True
minarca-shell Location of minarca-shell used to limit SSH server access. (Default: /opt/minarca-server/bin/minarca-shell) /opt/minarca-server/bin/minarca-shell
minarca-auth-options Default SSH auth options. This is used to limit the user's permission on the SSH Server, effectively disabling X11 forwarding, port forwarding and PTY. default='no-port-forwarding,no-X11-forwarding,no-agent-forwarding,no-pty'
minarca-remote-host URL defining the remote SSH identity. This value is queried by Minarca Client to link and back up to the server. If not provided, the HTTP URL is used as a base. You may need to change this value if the SSH server is accessible using a different IP address or if not running on port 22.
minarca-remote-host-identity Location of SSH server identity. This value is queried by Minarca Client to authenticate the server. You may need to change this value if SSH service and the Web service are not running on the same server. (Default: /etc/ssh) /etc/ssh