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Basics – Remote Control

Posted by Preston on 2009-03-03

I learned this technique several years ago before NetWorker supported running an nsrjb command from the backup server to manipulate a jukebox on a storage node. (Previously it had required that actual nsrjb commands, when run from the command line, be run from the owner of the jukebox.)

While you don’t need it any more to control remote jukeboxes, it can still be useful to know how to do remote control operations in NetWorker – particularly if you’re say, debugging backups on a client but you don’t have console access to that client.

Note that this only applies to commands that obey the following restrictions:

  • Name starts with “nsr” or “save”
  • Resides in the same directory as the “save” command on the client.

Thus, this isn’t about remote hijacking of a NetWorker client. Such commands can only be executed by an authorised administrator on the backup server as specified in the nsr/servers file. Before you (quite rightly) point out that it would mean that a valid NetWorker administrator could in fact hijack a client by say, doing a directed recovery out to that client of an appropriately named file, they can do that already – that’s part of the trust relationship of the NetWorker administrator anyway.

So, with all those caveats out of the way, it’s remarkably simple. Going from a Unix host, you do the following:

# export RUSER=<user>
# export RCMD=<cmd>
# nsrexec -c <client>


  • user will typically be “root” or “administrator”, depending on whether your backup server is Unix or Windows.
  • cmd will be a NetWorker command you want executed.
  • clientName is the name of the client the command is to be executed from.

For instance, say I’ve got a NetWorker server called “nox”, and a client called “asgard” that I don’t have administrative login to, but I want to simulate a backup without firing up a savegroup. To do so, I could do the following:

# export RUSER=root
# export RCMD="save -e tomorrow -b Default -LL -q -s nox /tmp"
# nsrexec -c asgard
save: /tmp  36 MB 00:00:05     38 files
completed savetime=1235278395

Admittedly this is not a technique you should need to know often, but it’s useful to know about.

* You do populate your nsr/servers file, don’t you? If you don’t, go do it NOW. I mean it, stop what you’re doing, go and fix up the nsr/servers file on every client in your environment!


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