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Cautions for running NetWorker daemons manually

Posted by Preston on 2009-06-25

(An alternate title for this entry might be, “Now that dbgcommand is available, make sure you use it”.)

The command dbgcommand, as previously discussed, has been recently added to the standard distributions for NetWorker (as of 7.5 and 7.4.4). This utility, in addition to a variety of other functions, is particularly useful at enabling an administrator to place one or more NetWorker daemons into debug mode without having to restart the services.

Recently we had an issue where a reasonably secured site experienced a variety of issues. To trace what was happening, NetWorker was placed into debug mode. As NetWorker had been stopped and it needed to be put into debug mode, the expedient option seemed to be to manually start nsrexecd, then manually run nsrd.exe -D3.

However, this had a side effect that was not quite anticipated. While the user account used to run nsrexecd and nsrd from had sufficient administrator priveleges to perform backups, email access was locked down sufficiently that the running user couldn’t send emails.

The result of course was that savegroup completion notifications, sent by nsrd running under the given user account were blocked. So were bootstrap notifications, for that matter.

The lesson? Now that dbgcommand is available, don’t mess around with manually running NetWorker in debug mode – make use of the tool that can do it all for you while preserving all other running options, including the account the services are run under.

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