Running HashBackup on FreeBSD

As of april 2024, developer Jim Wilcoxson of HashBackup sadly decided to stop making available a FreeBSD version of his great software. This suddenly left me with no operational backup system for the servers I administer, or rather, it left me with a big worry.

After emailing him, Jim suggested I try running the Linux version on my FreeBSD servers. It had been a while since I needed Linux support on them, so I dug around a bit to find out how to do it again. It turned out to be pretty simple, and HashBackup seems to run fine again.

Here are the steps (tested on FreeBSD 13.3-RELEASE) to get Linux binary compatibility going, needed to run HashBackup:

  1. enable Linux compatibility: # sysrc linux_enable=”YES”
  2. keep the system as clean as possible: # sysrc linux_mounts_enable=”NO”
  3. install a base Linux system (this one is small and CentOS based): # pkg install linux_base-c7
  4. fire it up: # service linux start
  5. get the HashBackup binary: # fetch
  6. unpack it: # tar xvzf hb-linux-64bit.tar.gz

That’s it! If you were already using HashBackup, don’t forget to replace the old hb binary with the new one you downloaded just now.