Freebsd CrashPlan backup folders outside /compat/linux solved

Well, at least I think I solved this…  there may be a better way, but on my system this worked. I am running PCBSD 9.1 still, just an FYI.

Checkout the original CrashPlan installation post here:

How to install Crashplan on FreeBSD

Ok, so here’s the main problem: CrashPlan installed on /compat/linux environment in FreeBSD is unable to see some system directories, in particular, the user home directories in /usr/home.

I have run into this for, well, years now! For me it was never an issue because my BSD system didn’t have any user content in /home.  Until now. I have lots of little development tests and things I am working on, so I now want to backup my /home folders.  Of course, CrashPlan won’t see those folders.  (WHY? I don’t really know, but if I had to guess, has something to do with either /compat/linux environment or maybe jails or maybe ZFS, or a combination of them all!)

THE FIX (for my system, this solved it and it worked!)

I used nullfs!  Using the “mount_nullfs” command to trick the system into viewing a read only file system in the underlying OS mounts.

1. WHILE NOT IN COMPAT LINUX, use normal “root” user in FreeBSD.

2. Create a directory under /compat/linux

mkdir /compat/linux/null_home

[Extra note] 2B. My user account had its own ZFS filesystem, so I needed a second directory!

mkdir /compat/linux/null_greg


3. Next mount using nullfs.

mount_nullfs /usr/home /compat/linux/null_home
mount_nullfs /usr/home/greg /compat/linux/null_greg

(remember, you may not need the second command if all your home folders are contained on one file system)


4. Open your CrashPlan and add the newly mounted directories!

I don’t have those set to auto mount, so they’ll need to be remounted on reboot again. (I’ll figure that out later!) But for now I can at least get my FreeBSD home folders backed up in CrashPlan!! Yay!