#1 2019-03-11 12:22:22

nle
Member
Registered: 2017-08-28
Posts: 9

Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

./xsibackup: line 1: arithmetic syntax error

When running:

./xsibackup --backup-prog=Vmkfstools --backup-point="/vmfs/volumes/XXX" --backup-type=auto --backup-how=Hot --backup-room=200 --mail-from="esxi@domain.com" --mail-to="user@domain.com" --smtp-srv=smtp.gmail.com --smtp-port=465 --smtp-sec=TLS --smtp-usr=esxi@domain.com --smtp-pwd=XXX --test-mode=true
###############################################################################
#
#  (c) XSIBACKUP-FREE 11.0.1 | Backup for (c) VMWARE ESXi Hypervisor by 33hops.com
#
###################################################################################

NOTICE: (c) XSIBackup kills any user launched jobs, make sure you don't overlap manual jobs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTICE: (c) XSIBackup-Pro 11.2.3 is available to download
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
XSIBackup PID:           220580                                                            esxi
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:15:32 +0000                               IPv4: 192.168.XXX.XXX/255.255.255.0
VMware ESXi 6.5.0 build-8294253                              (c) Rsync 3.1.0 as opt. dependency
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Backup Id:              unknown                 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU         960  @ 3.20GHz
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Alert: crontab is not installed for user root
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ADVICE: no SSD disks, please consider adding an SSD cache disk to improve performance
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Backup user is: root
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Backup program is: vmkfstools
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--backup-point found at /vmfs/volumes/01848b5c-d57c247a/ESXi/ESXi-Backup (filesystem: )
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The backup room has been limited to 200 gb.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Getting list of all VMs...
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2      napp-it (OmniOS)                  [OS1] napp-it-14b/napp-it-14b.vmx                                     solaris11_64Guest   vmx-08
3      server (Ubuntu LTS)             [OS2] server (Ubuntu LTS)/server (Ubuntu LTS).vmx                       ubuntu64Guest       vmx-10  
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VMs to backup:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2      napp-it (OmniOS)                  [OS1] napp-it-14b/napp-it-14b.vmx                                     solaris11_64Guest   vmx-08
3      server (Ubuntu LTS)             [OS2] server (Ubuntu LTS)/server (Ubuntu LTS).vmx                       ubuntu64Guest       vmx-10  
Error: skipping, not able to retrieve VM information
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Needed room: 43 Gb.
Sparse size: 43 Gb.
Available room: 200 Gb.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[napp-it (OmniOS)] Starting backup (size is 40960M on 40960M file)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
XSIBackup will backup your VMs while they are running and will quiesce guest services too, so that users
can continue to use the VM while the backup is taking place. You can also run cold and warm --backup-how
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hot backup selected for VM: [napp-it (OmniOS)], will not be switched off
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[napp-it (OmniOS)] info: boot partition is MBR
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Test mode activated VMs will not be cloned, please remove --test-mode=true to allow backups
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
./xsibackup: line 1: arithmetic syntax error

It happens regardless if I use custom backup and enter in the names of the VMs manually.

I'm pretty sure this is due to the spacing in the VM names (and/or directory), and I've been able to correct this by renaming the VMs on another install.

I wonder if there is a way to bypass this behavior, and keep the spacing? It's a rather tedious process to rename VMs, so I would rather not if I don't have to.

Last edited by nle (2019-03-11 12:23:06)

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#2 2019-03-12 10:17:44

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,367

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

You can't use parenthesis or any other special character in the VM names nor paths, it's in big red letters at the beggining of the Man Page: https://33hops.com/xsibackup-help-man-page.html

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#3 2019-03-12 11:21:17

nle
Member
Registered: 2017-08-28
Posts: 9

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

Thanks.

It did work on an earlier version (on ESXi 5.5) with the same VM names, and I saw a post about spacing earlier on this new version, so I was hoping it had a workaround.

You probably know this better than me, isn't it possible to "sanitize" inputs? So special chars can live within strings without breaking anything?

Last edited by nle (2019-03-12 11:21:56)

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#4 2019-03-12 13:23:11

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,367

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

We could program something to handle special characters in paths and VM names, but what is the point in using them?

There's some indeniable will from our part to force our users to be reasonable in regards to naming conventions.

Virtualization is not using some office suite. It has a deep technical sense, when you handle VMs you are moving at a level way below the user layer, you can't think as a user in regards to naming. It's not just something about XSIBackup, there are many situations in which you can be shooting your feet if you use complicated or twisted names in VMs and paths.

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#5 2019-03-12 13:35:55

nle
Member
Registered: 2017-08-28
Posts: 9

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

That is probably true. But I'm not sure if that helps you adopt users – since it's a little bit messy/risky to rename VMs, and they potentially would look on other solutions (on the other hand those users are probably free users like me).

Anyhow this is for a ESXi "homelab", so it's more a hobby than anything. And when I created the VMs a few years ago, I did not think about it that way. I would probably not use that sort of naming today.

To be honest, I expected that ESXi would sanitize the name in the backend of things, and let me use the name that I want in the frontend. At least in my use case it's felt pretty handy to be able to name it with "hostname (OS)" in the ESXi interface.

Anyways, I appreciate the work you guys do. smile

Last edited by nle (2019-03-12 13:38:10)

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#6 2019-03-12 14:07:00

admin
Administrator
Registered: 2017-04-21
Posts: 1,367

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

We want sysadmins as users, people willing to have control on the environment they manage and looking for a tool that allows them to increase their level of control by allowing backup and syncronization of VMs.

It's not risky at all to arrange VM names and paths, it's just a 5 min operation with zero risk. When you move VMs around or convert them using third party tools, this tools may: create complicated names and paths, misalign your resulting disks in regards to the VMFS block size, etc...

By ignoring those key facts, you are leaving the door open for chaos. Big problems are rarely a one cause issue, but a coalesce of different circumstances that previously passed inadverted.

Thank you for your support

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#7 2019-03-12 20:36:42

nle
Member
Registered: 2017-08-28
Posts: 9

Re: Space in VM name (and directory) breaks XSIBackup

Yes, I've done it once before following VMWare's Knowledge Article

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