Python Plugin API

A special case of the Bareos Plugins are the Python Plugins. The Python plugins create a connection between the Bareos Plugin API and the Python programming language. With the Python plugins, it is possible to implement Bareos Plugins by writing Python code.

For each daemon there exists a Daemon Python Plugin which is a plugin implementing the C API for Bareos plugins, see python-fd Plugin, python-sd Plugin and python-dir Plugin.

This Python plugin can be configured via the usual plugin configuration mechanism which python files to load. The python files then implement the plugin functionality.

Description of the Bareos Python plugin API for Bareos >= 20

For Bareos Version >= 20, the Bareos Python API was refactored and adapted to support both Python version 2 and Python version 3.

For Bareos Version >= 23, the support for Python version 2 (end-of-live since January 1, 2020) was removed.

The following plugins now exist:

Bareos Python plugins

Python Version

Python 3

Bareos File Daemon


Bareos Storage Daemon


Bareos Director


The functionality of the former internal Python extension module is now implemented as real Python extension module with the name bareos[fd|sd|dir], for example bareosfd. Every Python plugin now has a corresponding Python extension module.

package "Bareos Daemon" {

package "Daemon Python Plugin (shared library)" {
[Python Interpreter]

package "Python Extension Module (shared object)" {
[Python Extension Module]

package "Python Plugin Scripts" {
[Python Plugin Files]

[Core] <-> [Python Interpreter] : Bareos Plugin API

[Python Interpreter] <-> [Python Extension Module] :  load and use
[Python Extension Module] <-> [Python Plugin Files] : Python Plugin API

Bareos Python Plugin Architecture for Bareos >= 20

The Python plugin creates a Python interpreter with Python 3 which then loads the corresponding Python extension module. Afterwards the interpreter loads the Python script configured in the Plugin fileset setting and executes it.

As the Python extension module for the Python Plugin is now available outside of the Daemon Python Plugin. It is now a real stand-alone Python extension module implemented in C which can be loaded and tested independently.

Definitions required for the Python plugin callbacks into the Bareos core are now compiled into the bareos[fd|sd|dir] Python extension module, and the Python files containing the constant definitions have been removed.

To access these values, every Python plugin imports the corresponding Python extension module and can access the variables immediately.

bareosfd: accessing compiled-in constants:
import bareosfd
return bareos_fd.bRC_OK

The dictionaries used before still exist, but every value that was stored in the dictionaries before is also available directly in the bareosfd namespace. To see what is available in the plugin you can import the python extension module and use the dir() function:

bareosfd: show constants
import bareosfd
['AcceptFile', 'AclPacket', 'AddExclude', 'AddInclude', 'AddOptions',
'AddRegex', 'AddWild', 'CF_CORE', 'CF_CREATED', 'CF_ERROR', 'CF_EXTRACT',
'CF_SKIP', 'CheckChanges', 'ClearSeenBitmap', 'DebugMessage', 'FT_BASE',
'FT_RESTORE_FIRST', 'FT_SPEC', 'GetInstanceCount', 'GetValue', 'IO_CLOSE',
'IO_OPEN', 'IO_READ', 'IO_SEEK', 'IO_WRITE', 'IoPacket', 'JobMessage',
'M_TERM', 'M_VOLMGMT', 'M_WARNING', 'NewInclude', 'NewOptions',
'NewPreInclude', 'RegisterEvents', 'RestoreObject', 'RestorePacket',
'SavePacket', 'SetSeenBitmap', 'SetValue', 'StatPacket', 'UnRegisterEvents',
'XattrPacket', '_C_API', '__doc__', '__file__', '__loader__', '__name__',
'__package__', '__spec__', 'bCFs', 'bEventBackupCommand',
'bEventCancelCommand', 'bEventEndBackupJob', 'bEventEndFileSet',
'bEventEndRestoreJob', 'bEventEndVerifyJob', 'bEventEstimateCommand',
'bEventHandleBackupFile', 'bEventJobEnd', 'bEventJobStart', 'bEventLevel',
'bEventNewPluginOptions', 'bEventOptionPlugin', 'bEventPluginCommand',
'bEventRestoreCommand', 'bEventRestoreObject', 'bEventSince',
'bEventStartBackupJob', 'bEventStartRestoreJob', 'bEventStartVerifyJob',
'bEventType', 'bEventVssBackupAddComponents', 'bEventVssBackupComplete',
'bEventVssCloseRestore', 'bEventVssCreateSnapshots',
'bEventVssInitializeForBackup', 'bEventVssInitializeForRestore',
'bEventVssPrepareForBackup', 'bEventVssPrepareSnapshot',
'bEventVssRestoreSetComponentsSelected', 'bEventVssSetBackupState',
'bFileType', 'bIOPS', 'bJobMessageType', 'bLevels', 'bRC_Cancel',
'bRC_Core', 'bRC_Error', 'bRC_More', 'bRC_OK', 'bRC_Seen', 'bRC_Skip',
'bRC_Stop', 'bRC_Term', 'bRCs', 'bVarAccurate', 'bVarClient',
'bVarDistName', 'bVarExePath', 'bVarFDName', 'bVarFileSeen', 'bVarJobId',
'bVarJobName', 'bVarJobStatus', 'bVarLevel', 'bVarPrefixLinks',
'bVarPrevJobName', 'bVarRegexWhere', 'bVarSinceTime', 'bVarType',
'bVarVersion', 'bVarVssClient', 'bVarWhere', 'bVarWorkingDir', 'bVariable']

During the restructuring of the plugin API it became clear that the context that was always transferred between the core and the Python Plugin and back was unnecessary, so it was completely removed from the API.

The members of the bareosfd.stat_pkt type have been renamed with the st_ prefix to match with the member names of Pythons’ os.stat_result.

Direct I/O option in Python plugin API for Bareos >= 22

The Bareos Plugin API calls the plugin also to do the I/O (read and write) of the data being backed up. The read operation during backup and the write operation during restore are the API calls that are by far most frequently called of all API calls.

The standard way of operation is that the API calls the plugin_io() function provided by the python plugin which reads the data from the source and passes this data back to the Bareos core as bytearray on backup gets the data back in a bytearray from the core to write it back during restore. While this procedure implements the full Bareos plugin logic, it is not very efficient as the data needs to be moved between the python interpreter and the Bareos core and can slow down performance of backups and restores significantly.

The solution to this problem is doing the I/O operation directly in the core.

If the python plugin is able to provide a valid filedescriptor to the plugin core, the I/O operation now can be done by the Bareos core itself by directly reading from/writing to the provided filedescriptor instead of calling the plugin_io() function every time. Doing so, the overall backup performance of file backups through the python plugin interface reaches the same speed as a native file backup without plugin involved.

To adapt an existing plugin for doing direct I/O, the plugin in the function plugin_io_open() needs to set IOP.status to bareosfd.iostat_do_in_core and the filedes needs to be set to the valid filedescriptor in the IoPacket. To let the plugin do the I/O, just set IOP.status to bareosfd.iostat_do_in_plugin:

enable direct I/O in python plugins
         if I_want_io_in_core:
             # do io in core
             IOP.filedes = self.file.fileno()
             IOP.status =  bareosfd.iostat_do_in_core
             #  do io in plugin
             IOP.status = bareosfd.iostat_do_in_plugin

Using large lists may cause performance issues

Using large lists in Python can have a significant performance impact as it incurs O(n) memory movement costs for pop(0) and insert(0, v) operations. Plugins which use large lists should use collections.deque instead as its popleft() and appendleft() functions perform well. If possible it is even better to use a generator to also decrease the memory footprint.

For more details see Python collections.deque documentation <>

Description of the Bareos Python plugin API for Bareos < 20

In Bareos < 20, the Bareos Python plugin API consists of a Bareos daemon plugin (python-fd, python-sd, python-dir). These plugins are shared objects that are loaded by the corresponding daemon during startup.

package "Bareos Daemon" {

package "Daemon Python Plugin (shared library)" {
[Python Extension Module]
[Python Interpreter]

package "Python Plugin Scripts" {
[Python Plugin Files]
[Python Constants File]

[Core] <-> [Python Interpreter] : Bareos Plugin API

[Python Interpreter] <-> [Python Extension Module] : use
[Python Extension Module] <-> [Python Plugin Files] : Python Plugin API
[Python Plugin Files] -> [Python Constants File] : imports

Bareos Python Plugin Architecture for Bareos < 20

This plugin then creates an internal Python extension module and starts a Python 2 interpreter being able to access the Python module.

The internal Python extension module allows the Python plugin to call functions implemented in Python, and implements callback functions that can be called from the Python code into the core. It also implements the data types that are exchanged via the Bareos plugin interface.

Finally, the Python interpreter loads the Python script configured in the Plugin string of the file set and executes it. This Python script is the Bareos plugin implemented in Python.

As the internal Python extension module is only created inside of the Python plugin, debugging and testing is a challenge.

Definitions of constants required for the Python plugins callbacks into the Bareos core are stored in a Python file called bareos_[fd|sd|dir]_consts, for example

This file contained the required definitions in form of dictionaries, like the following example:

bareos_fd_consts: definition as dictionary
 bRCs = dict(

To access these values, every Python plugin needs to import this file and access the values via the dictionary like in the following example:

bareos_fd_consts: accessing
import bareos_fd_consts
... # more code
return bareos_fd_consts.bRCs["bRC_OK"]

The API also always carries a context variable which is part of every function call between the Bareos core and Python, so that every function being called from the core has an context which needs to be given back to every call that goes into the core.

Porting existing Python plugins to Bareos >= 20

Porting existing Python plugin from Version 19 to 20 requires is not very hard and requires the following steps:

Remove “context” everywhere

The context being transferred between all Python API calls was unnecessary and was removed, so it needs to be removed in all Python callers and callbacks.

Switch to the constants being defined in the bareos[fd|sd|dir] Python plugin.

Import bareos[fd|sd|dir] instead of bareos_[fd|sd|dir]_consts.

Add the st_ prefix to all members of stat_pkt type.

Adapt the code to run on Python 3

It is important to make sure the code works Python 3. While the C++ code and the Python api have been reorganized, the Python plugin code itself is the same being run with Python 3. For more details see Python 3 Porting Guide, strings chapter: