Friday, February 21, 2014

Ubuntu: Broken BackupPC web interface fix

Ubuntu recently updated the Apache version to 2.4. However, this new version is unusable with BackupPC out of the box and breaks the web interface. Fortunately, the fix is easy as described in this tutorial.

ubuntu saucy trusty 14 backuppc apache web fixDuring an upgrade process of a distribution, naturally, a large number of packages (software) will simultaneously be upgraded as well. One main task for distribution managers is to ensure that compatibility is ensured to the greatest extent. However, as the number of combinations of package dependencies is extreme, it is unavoidable that practical problems which may render some software useless from time to time. Fortunately, in most such cases, a fix is relatively easy to find.

Starting from the Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander distribution, the apache2 (Apache 2.4) package was introduced. This new Apache version, however, no longer reads the configurations from /etc/apache2/conf.d/ directory and instead reads the configuration files from /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/ directory. This had the side effect of breaking, for example, the web interface for the popular backup tool known as BackupPC.

Since BackupPC is built with an easy-to-use web interface in mind, with no other GUI options integrated, it is rendered useless out-of-the-box in Ubuntu 13.10. Luckily, the core functionalities of Apache remain, and a remedy for the situation is relatively easy.

Symbolic link fixes BackupPC web interface in Ubuntu 13.10

The easiest way to fix the web interface is to make a symbolic link from the "old" Apache path to the current Apache 2.4 configuration path.
  1. In Ubuntu, press: Alt + F2
  2. Type: terminal
  3. In the terminal type: sudo ln -s /etc/backuppc/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/backuppc.conf
  4. Restart Apache by: sudo service apache2 restart
After a restart of the Apache server the web interface should once again be accessible through the web browser with the default URL http://localhost/backuppc

BackupPC fix in future Ubuntu versions

The above bug is already known by the Ubuntu developers and, perhaps more importantly, the Debian teams. Thus a fix should have been easy. Unfortunately, it has been reported the bug still exists in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr as well as Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn. Hopefully this will be remedied in 15.04 making BackupPC once again functional out-of-the-box.


  1. Trusty (14.04) does not to have this fixed, as of 04/28/2014, but adding the symlink as suggested works well. Thanks!

  2. Had to this when upgrading form Debian Wheezy to Jessie - worked a treat. Thank you!