Creating Exclude List

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Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3/4.4.3 Beefalo. For previous documentation version(s), check Documentation archive.


For each backup you can back up only selected files, files that match a specific pattern and exclude specific files, file types or directories from backups.

Some files are only temporary while others are permanently in use. These files should be either excluded from the ordinary backup or be backed up in a special way. For example, you may not want to back up any temporary (.tmp) files, read-only files, or files from specific directories (e.g., download directory). SEP sesam provides a number of ways for setting up exclusion:

Exclude list in GUI

When creating a backup task, you specify the source for your backup as well as define any files or patterns you want to exclude from backup. Note that when the number of files to be excluded for backup exceeds allowed length for the exclude list, you should set up exclusion as described in section Create a custom exclude list on client.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By clients, select your client and click New backup task. The New backup task window opens.
  2. Specify the Source. If you want to back up individual files, you can either browse for directories and files that you want to include in the backup or enter their names followed by a comma (C:/Program Files/SEPsesam/var/db,C:\Users\AA\Documents\references). If you want to backup the whole file system, set the source as all. If you want to back up only files that match a specific pattern, use the include list instead. Note that if you select the source by browsing, the task type and task name are set automatically. If you enter the source manually, you have to enter the task name and select relevant task type.
  3. In the Exclude List, specify the files or folders which you do not want to back up in one of the following ways:
    Exclude by using the browse button
    The simplest way to exclude the specific files or folders from the backup is by using the big browse button (next to the fields Source and Exclude List) and selecting your source for exclude in the Client File View window. In our example we have excluded logs and program files from the backup, as shown in the screenshot below.
    Basic exclude list.jpg
    Add files, file types or regular expressions in the Exclude List Editor
    In the Exclude List Editor, specify the exclusions by using regular expressions. On Windows, you can also use the option Pattern Exclude, however on Linux it is only possible to exclude by using regular expressions (RegExp Exclude).
    Add the exclusion patterns one by one followed by a comma. For example, if you want to back up source /usr but skip *.tmp and old*.c files and all old* directories, add the following pattern to the editor: \.tmp$, /old.*\.c$, /old.*/$
    Exclude list.jpg
    Click OK.

For more examples on excludes using regular expression patterns, see Examples for Excluding Matched Patterns.

Information sign.png Note
Exclude by using regular expressions is the default setting, but you can change it to use the file pattern (?,*) instead of regexp by modifying the configuration file <SESAM_VAR>/var/ini/sm.ini on the SEP sesam Client. In the config file sm.ini change the entry

Create a custom exclude list on client

You can specify a custom exclude list of items to be skipped during backup by creating a special file on SEP sesam Client. Typically, you would create a separate exclude file when the number of files or directories to be excluded for backup exceeds allowed length for exclude list (max. 1024 characters in SEP sesam version ≥ 4.4.3; max. 255 characters in version ≤ 4.4.2).

A custom exclude list must be a text file that is created on the SEP sesam Client on which the backup will be executed. The syntax for exclude entries is platform/OS dependent, see:

Once you have created the exclude file, for example exclude_list.txt, enter it in the backup task properties as follows:

Create or open the backup task, select the Options tab and under the Additional call arguments in the Save options field, enter the specified file in the form: -X C:/sesam/exclude_list.txt.

Exclude list on Linux

Create the exclude file on the client in the directory /etc/sesam, for example /etc/sesam/exclude_list.txt. The following rules apply:

  • Each file or directory that you want to exclude from backup must be specified in a separate line (one entry per line).
  • Wildcards are not supported.
  • The exclude entries have to be set up with a regular expressions syntax.

This is an example of the exclude_list.txt on Linux:

 \./home/John Doe/$
 \./home/John Doe/Business Documents/YearEnd Closing for business year 2006$
Information sign.png Note
In SEP sesam versions <, the exclude list, defined on Linux/UNIX in a Lotus Notes backup task, does not work if specified with \.. For versions <, specify the exclude list for Notes without the preceding backslash and a dot, e.g., use /srv/notesdata/help$ instead of \./srv/notesdata/help$'.

Exclude list on Windows

Create the exclude file on the client in the directory C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\var\ini, for example exclude_list.txt. The following rules apply:

  • Use only / (slash) in the exclude file and NOT \ (backslash).
  • Each file or directory that you want to exclude from backup must be specified in a separate line (one entry per line). This also applies to paths that include spaces.

This is an example of the exclude_list.txt on Windows:


Exclude list for Micro Focus OES (formerly Novell OES)

Create the exclude file on the client in the directory /etc/sesam, for example /etc/sesam/exclude_list.txt. The following rules apply:

  • Each file or directory that you want to exclude from backup must be specified in a separate line (one entry per line).
  • Use only the pattern format for exclude.
  • Wildcards are allowed in the file or directory entries.
  • An exclude folder must end with a / (slash).

This is an example of the exclude_list.txt:


For example, /media/nss/VOL1 is entered as source in the backup task. This means that the complete VOL1 will be backed up, excluding the items in the exclude file that is specified by the following entry in the Save options field of the Options tab in the backup task definition:

 -X /etc/sesam/exclude_list.txt

SEP sesam will exclude all the files and directories from the backup that are listed in the file.

Creating a special file nosbc to permanently exclude a directory

You can permanently exclude a directory from all backups on the client by creating a special file in the directory itself – this file is .nosbc on Unix or nosbc on Windows. By creating such a file in the directory, the directory will not be backed up even though is might be included in the specified source.

The behavior can be switched off for a specific backup task by entering the -o noexcl switch under the backup task properties, tab Options -> Save options.

Using sm.ini to completely exclude files from backups on the client

You can use the central SEP sesam config file sm.ini to specify the files on the client that should never be backed up. The advantage of using this method is that you can exclude files or directories from all backups performed on the respective client.

As of 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, the exclude pattern range ExcludePattern900 and higher is used for SEP internal exclude patterns. In order to define specific exclude patterns, you should use lower numbers, e.g., ExcludePattern1=".tmp".

The default location of the sm.ini file is <SESAM_ROOT>\var\ini\sm.ini.

To define the excludes for the client, open the sm.ini file and under the parameter SBC_EXCLUDE enter one parameter per line.

  • On Linux, use regular expressions to define the excludes in sm.ini. For example, to exclude the directories /dev, /mnt and /media from the backup, specify the following:
  • On Windows, use file patterns to define the excludes in sm.ini. You can use this to exclude files that match the specified names or paths (note that <file_name> can include wildcard characters, e.g., * and ?).