Veeam v11: delete backups from Hardened Repository


During the administration of your Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure you may need to delete backups from Hardened Repository to make some room.

The Hardened Repository is a feature provided in Veeam Backup & Replication v11 designed to make backups immutable protecting them from deletion, overwriting or changes.

There are multiple reasons why you need to delete backups from the repository:

  • Remove a backup chain no longer required but still immutable.
  • Make room in the storage because the repository is full.
  • When the retention expires it may happen that Veeam performs the deletion of restore points but for unknown reasons backup files are not removed from the Hardened Repository. This situation must be fixed because restore points left in the repository consume space and the repository has a limited space capability.


Delete backups from Hardened Repository

If you try removing the backup from a Hardened Repository using the Veeam GUI, you will receive an error message and backup won't be deleted. This is an expected behavior since backups are immutable.


The only way to remove the backup is to access the Hardened Repository and manually delete backups.


Connect the repository to the LAN

If the best practices have been applied to the Hardened Repository, the iDRAC, iLO or similar remote access control must be reconnected to the LAN to enable the access to the console.

Access the remote console (iDRAC in the example), enter the correct credentials then click Log in button.


From the remote access console, open the Virtual Console.


Enter the account name created during the installation of the Hardened Repository (locadmin in the example).


Run the following command and enter the password when requested.

# sudo -i


Access the configured mount point (/mnt/veeamrepo in the example) then list the existing folders. The backups folder is where Veeam stores backups.

# cd /mnt/veeamrepo
# ll


With the cd command, access the backup folder with the backup data to remove and check the content with the command ll. The folder name is the same as the Backup Job name configured in Veeam.

# cd backups/Backup\ Immutable\ -\ Test/
# ll -h



Delete the backup file

If you try deleting the backup file, you will receive an error. This is an expected behavior since the file is still immutable.

# rm <backup_file_name>


To check what files are immutable, run the following command. In this example the .vbk file (full backup) is still immutable.

# lsattr -l



Remove the immutability attribute

To delete the file you must remove the immutable attribute first.

# chattr -i <backup_file_name>


Check if the immutable attribute has been removed.

# lsattr -l


When the file is no longer immutable, it can be deleted. Remove the backup file and check if the operation completes successfully.

# rm <backup_file_name>
# ll -h


The file has been removed successfully.


Rescan the repository

Once the backup file has been removed, you need to rescan the Hardened Repostory in Veeam to update the available backups list.


From Backup Repositories, right click the Hardened Repository and select Rescan option.


Double check rescan completes successfully.


After the rescan, checking in the Backup > Disk section the recover point item has removed from the configuration.


From the repository, type the exit command twice to logoff from the console.

# exit


Before unplugging the network, make sure no one is currently logged to the console.


Once the backups have been removed from the repository, make sure SSH service is disabled and the network cable unplugged from the server remote console (iDRAC, iLO, etc.). Bear in mind this is the key to ensure and keep the highest level of security for your backup repository.

Veeam Backup & Replication v11 is available to download as 30-day trial for testing purposes.


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