Sun Java System Messaging Server 6 2005Q4 Administration Reference


The imsasm utility is an external ASM (Application Specific Module) that handles the saving and recovering of user mailboxes. imsasm invokes the imsbackup and imsrestore utilities to create and interpret a data stream.

During a save operation imsasm creates a save record for each mailbox or folder in its argument list. The data associated with each file or directory is generated by running the imsbackup or imsrestore command on the user’s mailbox.

Location: msg_svr_base/lib/msg


imsasm [standard_asm_arguments]


The options used in the imsasm utility are also known as standard-asm-arguments, which are Legato NetWorker® backup standards.

Either -s (saving), -r (recovering), or -c (comparing) must be specified and must precede any other options. When saving, at least one path argument must be specified. path may be either a directory or filename.

The following options are valid for all modes:




Performs a dry run. When saving, walk the file system but don’t attempt to open files and produce the save stream. When recovering or comparing, consume the input save stream and do basic sanity checks, but do not actually create any directories or files when recovering or do the work of comparing the actual file data. 


Turns on verbose mode. The current ASM, its arguments, and the file it is processing are displayed. When a filtering ASM operating in filtering mode (that is, processing another ASM’s save stream) modifies the stream, its name, arguments, and the current file are displayed within square brackets. 

When saving (-s), the following options may also be used:




Produces a byte count. This option is like the -n option, but byte count mode will estimate the amount of data that would be produced instead of actually reading file data so it is faster but less accurate than the -n option. Byte count mode produces three numbers: the number of records, i.e., files and directories; the number of bytes of header information; and the approximate number of bytes of file data. Byte count mode does not produce a save stream so its output cannot be used as input to another asm in recover mode.


Produces an “old style” save stream that can be handled by older NetWorker servers. 


Do not generate the final “end of save stream” Boolean. This flag should only be used when an ASM invokes an external ASM and as an optimization chooses not to consume the generated save stream itself. 


Ignores all save directives from .nsr directive files found in the directory tree.

-f proto

Specifies the location of a .nsr directive file to interpret before processing any files. Within the directive file specified by proto, path directives must resolve to files within the directory tree being processed, otherwise their subsequent directives will be ignored.

-p ppath

Prepends this string to each file’s name as it is output. This argument is used internally when one ASM executes another external ASM. ppath must be a properly formatted path which is either the current working directory or a trailing component of the current working directory.

-t date

The date after which files must have been modified before they will be saved. 


Crosses file system boundaries. Normally, file system boundaries are not crossed during walking. 

When recovering (-r), the following options may also be used:



-i response

Specifies the initial default overwrite response. Only one letter may be used. When the name of the file being recovered conflicts with an existing file, the user is prompted for overwrite permission. The default response, selected by pressing Return, is displayed within square brackets. Unless otherwise specified with the -i option, n is the initial default overwrite response. Each time a response other than the default is selected, the new response becomes the default. When either N, R, or Y is specified, no prompting is done (except when auto-renaming files that already end with the rename suffix) and each subsequent conflict is resolved as if the corresponding lower case letter had been selected. The valid overwrite responses and their meanings are:

  • n—Do not recover the current file.

  • N—Do not recover any files with conflicting names.

  • y—Overwrite the existing file with the recovered file.

  • Y—Overwrite files with conflicting names.

  • r—Rename the conflicting file. A dot “.” and a suffix are appended to the recovered file’s name. If a conflict still exists, the user will be prompted again.

  • R—Automatically renames conflicting files by appending a dot “.” and a suffix. If a conflicting file name already ends in a .suffix, the user will be prompted to avoid potential auto rename looping conditions.

-m src=dst

Maps the file names that will be created. Any files that start exactly with src will be mapped to have the path of dst replacing the leading src component of the path name. This option is useful if you wish to perform relocation of the recovered files that were saved using absolute path names into an alternate directory. 

-z suffix

Specifies the suffix to append when renaming conflicting files. The default suffix is R.


Restricts the files being recovered. Only files with prefixes matching path will be recovered. This checking is performed before any potential name mapping is done with the -m option. When path is not specified, no checking is performed.


To use imsasm to save the mailbox INBOX for user joe, the system administrator creates a directory file backup_root/backup/DEFAULT/joe/.nsr with the following contents:

imsasm: INBOX

This causes the mailbox to be saved using imsasm. Executing the mkbackupdir utility will automatically create the .nsr file. See mkbackupdir.