An explanation of the NOexpire touch file.

An explanation of the NOexpire touch file.

Article: 100002418
Last Published: 2020-04-15
Ratings: 4 1
Product(s): NetBackup


The NOexpire touch file (NOexpire) prevents the automatic expiration of backup images within the image data base and is therefore not formally supported.

If present, backups may fail because:

  • it prevents tapes that would otherwise not contain valid images from becoming unassigned, and
  • it prevents images on disk storage units from being cleaned up,
  • which may prevent NetBackup from having a location to store new backups

Observe the caution and details below.


Caution: The NOexpire touch file (NOexpire) is not intended for long term use. It should only be used for a short time period such as during a maintenance window. There is no recommendation to keep NOexpire in place for extended periods of time.

Note: The best solution to prevent images from expiring is to use the bpexpdate command to extend the image expiration date before the images become expired.

Be aware that prior to NetBackup versions, NOexpire only prevented images from being removed from the image database; tapes were still unassigned at the appropriate time. This would cause an inconsistency in the databases as the tapes would become available and overwritten while the images remained in the image database.

Starting at NetBackup versions , once an image has reached its expiration date, the expiration date cannot be changed even if NOexpire is in place. This is a safety measure to prevent the case where the tape has been unassigned but the image has not yet been cleaned off the database prior to enabling NOexpire.

NOexpire only prevents automatic/internal NetBackup image and tape cleanup from occurring. It does not prevent users or scripts from manually expiring images and tapes. Images and tapes will still expire if bpexpdate is run manually or via a script.

How to create the touch file, on the master server:

  • On UNIX/Linux: $ touch /usr/openv/netbackup/bin/NOexpire
  • On Windows: C:\> COPY NUL  "<install path>\Netbackup\bin\NOexpire"

Note: The file name is case sensitive and cannot have a file extension or suffix.

How the touch file works:

The touch file prevents NetBackup processes such as bpsched and nbpem from executing the following commands:

  • bpexpdate -deassignempty
  • bptm -delete_expired
  • bpimage -cleanup 

By default, bpimage -cleanup is run every 12 hours and at the end of an nbpem session. The Image cleanup interval can be tailored in the Clean-up section of the Master server's Host Properties. The bptm -delete_expired is used to clean the media db every ten minutes (or bpsched wake-up interval or Policy Update interval). It deassigns all tapes containing expired images. It does not clean up tapes with rogue fragments such as those from a failed backup. The bpexpdate -deassignempty will clean all expired and invalid fragments and deassign tapes as necessary.

Note: Other non-sanctioned methods have been used to prevent bpexpdate -deassignempty from running. See the related articles. 


NOexpire under certain circumstances will not protect capacity managed images that have been cancelled from SLP control from being deleted.

It will also not protect 'Expire after Duplication' type SLP images, if they are cancelled from SLP control.


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