I am setting up a barman server to backup a remote PostgreSQL server and am digging my way through a bunch of FAILED messages I get on barman check [pg]

Server pg:
        WAL archive: FAILED (please make sure WAL shipping is setup)
        replication slot: FAILED (slot 'barman' not initialised: is 'receive-wal' running?)
        receive-wal running: FAILED (See the Barman log file for more details)

I have the following values (which I believe to make sure 'WAL shipping' is enabled) on the PostgreSQL server's postgresql.conf

wal_level = replica
archive_mode = on
archive_timeout = 60
archive_command = 'test ! -f /opt/db/backup/postgres/archives/%f && cp %p [email protected]:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f'

what am I missing here to get this going?


based on the comment by @jjanes below I tried to new versions of the archive_command

neither ...

archive_command = 'test ! -f vm-51150-0180.step.zrz.dvz.cn-mv.de:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f && scp %p [email protected]:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f'

... nor ...

archive_command = 'test ! -f [email protected]:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f && scp %p [email protected]:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f'

... have any effect on the FAILED status though unfortunately

  • You command looks wrong. That looks like it was meant to be a scp command, not cp.
    – jjanes
    Dec 6, 2021 at 19:21
  • And your test doesn't make any sense, you should test the same destination you copy to, not some other destination.
    – jjanes
    Dec 6, 2021 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


receive-wal running: FAILED (See the Barman log file for more details)

And what did you find in the barman log file?

replication slot: FAILED (slot 'barman' not initialised: is 'receive-wal' running?)

Replication != Archiving
I seem to recall that barman uses Replication to get hold of WAL files and your database is complaining about the "barman" replication slot.
The Archiving command is something separate.

test ! -f vm-51150-0180.step.zrz.dvz.cn-mv.de:/opt/barman/pg/incoming/%f

To paraphrase one Inigo Montoya:

That command you keep using; I do not think it does what you think it does..."

Does this command actually work?
I've never come across a version of test that could examine a file on a remote machine without going through a mounted file share.

I believe that barman is a third-party product, supported by what used to be "2nd Quadrant" (now "EDB"?).
Have you tried asking their opinion about their product?

  • 1.) yes, I am active with similar questions on the barman mailing list ... no solution yet from there neither ... 2.) as far as I know the archive_command actually does play a role. i.e. the target dir must match some setting on the barman server. I have to admit that I do not know much on conventional psql backup tools (which may be part of my problem) ... 3.) yes there is that replication slotFAIL as well. I was just starting from the top of the list (which may or may not the right approach) and haven't gotten to that issue yet.
    – vrms
    Dec 7, 2021 at 11:46

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