Tivoli Storage Manager Include/Exclude List Tutorial and Configuration Suggestions

This solution assumes that your server or workstation has been registered with the Division of Information Technology's (IT) Data Backup Service and that you have installed and configured the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Backup/Archive Client on your host system. 

TSM provides the system administrator the ability to configure what is backed up via include/exclude statements in the TSM client configuration file.  You can edit the client configuration file via the TSM BA Client GUI or a text editor. Regardless of how you edit the file, you should understand how to build and interpret the file.

Clients have the ability to specify more than one retention policy for each node. To do that, TSM uses Include/Exclude lists. Here is a brief overview on how to create lists to assign files/directories/filesystems to available management classes.

Include and exclude options are specified in the dsm.sys or dsm.opt files of each client. Management classes are what specify the retention policies of a file.

Available management classes are: 

University of Maryland Data Retention Policies 

Class NameDays Retention If File ExistsDays Retention If File Deleted



NOTEt is either 0 or 1 depending on the storage management tier selected.

Include/exclude lines look like the following:

include [file] [class]
exclude [file]

[file] supports wild cards. In TSM, "..." is any directory/folder, and "*" is any number of wild characters. There are more supported wild cards, such as "?" (for one wild character), but we find that "..." and "*" are the most commonly used.

In a list of include/exclude statements, the last entry that a file matches will be the corresponding include/exclude statement for that file. If a file does not match any entry, it will be backed up and automatically assigned the default policy. Your default policy was assigned when you first contacted us requesting backup services. It is one of the four listed in the table. To determine what your default policy is, execute dsm or open the TSM BA Client GUI, select Utilities from the menu -> View Policy Information. Your default management class is listed there.

With the proper include-exclude options, clients can save space and money by only assigning the MAX management class to those files or filesystems which house their critical data. Consider using this functionality especially if you have a MAX default management class. It will improve your backup and recover performance, and improve server performance in general.


A Windows client wants the low management class for everything on the system (but it's not the default policy). Only one line is necessary:

include *:\...\* MC-DD0-OS-LOW

A Unix client wants everything on low retention, but anything under /export under a hi retention. Assume that low retention is not the default policy:

include /.../* MC-DD0-OS-LOW
include /export/.../* MC-DD0-OS-MAX

A Windows client wants everything with mid-level retention, but does not want to backup mp3 files. Assume a default class of MC-WIN-MID:

exclude *:\...\*.mp3

A Windows client wants C:\Program Files\ to have low retention. Use single quotes to account for spaces in file names:

include 'C:\Program Files\...\*' MC-DD0-OS-LOW

A Windows client would like to exclude everything and pick and choose what to backup.  Specifically they would like to backup all directories and files under C:\data:

exclude "C:\...\*"
include "C:\data\...\*"