While this topic is probably dead for those involved, I couldn't find the solution anywhere else, so thought I'd add it here for posterity. I had the exact same problem with the client being deferred. This was on a RedHat ES server running the latest Linux client. Finally, I made the connection -- I don't have a "DISPLAY", since we manage everything via command line. The installer automatically puts the "RETROSPECT_HOME" environment variable in the system login (profile) script. I guessed that when the server was trying to back up the system, it was trying to put up a dialog. With no GUI, it failed -- deferring the backup. My solution: comment out the "RETROSPECT_HOME" lines in /etc/profile. Other systems may need to do it in other places, but this is what worked for me -- finally!