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By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Drivers for SCSI/DAT Tape Drives

From Lammon, Dave on Thu, 20 Jan 2000

We are using a Compaq Proliant to do some of our DNS work since NT will not support the way our reverse delegation is done.

I'm trying to use a shareware tape backup program and the compaq has a compaq DAT on a scsi channel.

I'm sort of new with Linux and I prbably dont have device support for the tape drive. Do I use ftape or is there another module to use for this. I will try compiling a new kernel and see what options are there. I am using Redhat 6x.

Any help would be apreciated.

Dave Lammon
Network Administrator

(!) There should be no special work required to use a SCSI tape drive under Linux. You access those through the st driver (the /dev/st0 node for the first drive and, /dev/st1, etc for other drives).
If this is an autochanger you might want to get the 'mtx' utility which can be found at its author's web site:
Dandelion Digital's Linux Home Page
... this is like the 'mt' command but it adds support for commands like: "next", "previous", etc (and the ioctl()'s to go with them).
If you can't access your tape drive, try loading the st.o module. If you've built your own kernel for this system, go back into your kernel sources, re-run the make menuconfig (or make xconfigure, or whatever you like) and make sure that you have the SCSI tape support compiled in available as a module.
Note that using auto-loading support for the tape modules has been a problem in the past. I highly recommend that you manually load and unload your st.o driver (or build it statically into your kernel). The problem is that an autoloaded st.o might get auto-unloaded at an inopportune time (when there's been enough inactivity on the driver. In those cases, when the driver is re-loaded it will reset the drive and rewind the tape. This could be bad if you intended to APPEND new datasets to an existing tape.

(?) DAT

From Dave Lammon on Fri, 21 Jan 2000

Thank You,
this is excellent help, far more than I expected. I did manage to get the DAT to work with the tape software. I used /dev/st0 and it looks like its working. I greatly appreciate the help.

[ p.s. Dave, turn off the HTML+plaintext option in your mailer. Thanks. -- Heather. ]

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 50 February 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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