View Full Version : [ubuntu] L-TO-4 SAS external tape drive

February 28th, 2011, 09:15 PM

I am running Ubuntu 10.04, and i recently purchased an tandberg LTO-4 SAS tape drive. I want to access it and backup data on it.

Do I simply just connect plug it into the server,and I should be able to backup/transfer data to the tape drive? Or are there intermediate steps before I can do that.

Here are some results from commands that I have typed:

ls /dev/tape/

ls -lt /dev/tape/by-id/
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 2011-02-25 14:54 scsi-3500110a00145553e -> ../../st0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 2011-02-25 14:54 scsi-3500110a00145553e-nst -> ../../nst0

Module Size Used by
binfmt_misc 7960 1
ppdev 6375 0
osst 55350 0
st 39570 0
ipt_MASQUERADE 1863 0
iptable_nat 5219 0
nf_nat 19501 2 ipt_MASQUERADE,iptable_nat
nf_conntrack_ipv4 12980 3 iptable_nat,nf_nat
nf_defrag_ipv4 1481 1 nf_conntrack_ipv4
xt_state 1490 0
nf_conntrack 73966 5 ipt_MASQUERADE,iptable_nat,nf_nat,nf_conntrack_ipv 4,xt_state
ipt_REJECT 2384 0
xt_tcpudp 2667 0
iptable_filter 2791 0
ip_tables 18358 2 iptable_nat,iptable_filter
x_tables 22461 6 ipt_MASQUERADE,iptable_nat,xt_state,ipt_REJECT,xt_ tcpudp,ip_tables
bridge 53216 0
stp 2171 1 bridge
fbcon 39270 71
tileblit 2487 1 fbcon
font 8053 1 fbcon
bitblit 5811 1 fbcon
softcursor 1565 1 bitblit
vga16fb 12757 1
bnx2 72874 0
psmouse 64576 0
serio_raw 4950 0
vgastate 9857 1 vga16fb
dell_wmi 2177 0
lp 9336 0
parport 37160 2 ppdev,lp
power_meter 9473 0
joydev 11008 0
dcdbas 6886 0
usbhid 41116 0
hid 83504 1 usbhid
ses 6683 0
enclosure 8649 1 ses
mpt2sas 115081 0
scsi_transport_sas 33021 1 mpt2sas
megaraid_sas 38618 8

Any thoughts?


February 28th, 2011, 09:51 PM
I went to their website.

I found this page:


If you click on 'downloads', you will see that there is a TDTool download for Linux (and others for Windows and OSX).

Next to each download is another link for a document describing it usage.


March 1st, 2011, 03:30 PM

thanks for the response. yes, i've downloaded from the website and ran the tool kit.

now, i'm new at this when it comes to external tape drives and linux. so i guess my question isn't about tandberg devices specifically, but more along the lines of external tape drive usage and backup in general.

i just want to backup files on the tape drive.

i'm confused as to what actual folder i should move the files to for backup.

should it be "/dev/tape" or "/dev/st0", and what useful commands should i use to do this? do i use the "mv" and "cp" commands like i would for moving and placing files in folders?



March 1st, 2011, 06:22 PM
Since all my tape backup experience is pre-Linux (giant reel-to-reel units like you see in the old movies, running non-UNIX OSes), I had to dig around a bit.

I have taken the key text from this Web page:


And created the summarized post below.

The Hedge


March 1st, 2011, 08:55 PM
I thought it might be worth capturing some of the key text from the above web site so it will show up in future searches:

Operating Tape Drives from Linux

SCSI tape device names:

The st driver provides the interface to a variety of SCSI tape devices under Linux.

* First (auto rewind) SCSI tape device name: /dev/st0
* Second (auto rewind) SCSI tape device name: /dev/st1

* First the non-rewind SCSI tape devices: /dev/nst0
* Second the non-rewind SCSI tape devices: /dev/nst1

IDE tape device names:

The ht driver provides the interface to a variety of IDE tape devices under Linux.

* First (auto rewind) IDE tape device name: /dev/ht0
* Second (auto rewind) IDE tape device name: /dev/ht1

* First the non-rewind IDE tape devices: /dev/nht0
* Second the non-rewind IDE tape devices: /dev/nht

Examples (Please replace /dev/st0 with your tape drive name):

Rewind tape drive:

mt -f /dev/st0 rewind
Backup directory /www and /home with tar command (z compressed):

tar -czf /dev/st0 /www /home
Find out what block you are at with mt command:

mt -f /dev/st0 tell
Display list of files on tape drive:

tar -tzf /dev/st0
Restore /www directory:

cd /
mt -f /dev/st0 rewind
tar -xzf /dev/st0 www
Unload the tape:

mt -f /dev/st0 offline
Display status information about the tape unit:

mt -f /dev/st0 status
Erase the tape:

mt -f /dev/st0 erase

The 'big' tar examples:

To backup to multiple tape use the following command (backup /home file system):

tar -clpMzvf /dev/st0 /home
To compare tape backup, enter:

tar -dlpMzvf /dev/st0 /home
To restore tape in case of data loss or hard disk failure:

tar -xlpMzvf /dev/st0 /home

tar options are:
* d: find differences between archive and file system
* x: extract files from an archive
* l: list the contents of an archive (Lower case 'L'
* p: ignore umask when extracting files
* M: create/list/extract multi-volume archive (multiple tapes)
* z: Compress backup using gzip
* v: verbosely list files processed
* f /dev/st0: Tape device name (replace /dev/st0 with your tape device name)