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How Linux Works by Brian Ward

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Tape Drive Devices

Tape devices are character devices on a Linux system, going by a variety of filenames:

  • SCSI tapes use the names /dev/st0, /dev/nst0, /dev/st1, /dev/nst1, and so on. The SCSI tape drive interface and driver is widely regarded as the most reliable, but, of course, SCSI tape drives are also more expensive than others.

  • ATAPI tape devices start at /dev/ht0 and /dev/nht0.

  • There is limited support for tape drives on the floppy controller at /dev/ft0 and /dev/ntf0.

To identify a tape drive, look in your kernel messages for lines like this:

 Vendor: HP Model: C1533A Rev: 9503 Type: Sequential-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02 st: Version 20010812, bufsize 32768, wrt 30720, max init. bufs 4, s/g segs 16 Attached scsi tape st0 at scsi0, channel ...

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