Magnetic tape is a non-volatile storage medium consisting of a magnetic coating on a thin plastic strip. Nearly all recording tape is of this type, whether used for video, audio storage or general purpose digital data storage using a computer.
Linux (and other Unixish system) use mt command to control magnetic tape drive operation. You need to use mt command while working with tape drive. It allows you to reading and writing to tape.
The default tape drive under Linux is /dev/st0 (first SCSI tape device name). You can read more about tape drives naming convention used under Linux here.Linux supports SCSI, IDE and old floppy based tape devices. Each device has unique name just like hard disk drives. Digital Data Storage (DDS), Digital Audio Tape (DAT) and Digital Linear Tape (DLT) all are supported by Linux and widely used in industry for backup purpose.
SCSI tape device names
IDE tape device names
You need to use above devices to backup data to magnetic tape.
Following paragraph summaries command you need to use control tape drive for backup/restore purpose.
# mt -f /dev/st0 rewind
Backup directory /www and /home with tar command (z - compressed):
# tar -czf /dev/st0 /etc /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 /etc directory from tape drive into /tmp:
# cd /tmp
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 eraseYou can go BACKWARD or FORWARD on tape with mt command itself:
(a) Go to end of data:
# mt -f /dev/nst0 eod
(b) Goto previous record:
# mt -f /dev/nst0 bsfm 1
(c) Forward record:
# mt -f /dev/nst0 fsf 1
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