Monday, June 22, 2009

Tape device names

In relation to my previous post Tape/device using mt command I decided to include here the tape device names that you'll normally use and encounter.

Before backing up data on a device, you must understand the tape device-naming schema:

First tape device name: /dev/rmt/0
Second tape device name: /dev/rmt/1

rmt = raw magnetic tape device

You can also add special character letter to specify density using following format


  • Z is tape drive number such as 0,1..n
  • X can be any one of following (as supported by your device, read the manual of your tape device & controller to see if all of them supported or not):
  • l - Low density
  • m - Medium density
  • h - High density
  • u - Ultra density
  • c - Compressed density
  • n - No rewinding

To specify the first, drive with high-density with no rewinding use device /dev/rmt/0hn.

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