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SCSITAPE(1)                                                        SCSITAPE(1)

       scsitape - control SCSI tape devices

       scsitape [-f <scsi-generic-device>] commands

       The  scsitape  command controls SCSI tape drives in a platform-indepen-
       dent manner. As long as 'mtx' works on the  platform,  so  does  'scsi-

       Note that 'scsitape' and your OS's native tape driver may stomp on each
       other. In particular, if you use 'setblk' and  your  OS's  native  tape
       driver  has  a  different  notion  of  the block size, you may get evil
       results.  It is recommended to use 'scsitape' only for  software  where
       you've  written your own low-level READ and WRITE routines that use the
       SCSI command set to directly talk to tape drives (i.e., you do not  use
       the OS's native tape driver at all).

       The  first  argument,  given  following -f , is the SCSI generic device
       corresponding to your tape drive.  Consult your operating system's doc-
       umentation  for  more  information  (for example, under Linux these are
       generally  /dev/sg0  through  /dev/sg15,  under   FreeBSD   these   are
       /dev/pass0  through  /dev/passX. Under Solaris this is usually the same
       as your tape drive (Solaris has a SCSI passthrough ioctl). You can  set
       the STAPE or TAPE environment variable rather than use -f.

       setblk <n>
                 Set  the tape drive's SCSI block size to <n> bytes. (NOTE: if
                 you are using your OS's native tape driver, THIS IS EVIL!).

       fsf <n>   Go forward by <n> tapemarks.

       bsf <n>   Go to  immediately  previous  the  <n>th  previous  tapemark.
                 (WARNING: This probably doesn't do what you expect -- e.g. if
                 you are immediately after a tapemark and  type  'bfs  1',  it
                 moves to immediately *before* that tape mark, for a sum total
                 of zero effective movement!).

       eod       Go to end of data.

       rewind    Rewind the tape drive.

       eject     Eject the tape currently in the drive.

       erase     Does a *short* erase (warning: does NOT work on all drives!).

       mark <n>    write  <n> filemarks ( 'mark 0' flushes the drive's buffers

       seek <n>  Seek to a logical position <n> that was reported by a  previ-
                 ous 'tapeinfo' command.

       write <blocksize>
                 write  blocks  from  stdin  to  the tape. Chunk the data into
                 <blocksize>-sized chunks. *DOES NOT WRITE  OUT  A  TAPEMARK!*
                 (you  will  need  to use a subsequent mark 1 command to write
                 out a tape mark).

       read [<blocksize>] [ <#blocks/#bytes> ]
                 read blocks from the tape, write them to stdout. If we are in
                 variable  block  mode,  <blocksize> should be zero (note: The
                 maximum block size we currently  support  in  variable  block
                 mode  is  128K,  MAX_READ_SIZE  will need to be turned into a
                 settable variable to allow bigger reads). If  <blocksize>  is
                 ommitted,  we  assume  that we're in variable block mode, and
                 that we are going to read from tape until we hit  a  tapemark
                 or end of partition or end of tape.

       This  program  was  written by Eric Lee Green <>.  Major
       portions of the 'mtxl.c' library used herein were  written  by  Leonard

       The SCSI read and write routines are based upon those that Richard Fish
       wrote for Enhanced Software Technology's  BRU  16.1  product,  substan-
       tially  modified  to work in our particular environment (in particular,
       all the variable block stuff is new since BRU  only  does  fixed  block
       reads  and writes, and the BRU code uses bitmasks rather than bitfields
       for the various flags and such in return values, as  well  as  the  BRU
       code having a different SCSI API and having variable names considerably
       shorter than the rather sesquipedalian 'mtx' identifiers). As  required
       by  'mtxl.c',  these routines are licensed under the GNU General Public

       Under Linux, cat /proc/scsi/scsi will tell you what  SCSI  devices  you
       have.   You  can  then refer to them as /dev/sga, /dev/sgb, etc. by the
       order they are reported.

       Under FreeBSD, camcontrol devlist will tell you what SCSI  devices  you
       have, along with which pass device controls them.

       Under  Solaris  7  and  8,  /usr/sbin/devfsadm  -C  will  clean up your
       /devices directory. Then find /devices -name 'st@*' -print will  return
       a  list  of all tape drives. /dev on Solaris is apparently only of his-
       torical interest.

       for scsitape read 0 <n> where  you are doing variable-block-size  reads
       and wish for <n> bytes, it instead reads one and exactly one block from
       tape and prints that (no matter what its size). Use 'dd' on the  output
       of scsitape if you want finer control.

       scsitape  read  0  attempts  reads of MAX_READ_SIZE, which is currently
       128K. If blocks on tape are larger than 128K, only the first 128K  will
       be read -- the remainder will be silently dumped in the toilet.

       This  program  does  not  interact  well  (or at all :-) with your OS's
       native tape driver.  You will likely see weird  things  happen  if  you
       attempt to intermingle scsitape commands with native tape driver opera-
       tions. Note that BRU 16.1 for Solaris (and possibly others, but Solaris
       I  know  about)  will  have  a 'scsi' keyword to bypass the native tape
       driver and write via direct uscsi commands, so if you use 'scsitape' to
       bypass  the flaws of the native Solaris driver, you can use BRU 16.1 to
       write your actual tape archives.  (Assuming  that  BRU  16.1  has  been
       released at the time that you read this).

       This version of scsitape is currently being maintained by Robert Nelson
       <> as part of the 'mtx' suite of pro-
       grams. The 'mtx' home page is and the actual
       code is currently available  there  and  via  SVN  from  http://source-


                                  SCSITAPE1.0                      SCSITAPE(1)

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