Tape drives naming convention under Linux


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
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/nht1

You need to use above devices to backup data to magnetic tape. Read man page of st for more information.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.