[clug] multiple tape drives

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Sun Mar 1 12:36:58 GMT 2009

David Schoen <neerolyte at gmail.com> writes:

> Disclaimer: I've never actually played with tape drives, so this is
> all based on assumptions.
> My first thought was UUID but I'm guessing that would be per tape not
> tape drive.

No, the drive should have a unique ID.  The tapes, in fact, generally
don't contain anything generically identifying; some-but-not-all backup
software writes ANSI standard tape labels or whatever, but tar(1)
doesn't, and amanda write their own by default...

> Can you pull up the serial number of each drive to ensure that the
> device you're writing too is the right one?

What you almost certainly want is to use the udev generated names; see

They should see you right.  Either use them directly (preferable) or
write custom rules to ensure they map appropriately to /dev/nst?

You /should/ have something akin to /dev/tape/by-id/[bus]-[serial]-nst
available for you; the bus and serial number come from the device.


[1]  on Debian; similar rules /should/ be present on other
     distributions, or write the list and I will repost them.

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