[Samba] How to share the tape drive in samba server for windows user

Jonathan Johnson jon at sutinen.com
Wed Jun 18 16:46:52 GMT 2003

I'm assuming you want to give your users the ability to backup and restore
files at their will.

If you're looking to share the tape drive so you can use Windows' native
backup utility to write directly to the tape, sorry -- can't be done with
Samba. This is because a tape drive is not seen by the system as a disk
drive; the software wants to communicate directly with the drive. A tape
drive is a sequential, exclusive access device, not a random access device.
That means that only one process can read/write to the drive at a time, and
the tape is written/read from front to back.

First way to go about it is to create a share on the Samba server where the
Windows users can create backup files (the backup utility will allow you to
do this), then have the Samba server back this share up to tape then deletes
the backup files. This isn't really ideal, because it's not getting written
to tape right away, and there's no easy way for the user to restore from

A better way is to use a client/server backup solution which has a backup
server running on the Linux box, and backup clients running on the Linux box
and all the workstations. When a user wants to run a backup or restore job,
the appropriate tape is placed in the drive on the Linux server, then they
use the client to submit the job. The advantage here is that multiple jobs
can be submitted simultaneously and they are queued; once they reach the top
of the queue, the job runs, backing up the files from the workstation.

A quick search reveals this software to look at: NovaNet
(www.network-backup.com), Arkeia (www.arkeia.com), NetVault Workgroup
Edition (www.bakbone.com), (Veritas BackupExec not available for Linux,)
anyone know of open-source, multi-platform network-aware backup software?

Arkeia Light is a free version for Linux that also supports two clients
( http://www.arkeia.com/arkeialight.html ).

I'm not aware of any software that creates a "virtual" tape drive that can
be seen by Windows' native backup software as a tape device.


On Wed, 18 Jun 2003, Sathi wrote:

> Hello All,
> I have installed RedHat Linux-9 and configured has domian controller for
> windows users. I have HP's tape drive in this Machine.
> Is it possible to share this tape drive to all the windows users to this
> tape drive using Samba?
> Regards,
> Sathi

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