Ftape-HOWTO

Next Previous Contents v3.0, August 1998

This HOWTO discusses essential do’s and dont’s for the ftape floppy tape driver under Linux. It focusses on the newest version which is ftape-4.02 at the time of this writing. This HOWTO is to be intended as first step help and source of information. The ftape driver interfaces to QIC-40, QIC-80, QIC-3010 and QIC-3020 compatible drives, and to the Iomega Ditto 2GB and Ditto Max drives. The QIC-3010 and QIC-3020 standards are also known as `Travan’ (TR-2 and TR-3). These drives connect via the floppy disk controller (FDC) which may be either an internal FDC or inside of certain parallel port floppy tape drives. Please refer to the section Supported drives for further information. ftape does not cover SCSI or QIC-02 tape drives. DAT tape drives usually (always?) connect to a SCSI controller. This is but one of the Linux HOWTO documents. You can get an index of the HOWTOs from the Linux HOWTO index, while the real HOWTO’s can be fetched (using ftp) from sunsite.unc.edu:pub/Linux/doc/HOWTO (this is the « official » place) or via the World Wide Web from the Linux Documentation Project home page.

1. Legalese

2. Revision History

3. The preliminaries

  • 3.1 Other sources of information
  • 3.2 Contacts
  • 3.3 What is ftape

4. Getting and installing ftape

5. The Care and Feeding of Tape and Tape Drives

6. Hardware support

7. Backing up and restoring data

8. Creating an emergency boot floppy for ftape

9. Frequently Asked Questions

10. FAQ: « Compiling and installing Ftape » related questions !

11. FAQ: « Using Ftape » related questions !

  • 11.1 How fast is Ftape ?
  • 11.2 When I write to some of my tapes, they seem to spend a lot of time « shoe-shining, » or repositioning instead of streaming. Is something wrong with my system?
  • 11.3 Do I have to reboot to the DOS world to format tapes?
  • 11.4 Is it possibly to format Ditto 2GB tapes with ftape?
  • 11.5 Is it possibly to format Ditto Max or Max Pro tapes with ftape?
  • 11.6 Ftape detects more bad sectors than DOS on QIC-3020 tapes
  • 11.7 Is it ok that I’m not hearing the tape move when I do a fsf or a bsf with mt?
  • 11.8 Why does my XYZ backup program complain about « Invalid argument » errors?
  • 11.9 I/O errors and FDC – some explanations.
  • 11.10 Why do I get « /dev/qft0: No such device » errors?
  • 11.11 I get « device busy » when I make multiple backups on a tape using some script.
  • 11.12 How do I « … » with tar?
  • 11.13 What block-size should I use with tar ?
  • 11.14 Where can I find the tar/mt/cpio/dd binaries – sources – manpages?
  • 11.15 If I use tapers compression, is it a bad idea to use the compression with zftape, or would it be better to not use tapers compression, and let zftape do it?
  • 11.16 How does zftape compression compare to say gzip -9?
  • 11.17 I don’t trust compression, but hear that the sftape interface is going away. What should I do?
  • 11.18 Ftape says « This tape has no ‘Linux raw format »
  • 11.19 Can I exchange tapes with someone using DOS?
  • 11.20 How does `mt eom’ work when you’ve started overwriting a tape in the middle?
  • 11.21 When I made backups before using taper, under the 2.0.29 ftape my drive didn’t support fsf, under the new zftape it does, why would this be, and what exactly is fsf ?
  • 11.22 What exactly is the difference between ftape, and zftape?
  • 11.23 What is the difference between a rewinding, and non rewinding drive?
  • 11.24 Can someone tell me how to use mt to rewind my TR-3 drive one record using zftape record, so I can verify it?
  • 11.25 By non-rewinding, they mean that it doesn’t automatically rewind, correct? It doesn’t mean that under no circumstances it will rewind, right? I tried using /dev/zqft0, and it instantly rewinds the tape.
  • 11.26 What is the difference between what mt considers a record and what it considers a file?
  • 11.27 Reusing tapes with zftape without reformatting the tape.
  • 11.28 This script implements a simple contents listing for the zftape package using the « MTIOCVOLINFO » ioctl.
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12. FAQ: « Tape and Drivers » related questions !

13. FAQ: Miscellaneous !

14. Debugging the ftape driver

15. Contributions

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