Solaris : Tape device names and control the tape drive

by on March 22, 2005 · 2 comments· LAST UPDATED March 22, 2005


Before backing up data on a device, you must understand the tape device-naming schema:

First tape device name: /dev/rmt/0
Second tape device name: /dev/rmt/1

rmt = raw magnetic tape device

You can also add special character letter to specify density using following format


  • Z is tape drive number such as 0,1..n
  • X can be any one of following (as supported by your device, read the manual of your tape device & controller to see if all of them supported or not):
  • l - Low density
  • m - Medium density
  • h - High density
  • u - Ultra density
  • c - Compressed density
  • n - No rewinding

For example to specify the first, drive with high-density with no rewinding use device /dev/rmt/0hn.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 boni January 19, 2007 at 9:42 am

thanks a lo for your document. but i need a command to clean tape drive on solaris 9.
best regards


2 sotonye December 16, 2008 at 8:57 am

I am a newbie trying to learn solaris 10 and i want to know the name of the file that points to my tape drive. How do I do it?

I will really appreciate if someone out there helps and fast.




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