DAT-160 USB tape drive on Linux

I recently decided to replace my DLT-IV backup system with DAT-160, mostly because of the greater capacity (80GB native vs 35GB native). I wasn't able to find a lot of information online about Linux compatability, but I took the plunge and bought Quantum's CD160UH-SST, an internal USB tape drive. This is the same drive as the CD160UH-SB but -SST includes a piece of DAT160 media, a cleaning tape and an internal USB cable.

Installation was easy. The drive has a 4-pin hard drive power connector and a USB "B" connector. The internal USB cable runs to one row of a standard motherboard USB connector (a 5x2 block with one pin removed). If I'd opted for the bare model it would have been inconvenient, as I wouldn't have had the necessary internal USB cable.

Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron detected the drive right away. /proc/scsi/scsi says:

Host: scsi2 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
  Vendor: QUANTUM  Model: DAT   DAT160-000 Rev: WU82
  Type:   Sequential-Access                ANSI  SCSI revision: 03
though interestingly /proc/scsi/usb-storage/2 says:
   Host scsi2: usb-storage
       Vendor: Hewlett Packard
      Product: DAT160 USB Tape
Serial Number: 4xxxxxxxxxxxxxx6
     Protocol: Transparent SCSI
    Transport: Bulk
(specifically, check out the value of 'vendor')

I ran a dump and a restore to a piece of DLT160 media with tape compression turned off (mt compression off). Dump reported "throughput 5865 kBytes/sec" which is a bit below the claimed 6.9MB/sec but also about 10% faster than my old DLT. Restore ran without a hitch.

I still haven't tried a DLT72 media, and I'm particularly interested in figuring out how to check the media type from my dump scripts--since there's a 3:1 price difference between DLT160 and DLT72, I will be using a mix of the sizes.

(just a side note: on Ubuntu, it's very helpful to export TAPE=/dev/nst0, because somebody decided that all tape devices should be under the directory /dev/tape, in contravention of a billion seconds of unix tradition)

Entry first conceived on 1 May 2009, 13:34 UTC, last modified on 15 January 2012, 3:46 UTC
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