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Re: [K12OSN] Tape drive....does it need an entry in fstab ?



On Thu, May 09, 2002 at 08:12:53AM -0700, Dan Young wrote:
> My understanding is that the fstab is for block devices only, whereas tape
> drives are raw devices. Hence 'tar'ing directly to to /dev/nst0 (or
> whatever) rather than a mount point.
> Somebody more knowledgeble, please correct me if I'm grieviously wrong here.

Tapes are "character" devices: that is, you can read a stream of bytes
from them, or you can write a stream of bytes to them, but all your access
is linear.  This makes them completely unsuitable for use as filesystems,
so the Linux kernel doesn't even bother to let you try.

The 'tar' command outputs a single, continuous stream; you can write that
stream to a file on a filesystem, or you can send it to a tape device to
have the kernel write it out to tape instead.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer





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