How to install and configure HP LTO-5 External Tape Drive to RHEL Server.

Occasional Contributor

How to install and configure HP LTO-5 External Tape Drive to RHEL Server.

Hello Profs,

we just bought HP LTO-5 Ultrium 3000 SAS External Tape Drive with PCIe 3.0 SAS Host Bus Adapter to be installed on HP DL380p G9 RHEL Server for connectivity.

if we install the PCIe on the server and connect Tape drive to it, How do i access the tape drive on the server for backup.
Notice, server runlevel is 3. meaning that it is purely CLI.


Honored Contributor

Re: How to install and configure HP LTO-5 External Tape Drive to RHEL Server.

If the driver for the SAS HBA is available, the system should automatically load it and the standard driver for SCSI tape drives (st.ko). Then the tape drive should be visible in "lsscsi" listing, and udev should automatically create some devices for it: at least /dev/st0 and /dev/nst0 should appear.

You should then install the "mt-st" RPM: it contains the "mt" command that is used for basic tape operations, like seeking forward and backward, rewinding and ejecting the tape. The "tar" command was actually originally designed for reading & writing tapes: its name comes from "Tape ARchive". With these tools, you can use the tape drive in a basic way.

According to HPE documentation for that tape drive, the material that comes with the drive should include something that allows you to download a more advanced tape backup program. I don't know anything about that specific program, but usually modern tape backup programs will keep track of your backup tapes and all the backups stored on them, so that you can specify things like "restore a copy of this file from 2 weeks ago" and the program will tell you to "please insert backup tape #5" and then does the job.

Even advanced Unix/Linux backup programs can usually be used from the command line too, so a GUI will not be necessary. And if your local workstation includes X server software and a SSH client with the X11 forwarding enabled, you can run GUI programs remotely and have their windows displayed on your local workstation's screen while the server is in runlevel 3. The only server-side requirement is that the server has the "xauth" RPM and the X11 application support libraries installed (and the libraries will probably get auto-installed as dependencies of you install any program that has the capability to use a GUI).