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Old 08-26-2005, 04:11 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Europe
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SCSI & Generic Drive issues

Hi there!
I m a complete newbie, notwithstanding tho, I have misteriously managed to install a Red Hat 9.0 Server, upgrade it, configure Samba & get it to run as the main file server of the office, which I am pretty proud of :P
Miracles of Webmin you're probably thinking, and you'd be right!

The problem is that now I m tackling Amanda with a HP SureStore Dat 8 SCSI external drive & its driving me nuts.

There are several issues, but the main on is that I still don t understand how Drives work in Linux. As a Windows Admin, I m used to adding drives, and once installed, seeing them appearing with a specific letter on the computer.

Linux however places these in the /dev/ folder with names such as sda1, sdb1 ect.
Why is this? Is there a logic behind the naming format? Is it somehow sequential?

I added the SCSI card & RH9 found it with the hardware demon, under Info, in the Control Panel, it displays the Adaptec SCSI card under the PCI field but not under the SCSI field, is this correct?
Am I supposed to install drivers for the SureStore Dat 8 or is the SCSI card sufficient?

How do I access the drive, how do I find out what name it has under /dev/ ?

I know it's a lot to ask, but its probably bread and butter for you guys, and its a bloody mountain for me, and I ve got enough on my hand without wasting hours & hours reading on the internet for stuff I don t know how to find!
Thanks a million
Old 08-26-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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I won't give you a complete course here about device naming in Linux, there is more than enough of that on the Internet.

If you have installed this SCSI card with that drive, you'll be able to access your tape streamer. The device name is /dev/st0 or /dev/nst0

The difference between /dev/st0 and /dev/nst0 is that /dev/st0 always rewinds after an operation.

Reading writing from and to tape is made quiete easy, and not as obfuscated as in Windoze at all. For example:

ls -l > /dev/nst0

simply writes the directory listing to tape!

If you want to control the tape streamer, use the "mt" command. Do a "man mt" to see what it does. Easy huh?

I am not sure that Amanda is the best beackup program for you if you only have a single server. I choose not to use it because it is much too intelligent, avoids to overwrite tapes accidentally etc.

I settled for "star" which is a somewhat extended "tar". You can obtain it here. It does what it has to do. I wrote a neat script for using "star" which you can download here. The script allows you to do incremental dumps as well. Read thoroughly thru the star man pages to know how, and what you should pay attention to.

This script overcomes the problem that star cannot backup over multiple file systems (that is, if you mounted a file system from a separate partition)

If you use star, whether or not with this script, be sure that you find out and test how to restore. You *can* restore reliably, but you have to know how to do it.

Old 08-29-2005, 03:08 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 63

Original Poster
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Perfect, thanks!
This is exactly what I needed to patch my ignorance
Thanks a mil!


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