Accessing Tape Drive on another linux system

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Fri Dec 23 18:56:05 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-12-23 at 12:50, amar_padhi wrote:

> requirement is simple. Two servers exist on RHEL 3.0. The tape drive is
> connected to server B. The databases are on server A. We want a direct
> access to the tape drive on server B from server A. This way we will be
> able to do online backups direct to the server B tape drive from server
> A databases. Redhat support informed that this is not possible, i.e.,
> tape drives cannot be shared across the network.
> I am very sure this is possible. This is a requirement which every
> multi-server organization will have and linux is more than capable of
> doing this!
> Do provide your inputs. Bottom line, how do I share my tape drive on the
> network (for linux servers only).

The straightforward way is to execute the jobs that need tape
via ssh from the machine with the tape drive, redirecting
the output appropriately.  For example, for a tar backup:
ssh othermachine 'cd /dir_to_copy && tar -cf - .' >/dev/nst0
If your tape drive requires fixed block sizes you can
pipe through dd with -obs specified to adjust as needed.

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell at

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