Command-line access to firewire tape drive

Jan 4, 2007
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I have an Exabyte VXA-2e firewire tape drive. I need to setup a script that will backup various things on a mac computer to tape.

For various reasons, we do not want to use graphical software (like retrospect). We would like to create a script that will do the backup, log results and email us.

However, I do not know how to access the tape drive in Mac OS X. I have a few questions:

1. How can I verify that is is properly detected (something like a system command that would like any detected firewire device and its status)? Graphical commands would also help, as this is mainly to verify the tape drive connectivity.

2. How do I access the drive (from command-line or GUI)? Is there a /dev/ name for it?

3. What command exist for the tape manipulation (rewind, fast-forward, get status, eject)?

4. How would I do a simple tar to tape?

Can anyone refer me to some good websites or books about using a tape drive in Mac OS X?

Also, maybe some links for AppleScript regarding tape drive.

Thanks a lot.

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