Amanda:Which tape changer is right for me?

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This article answers a FAQ (frequently asked question).

If you only have one tape unit, you have two choices:

  1. Don't use a tape changer at all, i.e., set runtapes to 1, set tapedev to the non-rewinding device corresponding to the tape unit, and comment out tpchanger, changerfile and changerdev
  2. Set up chg-manual, so that you can change tapes manually. If you select chg-manual, you will not be able to start amdump as a cron job, and you should always run amflush -f, because chg-manual will ask you to press return in the terminal where you started the controlling program.

If you have several tape units, which you want to use to emulate a tape changer, you want chg-multi. Even if you do own a real tape changer, that operates based on ejecting a tape or such, chg-multi may be useful.

Actual tape changers usually require specialized changer programs, such as mtx, chio or specific system calls. The availability of these programs is much more dependent on the operating system you're running than on the particular tape changer hardware you have.

mtx, for example, is available for several platforms. However, even if you find it for your platform, beware that there exist several different programs named mtx, that require different command line arguments, and print different output, and Amanda's chg-mtx does not support them all. You may have to edit the script, which shouldn't be hard to do.

In section BUILT-IN TAPE CHANGERS of Amanda Tape Changer Support you will find details about the tape changer interfacing programs provided with Amanda, that can interact with common tape changer programs and with tape changer-related system calls provided by some operating system. If none of them matches your needs, you may have to develop your own tape changer interface script.


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