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sa(4) [debian man page]

SA(4)							   BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual 						     SA(4)

sa -- SCSI Sequential Access device driver SYNOPSIS
The sa driver provides support for all SCSI devices of the sequential access class that are attached to the system through a supported SCSI Host Adapter. The sequential access class includes tape and other linear access devices. A SCSI Host adapter must also be separately configured into the system before a SCSI sequential access device can be configured. MOUNT SESSIONS
The sa driver is based around the concept of a ``mount session'', which is defined as the period between the time that a tape is mounted, and the time when it is unmounted. Any parameters set during a mount session remain in effect for the remainder of the session or until replaced. The tape can be unmounted, bringing the session to a close in several ways. These include: 1. Closing a `rewind device', referred to as sub-mode 00 below. An example is /dev/sa0. 2. Using the MTOFFL ioctl(2) command, reachable through the 'offline' command of mt(1). It should be noted that tape devices are exclusive open devices, except in the case where a control mode device is opened. In the latter case, exclusive access is only sought when needed (e.g., to set parameters). SUB-MODES Bits 0 and 1 of the minor number are interpreted as 'sub-modes'. The sub-modes differ in the action taken when the device is closed: 00 A close will rewind the device; if the tape has been written, then a file mark will be written before the rewind is requested. The device is unmounted. 01 A close will leave the tape mounted. If the tape was written to, a file mark will be written. No other head positioning takes place. Any further reads or writes will occur directly after the last read, or the written file mark. 10 A close will rewind the device. If the tape has been written, then a file mark will be written before the rewind is requested. On completion of the rewind an unload command will be issued. The device is unmounted. BLOCKING MODES
SCSI tapes may run in either 'variable' or 'fixed' block-size modes. Most QIC-type devices run in fixed block-size mode, where most nine- track tapes and many new cartridge formats allow variable block-size. The difference between the two is as follows: Variable block-size: Each write made to the device results in a single logical record written to the tape. One can never read or write part of a record from tape (though you may request a larger block and read a smaller record); nor can one read multiple blocks. Data from a sin- gle write is therefore read by a single read. The block size used may be any value supported by the device, the SCSI adapter and the system (usually between 1 byte and 64 Kbytes, sometimes more). When reading a variable record/block from the tape, the head is logically considered to be immediately after the last item read, and before the next item after that. If the next item is a file mark, but it was never read, then the next process to read will immediately hit the file mark and receive an end-of-file notification. Fixed block-size: Data written by the user is passed to the tape as a succession of fixed size blocks. It may be contiguous in memory, but it is considered to be a series of independent blocks. One may never write an amount of data that is not an exact multiple of the blocksize. One may read and write the same data as a different set of records. In other words, blocks that were written together may be read sepa- rately, and vice-versa. If one requests more blocks than remain in the file, the drive will encounter the file mark. As there is some data to return (unless there were no records before the file mark), the read will succeed, returning that data. The next read will return immediately with a value of 0. (As above, if the file mark is never read, it remains for the next process to read if in no-rewind mode.) FILE MARK HANDLING
The handling of file marks on write is automatic. If the user has written to the tape, and has not done a read since the last write, then a file mark will be written to the tape when the device is closed. If a rewind is requested after a write, then the driver assumes that the last file on the tape has been written, and ensures that there are two file marks written to the tape. The exception to this is that there seems to be a standard (which we follow, but do not understand why) that certain types of tape do not actually write two file marks to tape, but when read, report a `phantom' file mark when the last file is read. These devices include the QIC family of devices. (It might be that this set of devices is the same set as that of fixed block devices. This has not been determined yet, and they are treated as separate behaviors by the driver at this time.) IOCTLS
The sa driver supports all of the ioctls of mtio(4). FILES
/dev/[n][e]sa[0-9] general form: /dev/sa0 Rewind on close /dev/nsa0 No rewind on close /dev/esa0 Eject on close (if capable) /dev/sa0.ctl Control mode device (to examine state while another program is accessing the device, e.g.). DIAGNOSTICS
cam(4), mt(1) AUTHORS
The sa driver was written for the CAM SCSI subsystem by Justin T. Gibbs and Kenneth Merry. Many ideas were gleaned from the st device driver written and ported from Mach 2.5 by Julian Elischer. The current owner of record is Matthew Jacob who has suffered too many years of breaking tape drivers. BUGS
This driver lacks many of the hacks required to deal with older devices. Many older SCSI-1 devices may not work properly with this driver yet. Additionally, certain tapes (QIC tapes mostly) that were written under FreeBSD 2.X are not automatically read correctly with this driver: you may need to explicitly set variable block mode or set to the blocksize that works best for your device in order to read tapes written under FreeBSD 2.X. Fine grained density and compression mode support that is bound to specific device names needs to be added. Support for fast indexing by use of partitions is missing. BSD
June 6, 1999 BSD
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