Is there a command I can run to rotate and manipulate the tapes on a Sun StorEdge L8?

I need to be able to rotate tapes from the command line in Solaris 9 that will rotate the tapes before running a backup. I don't want to purchase any additional software and I do not have Veritas Backup Manager. I run backups from scripts using "ufsdump".
truelove258Asked:
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TintinCommented:
You can do a

mt offline

to unload a tape.  Not sure if you can get it to load the next tape though.
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yuzhCommented:
Tintin has pointed you to the right direstion.

"mt" is the command to play with tapes,

eg:
  rewind tape:
 mt -f /dev/rmt/0n rewind

  forward tape by x EOF mark
  mt -f /dev/rmt/0n fsf x

   mt -f /dev/rmt/0n fsf  offline


man mt
to learn more details


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truelove258Author Commented:
Yes. I know how to use mt to unload tapes and rewind and forward tapes. But for the L8, I need to know how to rotate it, if there is a way. I've heard that some guys have found a way within the solaris commands to rotate the tape drive.
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tfewsterCommented:
I can't find any info on command line/programming interfaces to the L8, but  MTX (free) from http://mtx.badtux.net/  works with Solaris & the L8, and gives you the command-line control.

Or, at it's simplest: Set the L8 to "Sequential" mode, so that when you use `mt offline` to unload a tape, it loads the next one automatically.  I suppose you could keep track of which tape was loaded and then keep ejecting tapes until it came round to the one you wanted. See http://sunsolve.sun.com/handbook_pub/Systems/L8/documents/admn.htm for details on switching "Sequential" and "Circular" modes on.

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truelove258Author Commented:
I'll take into account your advice about using "sequential" mode. I don't know if I want to trust freeware on an enterprise system though. I was hoping there was some "backware" loaded into Solaris 9 that few people knew about. I'll keep asking and I still hoping someone knows the answer (if there is one).
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tfewsterCommented:
Sun StorEdge Enterprise Backup software v. 7.1 (Previously Solstice Backup suite) is expensive, especially when you add the Autoloader control modules - If you didn't buy the software bundled with the L8, you may be able to download the older version, 7.0, for evaluation - but I don't know what charges/licencing/conditions apply for that version.

An alternative would be to find out what the L8 is based on, and see if the original manufacturer has published a programmers guide so you can write your own backup management system - But personally, I'd go for MTX at least for the command-line + programming utilities and maybe write your own database/tape management system.
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truelove258Author Commented:
tfewster's answer worked beautifully. Setting the L8 to sequential mode on, circular mode on, autload mode on and using the mt -r /dev/rmt/0nc rewoffl unloaded the tape and rotated to the next one. Thank yo!!
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