os x: no /dev/mt/tps0d1 or /dev/nst0 for you!

Apple tells us since years whenever it feels approiate that OS X is based on unix. They are not lying of course. But there are some nasty details. One that drives me crazy right now:

Since it’s beginnings unix always supported tape drives. All of them, sometimes there were updates needed etc etc.
But data management via data tapes was always a thing that just worked. On every unix flavor I know. Actually it worked pretty much the same and usually is very reliable once you are a couple of months away of the bleeding edge and if you don’t have to battle broken hardware.

OS X is different: The parts that make tape archiving work have been removed. OS X is the only unix system where this happened. The hardware is there and it works. The software was there and it works. Just that Apple decided “No Tapes for you”. Which is super lame.

On one side Apple wants to be in the pro market. With XSan they like to become a storage vendor, and on the
other side they cripple the operating system by not creating /dev/mt/tpsXdY or /dev/nstX devices.

This is nothing less than Microsoftesc. It really is lame to break working things, just because you have decided that a couple of tape archiving software vendors is more important than the pro market. No, I can not use “retrospect” to manage a Peta Byte for the the movie that I am working on right now. The linux boxes doing the job would have not moved into this Apple heavy environment if Apple would not have broken OS X. To me OS X is only 95% unix and 5 % got soaked in Koolaid and fell apart. Tape device support is some of that. What a shame.

One Response to “os x: no /dev/mt/tps0d1 or /dev/nst0 for you!”

  1. Ethan Zuhl Says:

    I’m was running BRU LE to backup some Final Cut project files. For some reason BRU LE can’t read the first block of the tape when i go to restore the projects.

    I was looking for /dev/nstX devices to just dump the data back onto some drives, but no luck.

    You make a good point about them trying to move into the server market, but not giving the user the appropriate tools. Sort of wierd.

    Guess i’ll boot a linux Live cd and dump the data that way!


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