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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Backup Tapes

FreeBSD supports SCSI, USB, and IDE tape drives. SCSI drives are faster and more reliable than IDE drives, although IDE drives are cheaper. USB tape drives are not always standards-compliant and hence not always compatible with FreeBSD. Definitely check the release notes or the FreeBSD mailing list archives to confirm that your tape drive is compatible with FreeBSD.

Once you've physically installed your tape drive, you need to confirm that FreeBSD recognizes it. The simplest way is to check the /var/run/dmesg. boot file, as discussed in Chapter 3. SCSI and USB tapes show up as sa devices while IDE tape drives show up as ast. For example, the following three lines from dmesg.boot describe the SCSI tape device in this machine:

sa0 at ...

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