Installing SCSI Tape for Slackware 10.0

Well, I finally got around to installing the DDS-3 tape in my new linux server today. Since I had completely forgotten how I had done this last time I had to figure it out all over again.

Anyway, I put the hardware in the PC and fired it up and of course it didn’t work. The Linux SCIS How-To was only marginally useful. Here is what I finally figured out from a variety of sources:

  • First you need to make sure that SCSI support is configured into the kernel. To do this check /usr/src/linux/.config. The parameter CONFIG_SCSI should be set to Y compile SCSI support into the kernel. There are also a bunch of other parameters than you can fiddle with to compile stuff like disc and tape support into the kernel, but the are probably fine as loadable modules (parameter value = M).
  • To find out what PCI controllers are installed in the system use the ‘pcimodules’ command. This takes no parameters and returns a list of all PCI devices in the machine. From this I found out that I was using an aic7xxx SCSI controller.
  • Next I had to load the aic7xxx driver. To do this manually, use the modprobe -a aic7xxx command. To have it load automatically when the system boots, modify /etc/rc.d/rc.modules by uncommenting the line for the aic7xxx driver.

That is all there is to it, but it took me over an hour to figure this out for the available documentation.

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