MTIO(4) BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual MTIO(4)
mtio -- magtape interface
This interface concerns devices which are typical tape block devices, see
The conventional device letters/numbers is applicable to any of the
transport/controller pairs. (But note that only 1600 BPI is available
with the TS11, and that 800 BPI is not applicable to TM78.)
When the device last number is between 0-7 the device will operate at 800
BPI (or its lowest density), between 8-15 it will operate at 1600 BPI (or
its second density), and between 16-23 it will operate at 6250 BPI.
The rewind devices automatically rewind when the last requested read,
write or seek has finished, or the end of the tape has been reached. The
letter 'n' is usually prepended to the name of the no-rewind devices.
Unix tapes are written in multiples of 1024 byte block records. Two end-
of-file markers mark the end of a tape, and one end-of-file marker marks
the end of a tape file. If the tape is not to be rewound it is posi-
tioned with the head in between the two tape marks, where the next write
will overwrite the second end-of-file marker.
All of the magtape devices may be manipulated with the mt(1) command.
The include file <sys/mtio.h> defines the various ioctl(2) operations
available on raw magnetic tape.
mt(1), tar(1), intro(4), st(4)
The mtio manual appeared in 4.2BSD.
The status should be returned in a device independent format.
BSD January 21, 2014 BSD