SUMMARY: remote mt

From: Colin J. Wynne (
Date: Fri Oct 11 1996 - 14:48:39 CDT


First, thanks to all the people who responded (quite a few too many to
list out, I think. :) The original question was on being able to do
something like `mt status' for a remote tape drive, and wondering if
there were a way to use remote tapes without an .rhosts file.

Everyone seems to think .rhosts is necessary, and assuming that, one
can of course just `rsh <tapehost> mt <etc>'.

Several suggestions involved creating a dummy user for the purpose of
handling backups so that the .rhosts didn't have to belong to a
privileged user.

One person suggested doing the backup from the machine with the tape
using NFS mounted partitions. Just a note, though, that this cannot
be done using ufsdump, because that program will complain about a
non-local partition.

I gave in and allowed password-free access so that I could remotely
use mt off of the tapehost, but I accomplished this using ssh (Secure
Shell) for the job. This way, only the root user from the machine
running the backup actually has remote access this way, and even if
password verification is bypassed, key verification is not. (ssh is a
really nice piece of software, by the way...)

At some point, I will probably even redo that so that a non-privileged
user is involved instead of root.

Thanks for the help,


- --
    /\ Colin J. Wynne Johns Hopkins University
   (()) Dep't of Mathematical Sciences
  /____\ ``Lunatic-at-Large'' E-Mail:
/________\ Arthur C. Clarke's Law: It has yet to be proven that
                     intelligence has any survival value.

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