SUMMARY: Tape Autochanger Control

From: Matthew Atkinson <>
Date: Tue Oct 23 2001 - 08:40:48 EDT
Dear All,

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about controlling a tape 
autochanger from Solaris 8. I received responses from:-

Jonathan Loh
Andy Bach
John Rowan Littell
Jeff Horowitz
William Enestvedt
Prabhala, Rama
Ric Anderson
Jordan Gaston
Jon Burgoyne

Responses ranged from 'You control this from the front control panel', 
which is difficult to script, through to those enlightered souls who 
pointed me in the direction of a program called mtx.

I'll quote John Rowan Littell directly, as his advice was what I followed:-


In a similar situation, I have an Overland DLT LoaderXpress on an
E450/Solaris 8.  I used the sgen driver to access the loader's
management SCSI address.  Look for the sgen driver config file in
/kernel/drv/sgen.conf -- all of the entries are commented out by

Then I got the mtx program from
That lets me control the changer with commands like 'mtx -f
/dev/scsi/changer/<target> load <slot>'.


As John says, uncomment the lines in the sgen.conf file, and reboot, and 
lo and behold I have a /dev/scsi/changer/c4t0d0 device. Compile mtx 
(after downloading gcc and gmake from, and for 
convenience ln -s /dev/svsi/changer/c4t0d0 /dev/changer. and I'm running.

Now I can do things like "mtx load 3" to load from slot 3, or "mtx 
unload", to put it back. Also rather wonderfully, it will read the 
barcodes from the tapes, so an mtx status will tell me where everything 
is. Very useful to put in backup scripts for reference.

Jeff Horowitz reminded me to "make sure you have applied patch 
110901-01, or it won't work!", which I can't comment on, since this 
patch was already applied, but others may need to heed his advice.

I now have an easily controllable changer, which incidentally is 
actually an HP C7145-8000, at least that what it reports itself as. 
Thanks to everyone.

Matthew Atkinson                      Phone:  +44 (0) 1904 462120
IT Development and Unix Manager       Fax:    +44 (0) 1904 462111
Information Systems Team
Central Science Laboratory            E-mail:
Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, England  Web:
Received on Tue Oct 23 13:40:48 2001

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