Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Primoz Peterli » Wed, 18 Mar 1998 04:00:00



Hello,

I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux machine at home.
From what I've learned from DejaNews, I am not the first one who has come
up with that idea. However, I find it slightly annoying that the MS-DOS
filesystem seems to be ,,the greatest common denominator``, i.e. the only
filesystem I can read and write on either end. Is that still true or have
I missed something?

Best regards, Primoz

--

In1titut za biofiziko MF, Lipieva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
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Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Jim Buchan » Wed, 18 Mar 1998 04:00:00


: I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
: the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux machine at home.
[...]
: up with that idea. However, I find it slightly annoying that the MS-DOS
: filesystem seems to be ,,the greatest common denominator``, i.e. the only
: filesystem I can read and write on either end. Is that still true or have

I don't know of a better filesystem to use, but I do know that I can
use tar or cpio to read/write directly to my zip drive under Linux (I
just had to try it, even though I have no true need). It's probably
possible to interchange tar or cpio archives between Linux and HPUX in
this manner.

You'd also be able to use the "z" option with tar and compress the
data. HPUX 9.05 (rather dated) on my HP 735 does not support this
option, so using a pipe with gzip might be on order on the HP side.

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Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Mark MacLenn » Wed, 18 Mar 1998 04:00:00



> I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
> the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux machine at home.
> From what I've learned from DejaNews, I am not the first one who has come
> up with that idea. However, I find it slightly annoying that the MS-DOS
> filesystem seems to be ,,the greatest common denominator``, i.e. the only
> filesystem I can read and write on either end. Is that still true or have
> I missed something?

What else did you have in mind?  I am not aware of any portable
Unix-based formatted filesystem that could be used for this purpose
instead.  I suppose you could write/read a tar or cpio archive
using this media but that isn't any more convenient than using a
MS-DOS filesystem and it might present additional problems.

The mtools software package which permits ZIP and JAZ drives under
Unix and Linux supports long file names in addition to the older
8.3 DOS file name format.  If the purpose is to simply transfer
files between different OSes then I don't see what the annoyance
is (you don't even have to use the "mount" command to use the media
then there is the added convenience of being able to read/write
the ZIP disks on a PC or Macintosh ...)

- MARK

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by c.. » Wed, 18 Mar 1998 04:00:00



> I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
> the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux machine at home.
> From what I've learned from DejaNews, I am not the first one who has come
> up with that idea. However, I find it slightly annoying that the MS-DOS
> filesystem seems to be ,,the greatest common denominator``, i.e. the only
> filesystem I can read and write on either end. Is that still true or have
> I missed something?

        You have not missed something. These are two different brands
of UNIX, each with their own type of UNIX filesystem definition. If
you create a filesystem on the ZIP drive, at least one UNIX must be
able to recognize the other's filesystem type. (Heck I have had some
problems the same vendor recognizing a filesystem from a different
major release level!)

                                        cjw


"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." --Immanuel Kant

We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Shankar Unn » Wed, 18 Mar 1998 04:00:00



> I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward
> between the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux
> machine at home.

Linux supports the "vfat" (long file names) filesystem type, so you can
just mount the ZIP disk (preformatted as VFAT at the factory, usually)
as a filesystem (using "mount -t vfat ...") and read and write to your
heart's content.

On HP-UX, you should probably use "mtools" (version 3.6 or better).
mtools provides a set of command-line utilities (actually a bunch of
hard links to the same executable) to read and write Windows VFAT
filesystems on floppies and ZIPs (mdir, mcopy, etc.).

In fact, mtools is the perfect portable solution for VFAT access on most
Unix boxes (HP-UX, Solaris, Irix, ...). If you want to simplify your
life, you can use mtools on Linux as well..

Oh yeah, mformat (part of mtools) will also do the equivalent of the DOS
"format" command, in case your ZIP disk ever gets clobbered..
--

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Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Franz Dolling » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00



writes:


> > I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward
> > between the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux
> > machine at home.

> In fact, mtools is the perfect portable solution for VFAT access on most
> Unix boxes (HP-UX, Solaris, Irix, ...). If you want to simplify your
> life, you can use mtools on Linux as well..

How safe is it to use mtools?

People here stated great concerns with respect to integrity of file systems.

can anyone tell about problems or good experiences with mtools?

I'd like to use it, but I have to convince system administrtators here.

thanks

Bye
  Franz

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Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Primoz Peterli » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00




> > I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
> > the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux machine at home.
>         You have not missed something. These are two different brands
> of UNIX, each with their own type of UNIX filesystem definition. If
> you create a filesystem on the ZIP drive, at least one UNIX must be
> able to recognize the other's filesystem type. (Heck I have had some
> problems the same vendor recognizing a filesystem from a different
> major release level!)

I am fully aware that these are two different brands of Unix, running
on two different architectures (big/little-endian) etc. Still, if there
are standard formats for CD-ROM and floppy disks, there could, in
principle,
be one for ZIP floppies as well? Something like ISO9660 + RockRidge
Interchange Protocol for Iomega Zip/Jaz? I mean, after all, shouldn't
Iomega be interested in establishing a standard and avoiding the fuss
with
MS-DOS/Macintosh "double formats"?

Best regards, Primoz

--

In1titut za biofiziko MF, Lipieva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Fax: +386-61-1315127     WWW: http://sizif.mf.uni-lj.si/~peterlin/

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Primoz Peterli » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00




> > I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward between
> What else did you have in mind?  I am not aware of any portable
> Unix-based formatted filesystem that could be used for this purpose
> instead. ...

You've guessed it correctly -- what I did have in mind was a portable
filesystem that would present itself as POSIX-compliant.

Quote:> ... I suppose you could write/read a tar or cpio archive
> using this media but that isn't any more convenient than using a
> MS-DOS filesystem and it might present additional problems.

True. tar seems to be working, I haven't tried with cpio yet. I do admit
this is not what I have been looking for, though.

Quote:> The mtools software package which permits ZIP and JAZ drives under
> Unix and Linux supports long file names in addition to the older
> 8.3 DOS file name format.  If the purpose is to simply transfer
> files between different OSes then I don't see what the annoyance
> is (you don't even have to use the "mount" command to use the media
> then there is the added convenience of being able to read/write
> the ZIP disks on a PC or Macintosh ...)

The so-called VFAT might, despites being inferior to both HFS and ext2
filesystems, indeed be the best solution, and, if proved stable,
sufficient for file transfer. Thanks for reminding me to upgrade my
mtools to something recent... :-)

Best regards, Primoz

--

In1titut za biofiziko MF, Lipieva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Fax: +386-61-1315127     WWW: http://sizif.mf.uni-lj.si/~peterlin/

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Primoz Peterli » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00




> > I would like to use Iomega ZIP to carry data backward and forward
> > between the Hewlett-Packard workstation at work and the Linux
> > machine at home.
> ...
> On HP-UX, you should probably use "mtools" (version 3.6 or better).
> mtools provides a set of command-line utilities (actually a bunch of
> hard links to the same executable) to read and write Windows VFAT
> filesystems on floppies and ZIPs (mdir, mcopy, etc.).

Thank you for pointing it out. My version of mtools clearly needs an
update.

Best regards, Primoz

--

In1titut za biofiziko MF, Lipieva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Fax: +386-61-1315127     WWW: http://sizif.mf.uni-lj.si/~peterlin/

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Primoz Peterli » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00




> writes:
> > In fact, mtools is the perfect portable solution for VFAT access on most
> > Unix boxes (HP-UX, Solaris, Irix, ...). If you want to simplify your
> > life, you can use mtools on Linux as well..
> How safe is it to use mtools?
> People here stated great concerns with respect to integrity of file systems.
> can anyone tell about problems or good experiences with mtools?
> I'd like to use it, but I have to convince system administrtators here.

Now don't scare me off! :-}

Yes please, if anybody does have any *bad* experience with mtools,
I would appreciate a word of warning. I read that there was a bug in
an old version of mtools (3.0 or so) causing data loss while copying
large data chunks (which is also it rarely appeared with floppies).
I believe the bug was since corrected and I haven't found warnings
about other dangers.

BTW, is there a special reason why parition number 4 is used as default?
I had to change it on both sides (from /dev/sdb4 to /dev/sdb1 on Linux,
and to ``drive a: file="/dev/rdsk/c0t5d0" exclusive partition=1'' on
HP-UX)
before it started to work for me.

Best regards, Primoz

--

In1titut za biofiziko MF, Lipieva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Fax: +386-61-1315127     WWW: http://sizif.mf.uni-lj.si/~peterlin/

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Mark MacLenn » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00



> Yes please, if anybody does have any *bad* experience with mtools,
> I would appreciate a word of warning. I read that there was a bug in
> an old version of mtools (3.0 or so) causing data loss while copying
> large data chunks (which is also it rarely appeared with floppies).
> I believe the bug was since corrected and I haven't found warnings
> about other dangers.

I've been using various versions of mtools for several years and
more than a year with a ZIP drive under Linux and HPUX without
encountering any problems - in fact, in the past the few problems
I've had were with defective floppy diskettes.  New updates of
mtools appear fairly regularly.

There is a Web page for mtools at http://gwyn.tux.org/pub/knaff/mtools/
where you can pick up the latest version (3.9) and post to the
mtools newsgroup if you encounter a problem.  I would suspect that
you'll get a faster response than from many commercial vendors.

Quote:> BTW, is there a special reason why parition number 4 is used as default?
> I had to change it on both sides (from /dev/sdb4 to /dev/sdb1 on Linux, =
> and to ``drive a: file=3D"/dev/rdsk/c0t5d0" exclusive partition=3D1'' on
> HP-UX)

If you are using mtools, there should not be any need to do this.
If you want to create a Linux file system on the ZIP disk then you
may indeed probably want to change the partition.

- MARK

 
 
 

Iomega ZIP, Linux & HP-UX: DOS FAT greatest common denominator?

Post by Heribert Dah » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00



: Now don't scare me off! :-}
:
: Yes please, if anybody does have any *bad* experience with mtools,
: I would appreciate a word of warning. I read that there was a bug in
: an old version of mtools (3.0 or so) causing data loss while copying
: large data chunks (which is also it rarely appeared with floppies).
: I believe the bug was since corrected and I haven't found warnings
: about other dangers.

IIRC the thread started about data exchange between systems, not backup.
You could backup important data on one (or redundantly on both) systems
to a different media like tapes. If the transfer fails due to software
or hardware problems (media defect!), just try again...
Use a format which can detect corruption e.g. using checksums, like gzip.
I always assure data is sync()ed after copying and caches flushed, then
read it again and doing a diff. I prefer all at once: mtype foo|gtar dvvfz -