Linux support for Sony AIT drive (SDX-300X)?

Linux support for Sony AIT drive (SDX-300X)?

Post by Torbjorn Lindgr » Sun, 23 Jul 2000 04:00:00

Quote:>I have recently purchased a Sony SDX-300C SCSI tape drive, having
>been led to believe that Linux supported it.  I am very
>interested in hearing from anyone who has this device working
>under Linux, how they did it and the tools they use to read/write
>tapes.  My problem is fundamental: I can't do a damn thing with
>the drive that involves writing.

Weird, we have several Sony SDX-300C and we just plugged them in and
they worked directly without any problem... Both using tar directly
and with Amanda.

Quote:>The Linux module st.o (SCSI tape) would first appear to be the
>right driver.  However, the tape drive always shows up as being

SCSI tape is what I have used, on several different RedHat
installation (mainly 5.x installations), never had any problems with

Quote:>  % mt -f /dev/st0 status
>  SCSI 2 tape drive:
>  File number=-1, block number=-1, partition=0.
>  Tape block size 512 bytes. Density code 0x30 (unknown to this mt).
>  Soft error count since last status=0
>  General status bits on (5010000):

>The WR_PROT flag is set regardless of the position of the
>write-protect tab on the tape, or even if there's a tape in the
>drive.  Using tar or dd to write a file confirms this:

Weird, perhaps it has a write-protect DIP somewhere on the drive? I
don't have the manual at hand so I can't check at the moment.

Double check all DIP setting first.. If that doesn't help perhaps you
should post details about your setup, such as how it's connected
(cabling, termination) and the messages from the syslog during startup
(and any error message logged when you access the drive).

I'm getting this from mt on one of the machines nearby, this was is a
pretty well updated RH 5.2 machine with 2.2.16:

SCSI 2 tape drive:
File number=0, block number=0, partition=0.
Tape block size 512 bytes. Density code 0x30 (unknown to this mt).
Soft error count since last status=0
General status bits on (41010000):

SCSI 2 tape drive:
File number=-1, block number=-1, partition=0.
Tape block size 0 bytes. Density code 0x0 (default).
Soft error count since last status=0
General status bits on (50000):

Quote:>  Detected Sony scsi tape sonyt0 at scsi 0, chan 0, id 0, lun 0
>  Attempt to allocate device channel 0, target 0, lun 0
>  Kernel panic: No device found in scsi_allocate_device

Is it on Channel A, SCSI ID 0? What does Linux says when you boot,
look via dmesg or in /var/log/messages.

Quote:>Not very encouraging.  In fact, a web search for anything related
>to this drive under Linux turns up precious little, and some of
>it isn't very flattering to the drive.

It's always that way, if it workes flawless there probably won't be
any postings about it, so most of what you find is bound to be people
with problems :-)

There are a lot of these out there, and problem with them seems to be
rare IMNSHO. Now most DAT drives on the other hand...

Quote:>So that's my story.  I have an Adaptec AHA-3940UW SCSI card that
>seems to work just fine otherwise.  (It's listed in Sony's
>compatibility list, but not for Linux.)  I'm running a RedHat 6.2
>system with kernel upgrade to 2.2.16, but this was happening at
>2.2.14 as well.

Hmm. 3940's in general is icky, older ones are fundamentally broken
and can't be used reliably on a modern PC (it has a PCI bridge chip
that isn't PCI compatible IIRC, thought it sometimes happens to work,
at least as long as you don't stress it)...

If you have other devices on the SAME chain that is working in Linux
then the controller ought to be innocent though... But just to be
sure, can you find another more standardized controller and try if you
get the same effect there...

I'm not sure if I have seen any SDX-300C running on RH 6.2 machines
though, but I think there'll be one soon (I think it was 6.2 that was
going to be installed on the newest machine with AIT tape drive).


Linux support for Sony AIT drive (SDX-300X)?

Post by Charles R. Wrigh » Wed, 26 Jul 2000 04:00:00



> yes, that's bizarre. What are the DIP switch settings on the drive ?

Turns out that the mail-order vendor sent me the WRONG TAPES!
Having never seen them before, it took me a few days to realize
that they were for the SDX-500, not the SDX-300C, and that this
mattered.  I now have the right tapes and they work fine with mt,
tar, etc. using the standard SCSI tape module (st.o).

Quote:> :

> nono. No need to use a proprietary driver for a standard SCSI Streaming
> Device (this is not OnStream :))

Sony has contacted me and said they'll be removing this driver.
It was apparently beta anyway.  Still, I'd feel better if "mt
status" knew about the density code, and perhaps other special
features not normally accessible through mt and friends.

Charles Wright

Woolsey-Swanson Rule:
        People would rather live with a problem they cannot
        solve rather than accept a solution they cannot understand.


1. Sony SDX-700C AIT drive on Sun E450: Please help

Trying to get a Sony SDX-700C AIT-3 drive to work on a Sun Ultra Enterprise

- Added the Sony-recommended /kernel/drv/st.conf entries and rebooted

- Connected it via the built in wide SCSI 68-pin connector on the backpanel.

Used Jorge Schilling's sdd and star to write to the drive

sdd -time -inull of=/dev/rmt/0un bs=128k count=8192

gives me a speed of ~ 17MB/sec. Pretty good, but still nowhere near the
rated max (compressed) of 33MB/sec.

- Connected via a Single-Ended SCSI PCI card, similar results

- Connected via  a SunSwift X1032A PCI SCSI adapter, similar results.

- If I connect it via a differential SCSI PCI card, probe-scsi-all doesnt
even see the drive. Probably makes sense, since the AIT-3 drive's backpanel
has "LVD/SE" written on it.

But when I write a real data file i.e. a compressed .Z file, I get a
pathetic speed of ~4.5MB/sec. The rated uncompressed speed of the drive is

Why is this?

Has anyone used AIT-3 SDX-700C drives? Do they perform at 12MB/sec
(uncompressed) and 33MB/sec compressed?

What am I doing wrong? Am I missing any drivers, hardware/firmware upgrades?

Do I need

Please help. Any assistance greatly appreciated.


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