The v2.0.X versions of the kernel have version 2.08 of
already. I recommend, however, that you grab the latest version of
the full source code package for
ftape. It is a newer version,
includes files that are not included in the kernel distribution, and
includes much better documentation about how to install
Version 2.11a or newer of
ftape is available from
At the time of writing this version of the HOWTO document, v3.xx is
available. I recommend sticking with v2.xx unless you are ready,
willing, and able to use a development release with bugs.
The following sections provide some useful information to get you going with the installation of v2.11a.
Once you've downloaded the source code (probably
ftape-2.11a.tar.gz), untar it. You can do this by
determining what directory you want the source code to be located in.
~/src. When the tar file
is extracted, it will dump everything into a
subdirectory, so that you'll end up, in the example I've given, with
~/src/ftape-2.11a. It is possible to drop the entire ftape
distribution into the
directory, but untar the file into a location like I've suggested
first, read through the documentation, then decide how you want to
README file. The
README is required reading. It's
the top of the tree, so to speak. If there are specific files that
README tells you to read then read them. It will make the
process much less complicated.
Do NOT proceed with compiling the package until you have read the
README files and the
README mentions that the
linux-tape mailing list. I
recommend subscribing to the
linux.dev.tape newsgroup instead.
The machine serving the mailing list is overburdened.
There are two ways that
ftape support can be added to the kernel.
Of these two methods, the first has fewer potential problems. The
second has the benefit of only consuming memory while the driver is
loaded. The original author of
ftape (Bas Laarhoven) has pointed
ftape was not originally designed to be used with
ftape directly into the kernel on my computer. In
general, fewer difficulties or complications are reported when it is
done this way. A good rule of thumb is to compile it into the kernel
unless you both have a good reason not to and are willing to accept
any of the complications that can arise from doing otherwise. If you
do compile it into the kernel, please keep in mind that you cannot use
zftape instead of
ftape because the two use the same major
If you are compiling the driver directly into the kernel, you can generally ignore the instructions regarding modules.
If you have a v1.2 kernel, you should use the modules-1.3.57 package, not the modules-1.2.8 package (Bjørn Ekwall, maintainer of the modules package, encourages this).
If you are using v1.3.x of the kernel, you should consider moving to v2.0.x. v1.3.x was the development release prior to the production release v2.0.x.
If you want to follow the development of the
you should read the Usenet newsgroup
linux.dev.tape. This is
really gatewayed from the mailing list
firstname.lastname@example.org, but since
brought to it's knees due to the load of the various Linux mailing
lists, I recommend everyone to read the newsgroup instead.
If you are unable to read news, you can subscribe to the TAPE mailing
list by sending a mail saying `
subscribe linux-tape' (in
the body) to
email@example.com. When you
subscribe, you will be sent a greeting mail, which will tell you how
to submit real mails and how to get off the list again.
Please note that I do not, repeat DO NOT, have any special powers with regard to this mailing list. If you're stuck on the list, don't bother to tell me that. I can only shrug and send you my sympathy (but that won't get you off the list).
Since both the floppy driver and
ftape needs the FDC (and
IRQ6), they cannot run concurrently. Thus, if you have mounted a
floppy and then try to access the tape drive,
complain that it cannot grab IRQ6 and then die. This is especially a
problem when designing a emergency disk for use with ftape. This
solution is to either load the boot/root disk into a ramdisk and then
unmount the floppy, or have two floppy drive controllers.