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Backing up to tape using ufsdump in Solaris

Aug 7th 2008
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Although this method is extremely ‘old skool’ these days as most enterprise solutions have a dedicated tape library or even SAN based backups, this method is still a valid means of backing up a single or multiple systems when a single attached tape drive is used.

Backup a disk to tape:
# /usr/sbin/ufsdump -0f - /var | dd ibs=32k obs=32k of=/dev/rmt/0n

Backup a remote HOST to a local tape:
# ssh -c blowfish HOST 'sudo /usr/sbin/ufsdump -0f - /var | dd ibs=32k obs=32k of=/dev/rmt/0n'

Get the current file number from tape:
# mt -f /dev/rmt/0n status

Fast forward the tape by N files:
# mt -f /dev/rmt/0n fsf N

Rewinds the tape to the start:
# mt -f /dev/rmt/0n rewind

Eject the tape – same as hitting the eject button!
# mt -f /dev/rmt/0n offline

If you get the “enter volume name” message…
# /usr/sbin/ufsrestore -if /dev/rmt/0n
Mount volume 2
then enter volume name (default: /dev/rmt/0)

…it usually means you’re at the end of the tape. So rewind the tape and it should be fine!
# mt -f /dev/rmt/0n rewind


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