From Yixin Diao on Tue, 12 Oct 1999
I know you after I read your message "Open Letter Re: Linux on Dell Hardware". May I ask you a question? Can Dell's tape drive "10/20GB EIDE TR5 Tape Backup" work well under Linux?
Ahh Yes! The old "open letter to Dell." Of course I can't take any credit for the fact that Dell does now offer Linux pre-installed on selected models. I don't even know if my letter ever made it to Micheal Dell or anyone beyond "secretary." Ironically I work for the company that provides Linux technical support to Dell.
I haven't played with any TR5 tape drives. However, I suspect that it should work. Be sure to compile a kernel with support for IDE tape drives (it's in the menuconfig options after IDE CD-ROM drives, and IDE hard drives).
According to /usr/src/linux/Documentation/ide.txt you should be able to use /dev/ht0 to access your IDE tape drive, just as you'd use /dev/st0 to work with a SCSI tape drive.