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LTFS Requirements & Information

Views: 13594
Votes: 1
Posted: 28 Oct, 2011

The following are the requirements for enabling LTFS (Linear Tape File System ) support on your Mac OS X system:

  • LTFS-compatible LTO -5 or LTO-6 tape drive (LTFS is not available on LTO-4 or earlier drives)
  • Intel-base Mac Pro or Xserve running Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later (or Thunderbolt enabled Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Book Air, or Mac Book Pro).
  • MacFUSE Version 2.1.9 for 32 and 64 bit OS X systems, OSXFuse for 64bit 10.7+ systems
  • ICU 4.0.1 Libraries (International Components for Unicode)
  • LTFS Drivers version 1.2.0 or newer for

The following items are not supported by LTFS:

  • PowerPC systems Systems running earlier versions of OS X prior to 10.6.5
  • Systems that do not support PCIe® expansion (Fibre Channel or SAS) - because you cannot connect an LTO-5 drive
  • LTO-4 or earlier drives
  • LTO-5 drives connected via iSCSI


TOLIS Group is not able to provide drivers for all vendors' LTO drives. Please contact your LTO vendor to request the LTFS drivers required for your drive.

BRU PE users with LTO-5 or LTO-6 tape drives from TOLIS Group can obtain the LTFS Drivers for their TOLIS Group tape drive on the TOLIS Group Hardware Downloads page.


Install the components in the following order:

  1. MacFUSE / OSXFuse
  2. ICU 4.0.1
  3. LTFS

Once installed, BRU PE will be able to format, mount, unmount, and import LTFS volumes on your Mac system.

For LTFS access and management within BRU PE, refer to Chapter 6 of the BRU PE User's Guide.

LTFS Command Line Tools 

There are three command line tools provided for use with LTFS volumes. The functionality of these tools is duplicated in the BRU PE LTFS Manager interface. The commands are:

mkltfs - used to format LTO-5 tapes for use as LTFS volumes

ltfs - used to mount the LTFS formatted tapes

ltfsck - used to validate mounted LTFS volumes

unltfs - used to remove the LTFS partitioning (and data) and return the tape to a normal data tape

You do not need admin access to use these tools under OS X.

Warning: LTFS volumes created with LTFS version 1.1.0 are prone to copy issues and should be updated to the LTFS 1.2.0 standard as soon as possible. To do this, we recommend that you copy the live data from the LTFS 1.1.0 tape, format a fresh LTFS tape using the 1.2.0 version provided by your LTO-5 vendor, and then copy the original data to the newly formatted tape. Once you have copied and checked the data on the new LTFS volume, the original tape may be recycled and reformatted for future use.


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