How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"? - Ubuntu

This is a discussion on How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"? - Ubuntu ; I am new to Linux and Ubuntu, and am trying to set up a working environment. To run backups I need to be able to use my tape drive (an IBM Ultrium 1 drive with a SCSI interface). Unbuntu won't ...

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Thread: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

  1. How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    I am new to Linux and Ubuntu, and am trying to set up a working
    environment.

    To run backups I need to be able to use my tape drive (an IBM Ultrium
    1 drive with a SCSI interface). Unbuntu won't let me. It knows the
    tape drive is there, because there's a file in /dev/tape/by-id which
    describes the drive precisely. But when I look at my user privileges
    in "Users and Groups," the "Use tape drives" item is cleared, and is
    disabled so that I can't put a tick on it.

    I thought I could fix this by opening "Users and Groups" through sudo,
    but when I did that I found exactly the same thing: "Use tape drives"
    disabled, can't be ticked.

    What's the trick to add the tick?

  2. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    Jonathan Sachs wrote:
    > I am new to Linux and Ubuntu, and am trying to set up a working
    > environment.


    > To run backups I need to be able to use my tape drive (an IBM Ultrium
    > 1 drive with a SCSI interface). Unbuntu won't let me. It knows the
    > tape drive is there, because there's a file in /dev/tape/by-id which
    > describes the drive precisely.


    What device does it link to and what are the device's ownership and
    permissions?

    What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    preferred)?

    --
    Niklaus


  3. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 08 Aug 2008 12:41:00 GMT, Niklaus Kuehnis
    wrote:

    >> To run backups I need to be able to use my tape drive...
    >> Unbuntu won't let me.

    >
    >What device does it link to and what are the device's ownership and
    >permissions?


    The file's full pathname is
    /dev/tape/by-id/scsi-1HP_Ultrium_1-SCSI_HU83L02422-nst. The
    Properties box's Basic tab says that the type is "Link to character
    device," and the link target is ../../nst0.

    The owner is root. Access is read and write for owner and group, none
    for others.

    I looked at /dev/nst0, which I gather is a more basic entry that also
    represents the tape drive. Its properties are essentially the same,
    except that the type is "character device" and there is no link
    target.

    For comparison I examined /dev/parport0, which I gather is the
    parallel port attached to my printer. Its owner is lp instead of
    root, but it has the same permissions, and the system lets me print
    with it.

    >What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    >preferred)?


    So far the only program I have that can write to tape is dump. (I
    didn't see any point in installing a modern backup program until the
    backup device works.) Following the instructions in the book I'm
    learning from, I entered the following command:

    sudo dump -0uf /dev/st0 /

    The message I got was "sudo: dump: command not found."

    There is an st0 device, but to be thorough I tried again with
    /dev/nst0 instead of /dev/st0, but I got the same thing.

    So it looks like dump is not installed automatically... or something
    else is wrong.

  4. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 2008-08-09, Jonathan Sachs wrote:
    > On 08 Aug 2008 12:41:00 GMT, Niklaus Kuehnis
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> To run backups I need to be able to use my tape drive...
    >>> Unbuntu won't let me.

    >>
    >>What device does it link to and what are the device's ownership and
    >>permissions?

    >
    > The file's full pathname is
    > /dev/tape/by-id/scsi-1HP_Ultrium_1-SCSI_HU83L02422-nst. The
    > Properties box's Basic tab says that the type is "Link to character
    > device," and the link target is ../../nst0.
    >
    > The owner is root. Access is read and write for owner and group, none
    > for others.
    >
    > I looked at /dev/nst0, which I gather is a more basic entry that also
    > represents the tape drive. Its properties are essentially the same,
    > except that the type is "character device" and there is no link
    > target.
    >
    > For comparison I examined /dev/parport0, which I gather is the
    > parallel port attached to my printer. Its owner is lp instead of
    > root, but it has the same permissions, and the system lets me print
    > with it.
    >
    >>What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    >>preferred)?

    >
    > So far the only program I have that can write to tape is dump. (I
    > didn't see any point in installing a modern backup program until the
    > backup device works.) Following the instructions in the book I'm
    > learning from, I entered the following command:
    >
    > sudo dump -0uf /dev/st0 /
    >
    > The message I got was "sudo: dump: command not found."


    So, then, you do NOT have dump installed...

    >
    > There is an st0 device, but to be thorough I tried again with
    > /dev/nst0 instead of /dev/st0, but I got the same thing.
    >
    > So it looks like dump is not installed automatically... or something
    > else is wrong.


    sudo apt-get install dump

    This will give you that app to try. There are several others as
    well... Dump is pretty simple...


    --
    Joe - Linux User #449481/Ubuntu User #19733
    joe at hits - buffalo dot com
    "Hate is baggage, life is too short to go around pissed off all the
    time..." - Danny, American History X

  5. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On Sat, 09 Aug 2008 01:11:01 -0500, Joe
    wrote:

    >>>What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    >>>preferred)?

    >>
    >>I entered the... sudo dump -0uf /dev/st0 /
    >> The message I got was "sudo: dump: command not found."

    >
    >
    >sudo apt-get install dump


    I had tried to install dump with Applications -> Add/remove, and it
    wasn't there. That made it appear to me that dump must be part of the
    basic Ubuntu installation -- otherwise why wouldn't I be given the
    option of installing it? But apt-get did let me install it. The
    roles of the three or more different ways of adding applications are
    not yet clear to me.

    Once dump was installed, I was able to access the tape drive.
    Permissions still says I can't. That leaves me with another but less
    urgent puzzle: when Permissions says I am not authorized to "Use tape
    drives," what is it talking about?

  6. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    Jonathan Sachs wrote:

    > I had tried to install dump with Applications -> Add/remove, and it
    > wasn't there. That made it appear to me that dump must be part of the
    > basic Ubuntu installation -- otherwise why wouldn't I be given the
    > option of installing it? But apt-get did let me install it. The
    > roles of the three or more different ways of adding applications are
    > not yet clear to me.


    They are different front-ends to apt.

    > Once dump was installed, I was able to access the tape drive.
    > Permissions still says I can't.


    That doesn't happen with sudo, right?

    > That leaves me with another but less
    > urgent puzzle: when Permissions says I am not authorized to "Use tape
    > drives," what is it talking about?


    Not sure this is it, but try adding the user to the tape group.

    --
    Niklaus

  7. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 2008-08-10, Jonathan Sachs hit the keyboard and wrote:
    > On Sat, 09 Aug 2008 01:11:01 -0500, Joe
    > wrote:
    >
    >>>>What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    >>>>preferred)?
    >>>
    >>>I entered the... sudo dump -0uf /dev/st0 /
    >>> The message I got was "sudo: dump: command not found."

    >>
    >>
    >>sudo apt-get install dump

    >
    > I had tried to install dump with Applications -> Add/remove, and it
    > wasn't there. That made it appear to me that dump must be part of the
    > basic Ubuntu installation -- otherwise why wouldn't I be given the
    > option of installing it? But apt-get did let me install it. The
    > roles of the three or more different ways of adding applications are
    > not yet clear to me.
    >
    > Once dump was installed, I was able to access the tape drive.
    > Permissions still says I can't. That leaves me with another but less
    > urgent puzzle: when Permissions says I am not authorized to "Use tape
    > drives," what is it talking about?


    Maybe because you are not in the group allowed to use this device.....

    *hated advice* :-) In a terminal type "group"

    Then you will get a line like this:

    dragomir adm dialout cdrom floppy audio dip video plugdev fuse lpadmin admin

    you could add the user to the group which can use the tape-drive,
    but I don't know which group-name this is. could be dump?

    I've added myself to a group by editing the file /etc/group, but
    I'm sure there is a command-line tool for it just as well.

    Of course you could run the back-up to the tapes as "root" anytime
    IIRC to see if its works.




    Dragomir Kollaric
    --
    This signature is licensed under the GPL and may be
    freely distributed as long as a copy of the GPL is included... :-)


  8. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    Jonathan Sachs schreef:
    >
    > I thought I could fix this by opening "Users and Groups" through sudo,
    > but when I did that I found exactly the same thing: "Use tape drives"
    > disabled, can't be ticked.
    >
    > What's the trick to add the tick?


    Did you click the "unlock" button (I think this is what it
    says, but I'm using the Dutch version).
    After this you should be able to "tick" the "use tape
    drives" option. At least this works for me :-)

    HerbY

  9. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 2008-08-10, Jonathan Sachs wrote:
    > On Sat, 09 Aug 2008 01:11:01 -0500, Joe
    > wrote:
    >
    >>>>What happens if you try to use the drive (terminal error messages
    >>>>preferred)?
    >>>
    >>>I entered the... sudo dump -0uf /dev/st0 /
    >>> The message I got was "sudo: dump: command not found."

    >>
    >>
    >>sudo apt-get install dump

    >
    > I had tried to install dump with Applications -> Add/remove, and it
    > wasn't there. That made it appear to me that dump must be part of the
    > basic Ubuntu installation -- otherwise why wouldn't I be given the
    > option of installing it? But apt-get did let me install it. The
    > roles of the three or more different ways of adding applications are
    > not yet clear to me.


    Add/Remove is very limited in what it offers you. If you want a gui,
    use Synaptic Package Manager, any of the packages available in the
    repos will be in there...


    --
    Joe - Linux User #449481/Ubuntu User #19733
    joe at hits - buffalo dot com
    "Hate is baggage, life is too short to go around pissed off all the
    time..." - Danny, American History X

  10. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 10 Aug 2008 13:52:33 GMT, Niklaus Kuehnis
    wrote:

    >> I had tried to install dump with Applications -> Add/remove, and it
    >> wasn't there.... But apt-get did let me install it.

    >
    >They are different front-ends to apt.


    It may not be worth pursuing, but that is not clear to me. If they
    are different front ends to the same utility, they _should_ deliver
    the same information, by definition.

    Does one of the install utilities offer a set of packages that is a
    superset of all the others? If so, that's probably all I need to
    know.

    >> Once dump was installed, I was able to access the tape drive.
    >> Permissions still says I can't.

    >
    >That doesn't happen with sudo, right?


    Yes, it does. That is why I started this thread.

    >> That leaves me with another but less
    >> urgent puzzle: when Permissions says I am not authorized to "Use tape
    >> drives," what is it talking about?

    >
    >Not sure this is it, but try adding the user to the tape group.


    OK, I'll try that in my next Linux session. I didn't know there was a
    tape group!

  11. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On Sun, 10 Aug 2008 21:27:22 +0200, HerbY wrote:

    >Did you click the "unlock" button (I think this is what it
    >says, but I'm using the Dutch version).


    I don't remember seeing such a button. The next time I'm using Linux,
    I'll look for it.

  12. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    Jonathan Sachs wrote:
    > On 10 Aug 2008 13:52:33 GMT, Niklaus Kuehnis
    > wrote:
    > >
    > >They are different front-ends to apt.


    > It may not be worth pursuing, but that is not clear to me. If they
    > are different front ends to the same utility, they _should_ deliver
    > the same information, by definition.


    Not necessarily. The front-ends may hide some of the back-end's
    options. And they may add additional functionality. E.g. apt-get and
    aptitude handle dependencies as well as searching slightly
    differently.

    I don't know the GUI front-ends but it seems add/remove is a
    "simplified" version of Synaptic.

    > Does one of the install utilities offer a set of packages that is a
    > superset of all the others? If so, that's probably all I need to
    > know.


    synaptic, aptitude and apt-get/apt-cache should all work.

    > >> Once dump was installed, I was able to access the tape drive.
    > >> Permissions still says I can't.

    > >
    > >That doesn't happen with sudo, right?


    > Yes, it does. That is why I started this thread.


    In your OP you said that opening "users and groups" with sudo didn't
    work. My question referred to using "dump" with sudo.

    > OK, I'll try that in my next Linux session. I didn't know there was a
    > tape group!


    less /etc/group

    --
    Niklaus

  13. Re: How to enable user permission to "Use tape drives"?

    On 2008-08-11, Jonathan Sachs wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Aug 2008 21:27:22 +0200, HerbY wrote:
    >
    >>Did you click the "unlock" button (I think this is what it
    >>says, but I'm using the Dutch version).

    >
    > I don't remember seeing such a button. The next time I'm using Linux,
    > I'll look for it.


    It's right next to OK. Without clicking on that, the gui utility
    doesn't let you change anything.


    --
    Joe - Linux User #449481/Ubuntu User #19733
    joe at hits - buffalo dot com
    "Hate is baggage, life is too short to go around pissed off all the
    time..." - Danny, American History X

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