tapecat - list the catalog of a tape, ie, it's physical content.


tapecat [OPTION]... [TAPE_DEVICE]...


tapecat is a tape utility used to describe the physical content of a tape. By physical content it's meant the files written on tape as understood by the tape driver. It's not meant the content of each such file.

The output will present the number of the file on tape, it's size based on tape blocks read and the type of file. The type of file will be shown using the file(1) command. So, this command needs to be available.

A special treatment is reserved for amanda tapes, where all information regarding the tape and it's content is displayed. The information includes the tape label, the diskdevice and the diskname as specified in the disklist file.

To give the size of the file, the tape is read block by block and the size of each block is summed (this can be a very slow operation). If you are not interested on the size of the files, use --fast: it will read only the first block of each file and then skip to the next file.

The default operation rewinds the tape and then starts reading all files. If you want to start listing the content from a particular point on the tape you should first position the tape and then use --norewind. Reading will start from the current tape position.

For such operations be carefull with the tape device you are using. Auto-rewind devices always perform a rewind at the end of operations and then you are always at the tape beginning. Auto-rewind SCSI tape devices are /dev/st* and no-rewind devices are the corresponding /dev/nst*.

If TAPE_DEVICE is not specified /dev/nst0 is used as default.


-d, --debug

Turn on debugging messages.

-f, --fast

Turn on fast scan of the tape. It reads only the first block of each file on tape and then skips to the next file. In this mode the size of the file on tape is not available.

-k, --debugblk

Turn on block debugging. Block debugging prints a message for each block read on the tape. Implies --debug.

-r, --norewind

Don't do a rewind prior to start reading the tape. Be carefull if you are using an auto-rewind device: as the name implies it will make a rewind by itself.

-s N, --dumpsize=N

Set the number of bytes to dump to N. Implies --dumpdata.

-u, --dumpdata

Dump bytes from the beginning of each file on tape to stdin. The number of bytes dumped can be set using --dumpsize. Default is 512. Output is shown in hex and ascii.


Shows a brief help message and exits.


Written by Robert Marussi.


Report bugs to


Copyright 2006 Inventive Technology GmbH

tapecat is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation - version 2 of the License.

tapecat is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with tapecat; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.


mt(1), st(4)