4.3 Hard drives, tape drives, and CD and DVD drives

4.3.1. What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD support?
4.3.2. Which SCSI or SAS controllers are supported?
4.3.3. What types of tape drives are supported?
4.3.4. Does FreeBSD support tape changers?
4.3.5. Which CDROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?
4.3.6. Which CD-RW drives are supported by FreeBSD?
4.3.7. Does FreeBSD support Zip® drives?
4.3.8. Does FreeBSD support Jaz®, EZ and other removable drives?

4.3.1. What kind of hard drives does FreeBSD support?

FreeBSD supports EIDE, SATA, SCSI, and SAS drives (with a compatible controller; see the next section), and all drives using the original “Western Digital” interface (MFM, RLL, ESDI, and of course IDE). A few ESDI controllers that use proprietary interfaces may not work: stick to WD1002/3/6/7 interfaces and clones.

4.3.2. Which SCSI or SAS controllers are supported?

See the complete list in the Hardware Notes for FreeBSD 7.0 or 6.3.

4.3.3. What types of tape drives are supported?

FreeBSD supports SCSI and QIC-36 (with a QIC-02 interface). This includes 8-mm (aka Exabyte) and DAT drives.

Some of the early 8-mm drives are not quite compatible with SCSI-2, and may not work well with FreeBSD.

4.3.4. Does FreeBSD support tape changers?

FreeBSD supports SCSI changers using the ch(4) device and the chio(1) command. The details of how you actually control the changer can be found in the chio(1) manual page.

If you are not using AMANDA or some other product that already understands changers, remember that they only know how to move a tape from one point to another, so you need to keep track of which slot a tape is in, and which slot the tape currently in the drive needs to go back to.

4.3.5. Which CDROM drives are supported by FreeBSD?

Any SCSI drive connected to a supported controller is supported.

The following proprietary CDROM interfaces are also supported:

  • Mitsumi LU002 (8bit), LU005 (16bit) and FX001D (16bit 2x Speed).

  • Sony CDU 31/33A

  • Sound Blaster Non-SCSI CDROM

  • Matsushita/Panasonic CDROM

  • ATAPI compatible IDE CDROMs

All non-SCSI cards are known to be extremely slow compared to SCSI drives, and some ATAPI CDROMs may not work.

The official FreeBSD CDROM ISO, and CDROMs from Daemon News and FreeBSD Mall, support booting directly from the CD.

4.3.6. Which CD-RW drives are supported by FreeBSD?

FreeBSD supports any ATAPI-compatible IDE CD-R or CD-RW drive. See burncd(8) for details.

FreeBSD also supports any SCSI CD-R or CD-RW drives. Install and use the cdrecord command from the ports or packages system, and make sure that you have the pass device compiled in your kernel.

4.3.7. Does FreeBSD support Zip® drives?

FreeBSD supports SCSI and ATAPI (IDE) Zip drives out of the box. SCSI ZIP drives can only be set to run at SCSI target IDs 5 or 6, but if your SCSI host adapter's BIOS supports it you can even boot from it. It is not clear which host adapters support booting from targets other than 0 or 1, so you will have to consult your adapter's documentation if you would like to use this feature.

FreeBSD also supports Parallel Port Zip Drives. Check that your kernel contains the scbus0, da0, ppbus0, and vp0 drivers (the GENERIC kernel contains everything except vp0). With all these drivers present, the Parallel Port drive should be available as /dev/da0s4. Disks can be mounted using mount /dev/da0s4 /mnt OR (for dos disks) mount_msdos /dev/da0s4 /mnt as appropriate.

Also check out the FAQ on removable drives later in this chapter, and the note on “formatting”in the Administration chapter.

4.3.8. Does FreeBSD support Jaz®, EZ and other removable drives?

They work. Most of these are SCSI devices, so they look like SCSI disks to FreeBSD. The IDE EZ looks like an IDE drive.

Make sure that any external units are powered on when booting the system.

To change the media while running, check out mount(8), umount(8), and camcontrol(8) (for SCSI devices) or atacontrol(8) (for IDE devices), plus the discussion on using removable drives later in the FAQ.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.