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Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is a self-describing magnetic tape format that defines the organization of data on the tape. Supporting LTO-5 and later Ultrium generations, data tapes written in the LTFS allow for direct access to file content data and file metadata. Accessing LTFS formatted tapes is similar to accessing files stored on other storage media like disk or removable flash drives. This format presents a standard file system view of the data stored on the tape media, allowing for users to access the data directly from tape.
LTFS Partitions on a Tape
LTFS Partitions on a Tape Graph

After a cartridge is loaded, the drive quickly reads the index and metadata partition on the tape without having to scan the entire tape. This allows for faster and more efficient access to the data stored on the tape.

Key Highlights of LTFS:


  • Easy and fast access to large files: 2.5 TB native capacity for a single LTO-6 tape
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Appears as storage device to operating system
  • Enables standard applications to write and read to LTFS formatted tapes
  • Non-proprietary format provides investment protection for archive/long term storage
Spectra and LTFS

Spectra libraries are compatible with LTFS software and hardware solutions from a range of providers.

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