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IOMEGA REV Drive with Fedora Core 2

Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© September 2004 Tony Lawrence
September 2004

Iomega's REV drive is a nice backup for systems too large for DVD-RAM. On RedHat Linux and SCO Unix, you can use these with Microlite Edge, but Microlite doesn't yet support Fedora Core 2 Linux.

(added Jan 2005) Now they do:

Information about 2.6 Linux Kernel Support

BackupEDGE 02.01.01 now supports 2.6 Linux kernels. RecoverEDGE currently does not support LVM or md software raid. Disasterrecovery of systems using LVM or md will not function.

This release also adds support for Fedora Core 3, with the following limitations:

* Remember that FC3 has been described by Red Hat as not a supported distribution of Linux. * Because of the frequency of updates to FC3, support is on a "best effort" basis. While we will make every effort to keep up with the latest patches to it, we cannot guarantee that they will not be introduced faster than we can qualify them.

Unfortunately, that was a system I wanted to use the REV on.

I ran into a stone wall. Interestingly, "fdisk" will create a partition, but you can't then make any file system on it. Cdrecord didn't work either, even though I could find references that seemed to imply that it would. So that was it: I could find web pages that SAID it would work, but it didn't. I made a newsgroup post, and got no useful replies.

Finally, I stumbled across http://sourceforge.net/docman/display_doc.php?docid=22590&group_id=101444 which in turn pointed me toward http://sourceforge.net/projects/linux-udf/. Downloading the udftools package (you don't need the "udf" patches) gave me "mkudffs", and a simple

mkudffs /dev/hdb

gave me a mountable filesystem on the REV. Fedora Core 2 already knew how to mount a udf filesystem (though it can't mkfs one):

[[email protected] root]# mount
/dev/hdc2 on / type ext3 (rw)
none on /proc type proc (rw)
none on /sys type sysfs (rw)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
usbdevfs on /proc/bus/usb type usbdevfs (rw)
/dev/hdc1 on /boot type ext3 (rw)
none on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
sunrpc on /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs type rpc_pipefs (rw)
/dev/hdb on /mnt type udf (rw)

The Iomega REV drive isn't particularly fast: about 3GB per hour in my tests. That's because this is more like a CD-RW or DVD-RAM than a hard drive - udf is a packet-writing format.

Normally, you'd use cdrecord for such a device, but try as I might, I couldn't get that to work. It saw the Iomega REV drive as an emulated scsi device:

[[email protected] art]# cdrecord -scanbus
Cdrecord-Clone 2.01a27-dvd (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2004 Jörg Schilling
Note: This version is an unofficial (modified) version with DVD support
Note: and therefore may have bugs that are not present in the original.
Note: Please send bug reports or support requests to <[email protected]>.
Note: The author of cdrecord should not be bothered with problems in this version.
scsidev: 'ATA'
devname: 'ATA'
scsibus: -2 target: -2 lun: -2
Warning: Using badly designed ATAPI via /dev/hd* interface.
Linux sg driver version: 3.5.27
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
cdrecord: Warning: using inofficial libscg transport code version (schily - Red Hat-scsi-linux-sg.c-1.80-RH '@(#)scsi-linux-sg.c        1.80 04/03/08 Copyright 1997 J. Schilling').
        0,0,0     0) 'ASUS    ' 'CRW-4832AS      ' '0.67' Removable CD-ROM
        0,1,0     1) 'Iomega  ' 'RRD             ' '74.B' Removable CD-ROM
        0,2,0     2) *
        0,3,0     3) *
        0,4,0     4) *
        0,5,0     5) *
        0,6,0     6) *
        0,7,0     7) *

but didn't know how to write to it:

cdrecord -v speed=6 dev=ATAPI:0,1,0 -data /tmp/cdimagecdrecord: No write mode specified.

I admit to not searching very hard to try to find out what might work because having a mountable file system was good enough for my needs here.

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More Articles by © Tony Lawrence

---September 30, 2004

Cdrecord, I think, is in a state of flux. It's been realy pissing me off lately. Every time I try to use it, their seems to be something different about it (Debian user, I update every week or two against unstable, so things change time to time. I very rarely burn cdroms).

The latest issue that I am aware of is that cdrecord has been discovered to be a security hole when run in suid mode. So now newer versions have code in them that if they detect that your trying to run them with the suid bit set, then it will not work. I think it's suppose to exit with a error and explain that you can't run it as a normal user due to security. Or something like that. Not completely sure.


Wed Jul 20 23:46:50 2005: 826   JohnD

Have you tried tar?

Sun Aug 21 17:09:23 2005: 1002   Chris

I haven't seen any updates on this subject so I was wondering if you got any further.
I have a USB REV drive which appears as /dev/sr0.
I can mount with this entry (manually):
/dev/sr0 /media/rev subfs noauto,fs=udf,rw,procuid,nosuid,nodev,exec,iocharset=utf8 0 0

The mtab result show as:
/dev/sr0 /media/rev subfs rw,nosuid,nodev,fs=udf,procuid,iocharset=utf8 0 0

Problem is using the hotplugger that Suse uses so much I had to make some modifications to get it to mount but still not mounting correct:

/usr/share/hal/fdi/95userpolicy/usb-rev-drive.fdi (ver. 1.0):
<match key="@info.parent:storage.vendor" contains_ncase="IOMEGA">
<match key="@info.parent:storage.model" contains_ncase="RRD">
<merge key="volume.policy.desired_mount_point" type="string">rev</merge>

This overrides Suse trying to mount as /media/VOLUME_LABEL and mounts all the time as /media/rev BUT it mounts as ro,fs=cdfss

With a modification to the FDI I have been able to get it to mount as a disk instead of cdrom (I wouldn't mind cdrom if it would mount rw) but now it mounts rw,fs=floppyfss (rendering completely useless)
So I guess I'm better off with option 1 since it is still useable just not Writeable.

If I can get fs=cdfss,rw I think it would work every mount instead of having to remount...

This so far is my only downfall. Works nicely when mounted. Can play Video off the USB2.0 device without any problems.

A very nice product Iomega!

Mon Aug 22 14:00:16 2005: 1004   BigDumbDinosaur

The Iomega REV drive isn't particularly fast: about 3GB per hour in my tests. That's because this is more like a CD-RW or DVD-RAM than a hard drive - udf is a packet-writing format.

Hmmm...I recently upgraded a client's OSR5 server (built by us) to a Sony DDS4 tape drive, which runs on the host adapter's LVD SCSI port (daisy-chained with the two U-160 disks). According to Microlite, the write speed on this drive is about 9 gigs/hours, which number I originally was suspect of until separate testing confirmed it. 9 gigs/hour makes the Iomega drive look pretty weak by comparison.

Tue Jan 2 18:45:22 2007: 2794   ambey1

Thanks for the article. It helped a lot in getting my rev drive working..
Here are Debian specific instructions:

usb rev using Debian etch
aptitude install udftools
mkudffs /dev/sr0

/etc/fstab :
/dev/sr0 /mnt/rev udf noauto,rw,nosuid,nodev,exec 0 0

mkdir /mnt/rev
mount /mnt/rev
df /mnt/rev
Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/scd0 udf 33G 2.1M 33G 1% /mnt/rev

for backing up to rev disk, I use rsync:
rsync -av /etc /mnt/rev/etc-`date +%F`/

Wed Jan 3 15:35:01 2007: 2798   ambey1

the transfer speed ended up at 12/G hour.

Wed Jan 3 16:42:05 2007: 2799   TonyLawrence

My Edge backups on my very old Linux box report

Files Encountered = 512178
Total Data = 19.28GB
Data Written = 19.63GB
Volume Left = 12.95GB
SW Compression = 74%
Files Encrypted = 16
Elapsed Time = 00:53:08
Data Transfer Speed = 22.211 GB/hr
= 379.093 MB/min
= 6625145 bytes/sec

Though I'm not sure if that 22 GB is actual or effective considering compression..

Tue Oct 16 17:13:10 2007: 3196   anonymous

I did al this:

usb rev using Debian etch
aptitude install udftools
mkudffs /dev/sr0

/etc/fstab :
/dev/sr0 /mnt/rev udf noauto,rw,nosuid,nodev,exec 0 0

mkdir /mnt/rev
mount /mnt/rev
df /mnt/rev
Filesystem Type Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/scd0 udf 33G 2.1M 33G 1% /mnt/rev

for backing up to rev disk, I use rsync:
rsync -av /etc /mnt/rev/etc-`date +%F`/

But my disk is saying it is 4gb instead of 35gb, how can I fix this?


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