Spectrum Archive tape format compatibility with LTFS media versions

IBM Spectrum® Archive tape format compatibility for Linear Tape File System (LTFS) versions 1 and 2.

IBM Spectrum Archive Single Drive Edition uses the LTFS technology for storing files on tape, and complies with LTFS format specification version 2.4.0 or subsequent versions.

IBM Spectrum Archive can import tape cartridges that were formatted by earlier versions of LTFS-based software, and can work with media format versions 1 and 2 as described in Table 1.

Table 1 shows how the LTFS format version interacts with various media. The LTFS tape format version is continuously updated. For the most current version of the LTFS format specification go to: Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Format Specification.

Table 1. The LTFS format version's interaction with various media
LTFS format Version 2 Function of Spectrum Archive Single Drive Edition Notes
Version 1.0 Read/Write 1  
Version 2.0-2.2 Read/Write
Version 2.0 - Supports the sparse file.

Version 2.1 - Supports symbolic links.

Version 2.2 - Published by SNIA and standardized as ISO/IEC 20919:2016.
Version 2.4 Read/Write
- Supports the : (colon) and special characters in file name with percent encoding.

- Volume Advisory Locking for software write protection and for tapes with errors.

- Pool ID and name in MAM.
  1. The cartridge is automatically converted to version 2 format on write.
  2. The name encoding that was defined in LTFS Format Spec V2.3.0 was abandoned. IBM Spectrum Archive supports the new name encoding scheme that is defined in V2.4.
Attention: A medium that is formatted to version 2 cannot be converted to a version 1 format.