Linear tape open is a famous tape drive technology.

The LTO Consortium defines the new generations LTO-1, LTO-2... from time to time. It makes sense to merge all tags to lto, because the the version number does not name something completely different.

The user has to ensure, that the tape matches to the drive, but the commands and usage of the drive is independent of the generation.

It would be more useful to add a different tag to a question than to use lto + lto-4 for example.

Differences are mostly

  • higher speed and larger cartridges for newer generations
  • hardware encryption since LTO-4

But these differences are not critical to categorize the questions. The user will provide the required details (software, LTO generation...) in the question.

1 Answer 1


I disagree. There are enough differences between LTO generations to warrant different tags.

With the same argument, you could merge all Windows server variant tags into one.

  • 2
    Can you provide an example for the big differences which require separate tags, so that we can follow your suggestion? Do you really want the tags lto, lto-1, lto-2, lto-3, lto-4, lto-5, lto-6, lto-7 and lto-8 on sx? Even now they are hardly used at all. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:19
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    The fact that an LTO6 drive can't even read a LTO2 tape is more then enough difference for me. Again, we could make the same argument for things like Windows Server.
    – Sven
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:27
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    The commands and usage of the drive and this is what counts - are independent of the generation. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:31
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    It makes no sense to compare a hardware tape drive family with software by Microsoft. Why should tape drives differ so extremely that we need separate tags, just because some random server software does this too? Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:36
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    Where do we draw the line? When are differences large enough to warrant different tags? In my book, if different products of the same category can't interoperate at all, we are far beyond that line.
    – Sven
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:42
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    @JonasStein I seen old system (kind of as/400) that needed a type of lto tape to have it detected, so yes the format is important. and the day you will have to restore a DB from those tape, you have to know what kind of lto tape you have, it's important. For a question like you have I agree that just lto would be ok, but there is scenario where it's important
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:47
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    @yagmoth555 thank you. I clarified my suggestion with your help. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 8:59

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