LTFS is a runner

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LTFS is a runner

For about a year there has been talk about a clever new tape filesystem for LTO5 that will allow users to record video straight to data tape (how the old is new again). This NAB I finally got to see it working in such a way as to believe it actually is a solution for some people in some circumstances.

If you have an LTO5 drive, and the firmware is bang up to date, you can download the free software from IBM and see what its all about. This NAB they finally got the Windows 64bit version out and so you can use it on Linux, Mac OS X and on Windows 32 and 64 bit.

Effectively the tape cartridge mounted in the LTO drive (and it has to be LTO 5) appears on your machine as a folder. You can treat it just like a firewire drive but it is MUCH FASTER. On a SAS attached device you should see about 100MB/s transfer speeds. As Pro Res 422 is about 28MB/s you can play QuickTimes off tape in realtime. DNxHD 185 is about 24MB/s so it too can be played in realtime.

I think you could record video to tape if you set the folder as a target drive in your NLE but I haven’t  tried it. But I definitely hope that if things work out OK it is possible we could see LTO 5 cartridges and LTFS kill the convenient but sluggish (usually about 30MB/s) Firewire and USB drives for moving data from set to post and from post house to production co.

I can dream!

By | 2011-04-14T21:51:00+00:00 April 14th, 2011|Categories: Products|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments


  1. Albrecht Röseler April 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I am looking for LTFS for Windows 7 64-bit OS.
    “This NAB they finally got the Windows 64bit version out and so you can use it on Linux, Mac OS X and on Windows 32 and 64 bit.”
    Who can tell me a link for the download?

  2. Rupert April 27, 2011 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Albrecht, they were demoing the 64bit Windows version at NAB so I imagine it will be available soon. If you need it urgently I would contact IBM directly.

  3. Rickster May 4, 2011 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Next you’ll be telling me you can fast-forward rewind and edit with it… 🙂

  4. CostasGR May 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    IBM released:

    Linear_Tape_File_System_Windows_x64 on their fixcentral

    For Windows 7.

    It will not install in other versions.
    .NET 4.0 and Microsoft C++ redistributable 2010 are also needed.


  5. CostasGR May 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    LTFS install completely like plug-and-play in Windows 7.
    The correct procedure:
    1. Install .NET 4.0
    2. Install C++ Redictributable 2010
    3. Install LTFS 1.2
    4. Update the tape driver to the latest
    5. Install ITDT (IBM tape diagnostic)

    By installing th latest driver for the tape drive (Through Devices… etc) the speed is 30% increased.


  6. Rupert May 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm - Reply


    thanks for the update. As I have a spare lto5 hanging around the office, as you do, we will give Win 7 64 a spin this week.

    thanks for the detailed explanation.

  7. CostasGR May 31, 2011 at 3:59 am - Reply

    I also tried:

    Windows 7 under VMWARE on a Windows 7 Host.

    I also works at least mounts. I did not manage to write and read.

    Maximum steady speed i managed to get was 85MB/S

    Hardware used:
    HP Z400
    IBM TS2350 Drive

  8. Billy Angers June 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Anyone manage to use LTFS on Windows 2008 R2? Or any other cheap solution for SMB to use with a LTO5 considering MS dropped the tape support in Windows Backup.

  9. CostasGR June 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I did not manage tro install LTFS on 2008 and 2008 R2. It will simply do not install since launching the installation script.

    When using Windows Explorer to copy the files the Tape drive is reallllyyyy slow.

    I used other means and i write them with best performance order:

    1. Total Commander
    2. FastCopy
    3. Deltacopy

    With Total Commander i saw a stable 115MB/s.


  10. CostasGR September 13, 2011 at 6:48 am - Reply

    IBM announced since beginning of September that Windows Server 2008 R2 is supported.

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