A recent upgrade from 14.04 to 18.04 on a host with with a LTO-6 tape drive shows the mt command no longer supports the compression argument. Anyone know another way to toggle drive compression?

# mt /dev/nst0 compression off                                                                                                                                                          
mt: invalid argument ‘/dev/nst0’ for ‘operation’
Valid arguments are:
  - ‘eof’, ‘weof’
  - ‘fsf’
  - ‘bsf’
  - ‘fsr’
  - ‘bsr’
  - ‘rewind’
  - ‘offline’, ‘rewoffl’, ‘eject’
  - ‘status’
  - ‘bsfm’
  - ‘eom’
  - ‘retension’
  - ‘erase’
  - ‘asf’
  - ‘fsfm’
  - ‘seek’
  • 1
    It looks to me like it's complaining about your block device argument - are you sure that shouldn't be mt -f /dev/nst0 compression off ? Aug 10, 2019 at 13:33
  • Ah, thanks. Should be a -f device in there. Missed that. Even with it, however, the compression command fails. Aug 12, 2019 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


For anyone else running across this, looks like the mt package installed is the mt-gnu package. I had to install the mt-st package to get the compression command.


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