Each time a tape is mounted, Canister will create a Catalog for it. This makes it easy to see what's on a tape without having to mount it first.

The LTO Archive drive

Don't see the LTO Archive drive? Check if your user has administrator permissions.

On a Mac, when Canister is open, all Catalogs are available as a virtual drive called LTO Archive. Since a driver installation is required, Canister will prompt you for the installation. You can also download the installer directly from our servers.

Creating Catalogs

Canister automatically creates a Catalog the first time it mounts each tape, and updates existing Catalogs upon each consecutive mount. Also, after each Archive transfer the Catalog for that tape is updated automatically.

Importing Databases with NeoFinder

NeoFinder for Mac offers integrations between many other LTO-focused apps and Canister, making it a breeze to convert your old databases to Catalogs. For more information, refer to NeoFinder's documentation.

Finding files using Catalogs

On macOS, Catalogs live in Finder so you can utilize all the power of Finder's search.

When Canister is open, you'll see the LTO Archive mount in Finder. You can also click the Catalog icon in Canister to go there. There, you can do a Finder search. Just hit Command-F and be sure to select LTO Archive as the scope. Pro-tip for online/offline workflows: use Smart Folders.

Here's an example of a search for the file, with Finder indicating it's located on LTO tape "A":

Retrieve from Finder

On macOS Canister installs a Finder extension that allows you to retrieve a file or folder directly from the Catalog. Right-click the folder you want to retrieve and select "Retrieve" to launch Canister. This will trigger Canister to check if the correct tape is mounted and automatically select the required files. Then, Canister will ask to specify a location to retrieve to.

Catalog History

Canister creates a Catalog when mounting a tape and updates it after each Archive. Catalog history is stored for safe keeping as described below.

Old Catalogs are moved into a hidden folder named Tapename (serial).history, essentially archiving them.

To see previous generations of your Catalogs, enable Show Hidden Files in Finder with the shortcut Shift-Command-.

Editing and removing Catalogs

Use the steps below to clean up the Catalog, or remove test entries:

To access the catalogs location, bypassing the virtual drive, Alt-Click the Catalog icon in Canister (top-right) and a folder in ~/Library/Application Support/Canister will open with editable catalogs.

Changing the Catalog location

On macOS, it's possible to set a custom Catalog location through a User Default. Open and enter defaults write nl.syncfactory.Canister.Mac CatalogLocation followed by the full path of the folder, all on one line:

By default, Catalogs are saved in the user's Application Support folder. For those that want to share Catalogs, there's a way to change this default using a Terminal command:

defaults write nl.syncfactory.Canister.Mac CatalogLocation /Users/[username]/Documents/Canister/Alternative\ Location

Pro-tip: don't type the folder path, but drag the folder you want as Catalog location from Finder into the Terminal.

Note: when checking for a User Default value for the Catalog location, Canister expects a full path, including the name of the Catalogs folder itself. If a path is unreachable (e.g. if on a network server or cloud drive) or Canister doesn’t have the correct permissions, Canister will use the default Catalog location.

defaults write nl.syncfactory.Canister.Mac CatalogLocation [path]

Enter the correct [path] either enter manually (Pro tip: use Tab for auto-completion to prevent typos) or drag the folder from Finder into Terminal, to paste the path.

Canister expects a full path and will save Catalogs into the last specified folder. If a path is found that is unreachable or doesn’t have the correct permissions, Canister defaults to the Application Support folder without warning.

Migrating Catalogs

In the event you need to move to a new computer, Catalogs can be moved as follows:

Due to the typically large amount of files in a catalog, it's best not to copy catalogs but to archive them first.

Run this command in Terminal, and it will create an archive on your desktop:

tar -cvzf ~/Desktop/catalogs.tar.gz ~/Library/Application\ Support/Canister/Catalogs

You can copy this archive to a new machine, then unpack it with a free app like Unarchiver.

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