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I have Ubuntu WSL installed on a windows 10 machine. I also have a tape backup device connected to this machine. The tape drive shows up in device manager and works as intended under Windows, but we'd prefer to use some linux based tools for managing the device.

On the ubuntu side, lsscsi returns zero devices. I also see no tape devices listed in /dev.

Is there any way to make this available under WSL, or do we need to go with a full VM with hardware passthrough?

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A full VM with hardware pass through would be better. WSL is not really much of an operating system, it is more like a wrapper library with command line Linux tools. This is why hardware pass through doesn’t work.

This forum shows that other people have had issues with external devices in WSL: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/266908-command-prompt-console-windows-subsystem-for-l/suggestions/31920928-add-libusb-support-to-wsl

  • Thanks for the answer, that's what I was afraid of. The box is a bit of a potato, as most machines for backup purposes are. – John Sep 4 '18 at 12:40
  • WSL is still in active development. It might me useful for your situation in the future. The Kali Linux WSL has a working GUI on it now – Frogmonkey Sep 4 '18 at 12:44

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