About This Guide

This guide documents OpenVault release 1.5 running on IRIX operating systems and on SGI ProPack for Linux.

OpenVault is a package of mediation software that helps other applications manage removable media:

The OpenVault Infrastructure Programmer's Guide describes how to program the control program components that manage removable media drives and libraries. In OpenVault, the media library manager (MLM) fulfills requests from multiple client applications, directing media operations such as mount and unmount that are performed by control programs.

1. Intended Audience

This guide is intended for system programmers who are adding support for removable media libraries or drives. By conforming to the standard OpenVault infrastructure, developers can eliminate the need to write custom interfaces for each removable media library and drive in the marketplace.

2. What This Guide Contains

The following is an overview of the material in this guide:

3. Related Publications

The following documents contain additional information that may be helpful:

  • The OpenVault Application Programmer's Guide describes the client side of OpenVault, showing how applications can make OpenVault requests in a prescribed format.

  • The OpenVault Operator's and Administrator's Guide describes how to develop OpenVault applications and device support.

  • Release notes: On IRIX systems, you can view release notes by typing either grelnotes or relnotes at the command line. On SGI ProPack for Linux systems, see the documentation in /usr/share/doc/openvault-version.

4. Obtaining Publications

You can obtain SGI documentation in the following ways:

  • See the SGI Technical Publications Library at http://docs.sgi.com. Various formats are available. This library contains the most recent and most comprehensive set of online books, release notes, man pages, and other information.

  • If it is installed on your SGI system, you can use InfoSearch, an online tool that provides a more limited set of online books, release notes, and man pages. With an IRIX system, select Help from the Toolchest, and then select InfoSearch. Or you can type infosearch on a command line.

  • You can also view man pages by typing man title on a command line.

5. Conventions

The following conventions are used throughout this document:




This fixed-space font denotes literal items such as commands, files, routines, path names, signals, messages, and programming language structures.


Man page section identifiers appear in parentheses after man page names.


Italic typeface denotes variable entries and words or concepts being defined.

user input 

This bold, fixed-space font denotes literal items that the user enters in interactive sessions. (Output is shown in nonbold, fixed-space font.)

[ ] 

Brackets enclose optional portions of a command or directive line.


Ellipses indicate that a preceding element can be repeated.

6. Reader Comments

If you have comments about the technical accuracy, content, or organization of this publication, contact SGI. Be sure to include the title and document number of the publication with your comments. (Online, the document number is located in the front matter of the publication. In printed publications, the document number is located at the bottom of each page.)

You can contact SGI in any of the following ways:

  • Send e-mail to the following address:

    [email protected]

  • Use the Feedback option on the Technical Publications Library Web page:


  • Contact your customer service representative and ask that an incident be filed in the SGI incident tracking system.

  • Send mail to the following address:

    Technical Publications
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    Mountain View, California 94043-1351

  • Send a fax to the attention of “Technical Publications” at +1 650 932 0801.

SGI values your comments and will respond to them promptly.