Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Format Specification

The LTFS Format Specification defines a file system format separate from any implementation on data storage media. Using this format, data is stored in LTFS Volumes. An LTFS Volume holds data files and corresponding metadata to completely describe the directory and file structures stored on the volume.

The LTFS Format has these features:

  • An LTFS Volume can be mounted and volume content accessed with full use of the data without the need to access other information sources.
  • Data can be passed between sites and applications using only the information written to an LTFS Volume.
  • Files can be written to, and read from, an LTFS Volume using standard POSIX file operations.

The LTFS Format is particularly suited to these usages:

  • Data export and import.
  • Data interchange and exchange.
  • Direct file and partial file recall from sequential access media. Archival storage of files using a simplified, self-contained or “self-describing” format on sequential access media.

The LTFS Bulk Transfer standard defines a method by which a set of files, directories and objects from a source system can be transferred to a destination system.  The bulk transfer of large quantities of data is well suited for LTFS due to the economic and environmental characteristics of tape. Building on top of the LTFS format, a standardized method for transferring data is defined that provides many advantages.


LTFS v2.4

  • SNIA Technical Position:  LTFS v2.4. Published December 1, 2017.
  • IP Disclosures: None

LTFS v2.3.1


LTFS Bulk Transfer v1.0


LTFS v2.2