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Save and Transfer

IBM i Virtual Tape Save & Transfer  
by Giovanni B. Perotti (Italy)

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Table of contents
  1. Introduction
    1. About it
    2. Prerequisites
    3. Installation
    4. Quick command menus
  2. Set up
    1. Defining an image catalog
    2. Defining a virtual tape drive
    3. Loading an image catalog into a virtual tape drive
  3. Save and Transfer
    1. Transferring virtual save volumes to a remote system
    2. Performing a save to a virtual tape
    3. Customizing save command parameters
    4. Displaying the save contents of a virtual tape
    5. Backing up virtual tape volumes to real tape volumes
  4. Restore
  5. FAQ
A single command to
  1. Save the system on virtual tapes
  2. Send the save to a remote system
  3. Backup the save on tape volumes
1 - Introduction

11-About it

While IBM System i™ blade servers are invading the iSeries market, more and more customers with multiple systems or partitions would like to save on tape units and to have their system saves transferred to a system equipped with tape drives.

This public source utility provides a solution based on a single command that allows to save the system on virtual tape volumes, send the tape volume images to another system, and have it copy the tape images to real tape volumes.


  • OS/400 release V6R1 or subsequent.
  • ILE RPG IV Compiler, product 57xxWDS, opt. 31.
    Note that the ILE RPG IV Compiler is needed to compile VRTSAV sources. One this is done, you may save library VRTSAV and install it on another system, even not equipped with the ILE RPG IV Compiler. However, make sure to run command VRTSAV/INSTALL to complete the installation.
  • If you plan to transfer virtual save volumes to a remote system to have them copied to real tapes, we recommend that you also install also the Easy400-distributed free open-source Object Distribution Facility (ODF). ODF may be very useful for transferring back to the source system objects restored on the remote system.


  • Download file from the Easy400 download page and unzip it.
  • Follow the Readme.txt instructions to upload and to restore library VRTSAV.
  • On the IBM System i run the following procedure:
    It does the following:
  • creates service program VRTSAV/VRTSAV
  • creates modules and programs in library VRTSAV
  • restores IFS directory /vrtsav
  • runs command VRTSAV/INSTALL to create and to populate library VRTSAVDATA.
    This library will contain local user data.
  • Duplicates some VRTSAV commands to library QGPL.

14-Quick command menus

In July 2013, Paul Ladouceur from U.S. developed a quick command menu that would speed up his virtual tape save operations. He was so kind to donate it to me, so that I could include it in the VRTSAV package.
To display Paul's menu
  1. addlible vrtsav
  2. go vrtsav
Figure 1.4
Figure 1.4a - First command menu

In February 2015, Paul sent me a second command menu, which was also added to VRTSAV:
  1. addlible vrtsav
  2. go vrtsav2
Figure 1.4
Figure 1.4b - Second command menu

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