Jack Bombeeck wrote programs to update the firmware of OnStream tapes under Linux. These tools are unfortunately not released with source code, but just as binaries, with the intention to prevent people from playing with the progam and destroying their firmware this way. This is not optimal, but I can confirm that those tools do what they are designed for and did work in my tests. You should consider the update tools to have beta status. At this moment, tools are only available for Linux on ix86 platforms. Feel free to ask Jack or me for binaries for other platforms.
Those tools use the generic SCSI interface (/dev/sgX), but via SCSI
emulation layers they can be used to update IDE (via ide-scsi) and USB (via
usb-storage) drives as well. Make sure you have the sg driver compiled into
your kernel (statically or as module) and the necessary lowlevel drivers
(your SCSI host adapter or ide-scsi or usb-storage).
The binaries have been compiled with glibc-2.1.2 and libstdc++-libc6.1-2.so.3 (gcc-2.95.2) and should work on glibc-2.1.3 systems as well (SuSE Linux-6.3, 6.4, 7.0; RH Linux 6.x). On distributions with newer versions of glibc(2.2.x), it should also work. Otherwise you may use the statically linked binaries. You also need to get the appropriate firmware.
Before you go any further, please note: These tools are provided as is without any warranty either explicit or implicit. It is probably possible to render your OnStream tape devices inoperational by using the tools inappropriately or by hitting a bug in them. Use at your own risk!
Please start by checking what drive you have. Using cat /proc/scsi/scsi should give you the most important piece of information. If you can't see your drive there, you chould take care to make it visible by loading the appropriate drivers (SCSI low-level driver, ide-scsi or usb-storage), otherwise you can't update with Linux anyway.