[conspire] Floppy drive on today's Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 7 13:46:45 PDT 2010

Quoting Roger Chrisman (roger at rogerchrisman.com):

> How can I add 1.4 Mb floppy drive support to today's Linux?
> I have put Xubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx on an old Dell 800 Mhz Pentium III
> desktop. My six year old son and I want to play at poking through and
> putting stuff on a handfull of quaint little old 1.4 Mb floppy disks
> he found in the old desk in our living room. However, I think
> contemporary Linux such as Ubuntu 10.4 have dropped floppy drive
> support. 

I suppose that's possible, but would you mind telling us on the basis of
what observation you've reached that conclusion?  I'm asking a real
question, by the way, not a rhetorical one.  (It's possible something has
happened to floppy support in the years since I last used one on Linux.)

Back when I used floppies, you had your choice between either mounting
the disks, like this:

#  mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /mnt

(at which point, the floppy is a part of the system's live file tree
until you umount it)

...or used the 'mtools' utility, which avoids mounting the thing but
just reaches across to FAT-formatted floppies and does things to them
including copying files over:

#  mdir a:
#  mformat a:
#  mcopy a:readme.txt /home/rick


Mounting and using floppies directly on the systme tree:

The 'dev/fd0' is for an old-style floppy device.  USB floppies would 
have something like /dev/sda or such.

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