[conspire] Floppy drive on today's Linux

roger at rogerchrisman.com roger at rogerchrisman.com
Mon Jun 7 21:56:58 PDT 2010

Quoting Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>:
> You'll find that the 'mtools' approach (mdir, mformat, etc.) now works,
> too, and is _usually_ preferable because it eliminates the need for
> mounting and umounting.  (It works only for FAT-formatted floppies,
> though.)

So... I formatted one floppy vfat, with
~$ sudo mkfs -t vfat /dev/fd0
and that disk now mounts and unmounts on Xubuntu nicely when I click
the floppy disk icon (for mount) and right-click and select unmount
(for unmount).

I hazard a guess that the Xubuntu point and click file management,
like the mtools you mentioned, works with vfat formatted floppies but
_not_ with ext2 formatted floppies. Most floppies in the world may be
formatted vfat but mine were not because they had seen duty as Linux
boot disks and before that as Macintosh disks.

The error message I get when I put an ext2 formatted floppy into the
drive and point and click the icon is:

   Mount Failed
       Unable to mount "Floppy Drive":
       mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/fd0,
       missing codepage or helper program, or other error
       In some cases useful info is found in syslog - try
       dmesg | tail  or so

And the last line in dmesg is:

[ 2351.124256] FAT: Unrecognized mount option "utf8" or missing value

In hindsight, that error message _could_ mean that the point and click
Xubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx file manager only mounts vfat, "DOS,"
formatted disks.

I'm learning bits and pieces. Thanks for your encouraging tips! And My
six year old has already told me, "Dady, I want to use those old
broken floppy disks any more." We will use a flash drive for his
"real" stuff. But support for floppies is still there, um, I think.

--playing with Xubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx
on an old floppy-drive-equipped 800 Mhz Pentium III Dell Dimension

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