[conspire] Floppy drive on today's Linux

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 7 22:17:04 PDT 2010

Quoting Roger Chrisman (roger at rogerchrisman.com):

> 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).

So far, so good.

The equivalent operation using the mtools is 'mformat a:' (which you as
a Xubuntu user would wield using sudo).

> 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.

Maybe.  Worth testing.

> 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

Well, I'm betting the automounter's trying to apply options specified
for /dev/fd0 in /etc/fstab.  Only a hunch, but you should look there
first.  Maybe the mount options are wrong for FAT-formatted floppies --
or you could try putting 'none' in the options field (on the line you
have in that file that mentions /dev/fd0).

The big-picture purpose of /etc/fstab is to serve as a repository for
details for both the automatic and manual invocations of the mount
command (including the automatic invocations that occur during bootup)
that otherwise you'd need to supply manually.

For example, I might get really tired of typing this command to manually
mount an NFS share:

  mount -t nfs netapp.linuxmafia.com:/admin/code  /var/code

(On *buntu distributions, one would ordinarily use sudo to issue
commands like that.  On Debian, which I more often use, sudo usage is
less universal, and I'm assuming just becoming the root user, instead.)

So, I create a line in /etc/fstab like this:

#      device                        mountpoint type options     dump  ord
  netapp.linuxmafia.com:/admin/code  /var/code  nfs  rw,hard,intr  0    0

Subsequently, I'd therefore be able to do this:

  mount /var/code

...and the machine would look up in /etc/fstab the necessary information
about _what_ to mount onto /var/code, and what _type_ of thing is to be
mounted, and what mount options to use.

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