floppy - format floppy disks
floppy --createrc >/etc/floppy
floppy --format /dev/fd0
floppy --format A:
The floppy utility does low-level formatting of floppy disks. floppy
uses a simple interface for formatting disks in floppy controller
drives and in ATAPI IDE floppy drives, such as LS-120 "Superdisk"
drives. ATAPI IDE support requires a patch to the Linux kernel. Without
a patched kernel floppy can only format disks in floppy controller
NOTE: Use caution in formatting anything other than standard 3.5" 1.4MB
floppy disks in ATAPI IDE floppy drives. Most LS-120 drives, for exam-
ple, accept a request to format 120MB high density disks, but most
120MB disks are not designed to be formatted. Low-level formatting will
ruin them permanently.
floppygtk is a GTK interface to the floppy utility. When started from
an X terminal window, floppy will automatically run floppygtk.
- Probe for available floppy drives. floppy creates and displays
a list of all detected floppy drives.
- Print a configuration file. floppy prints on standard output
the results of the --probe option in a configuration file for-
mat. This configuration file should be saved as /etc/floppy.
- List floppy drives configured in /etc/floppy.
- Show the available format capacities of the floppy drive. Most
floppy drives can format disks of different capacities. --capac-
ity lists each available format capacity as CxBxS where: C -
number of cylinders, B - blocks per cylinder, S - block size, in
bytes. --capacity also calculates how much that is, in kilo-
bytes or megabytes.
- Format the disk in the floppy drive.
- Specify the size of the disk to format. --format uses the
first format capacity reported by --capacity if the --size
option is not specified.
--ext2 - Create an ext2 (Linux) filesystem on the formatted floppy.
This option requires the e2fsprogs package to be installed. This
option simply runs mke2fs after formatting the floppy disk.
--fat - Create a FAT (DOS) filesystem on the formatted floppy. This
option requires the dosfstools package to be installed. This
option simply runs mkdosfs after formatting the floppy disk.
- Suppress verbose output produced by --capacity and --format.
Use a raw output format that can be used by a front-end wrapper
that runs floppy on the back-end.
- Eject the floppy from the drive (IDE floppy drives only).
PROBING FOR AVAILABLE FLOPPY DRIVES
This command probes the hardware and reports on the available floppy
drives. A typical output from --probe would be:
floppy 0.12 Copyright 2001, Double Precision, Inc.
floppy /dev/fd0: 3.5" HD
idefloppy /dev/hda: LS-120 VER5 00 UHD Floppy
Serial number: 9803M9A03464
Here, floppy detected a high density floppy drive on /dev/fd0, and an
IDE floppy drive on /dev/hda.
CREATING A CONFIGURATION FILE
A configuration file, /etc/floppy must be created before floppy can
format floppy disks. This configuration file can be created automati-
cally by the --createrc option. Each line in the configuration file
contains the following information: type<TAB>label<TAB>device. "<TAB>"
is a single ASCII TAB character. "device" is the device entry for the
floppy drive. floppy requires that all requests for formatting floppies
must use only the devices that appear in this configuration file.
"label" is an alias for this device. floppy accepts "label:" instead of
the actual device entry, for example: "floppy --format A:". "type" is
either "floppy" or "idefloppy".
The --createrc option sets "A" as the label for the first floppy drive,
and "B" for the second floppy drive. If --createrc finds more than two
floppy drives, --createrc will use "FA", "FB", "FC", and so on.
DETERMINING AVAILABLE FORMAT CAPACITIES
Most floppy drives can format disks of different capacities. The
--capacity option shows possible format capacities on the specified
floppy device. A typical IDE floppy drive may report the following
$ floppy --capacity B:
Formattable capacities for /dev/hda:
80x36x512 (1.40 Mb)
80x30x512 (1.17 Mb)
56x22x1024 (1.20 Mb)
A standard floppy drive attached to the floppy controller may report
the following capacities:
$ floppy --capacity A:
Formattable capacities for /dev/fd0:
80x36x512 (/dev/fd0H1440, 1.40 Mb)
80x18x512 (/dev/fd0D720, 720 Kb)
80x48x512 (/dev/fd0u1920, 1.87 Mb)
80x28x512 (/dev/fd0u1120, 1.09 Mb)
80x40x512 (/dev/fd0u1660, 1.56 Mb)
80x26x512 (/dev/fd0u1040, 1.01 Mb)
80x46x512 (/dev/fd0u1840, 1.79 Mb)
80x42x512 (/dev/fd0u1680, 1.64 Mb)
The --capacity option reports each available format capacity as "cylin-
ders x blocks-per-cylinder x block size". An IDE floppy drive actually
returns a total block count. --capacity simply tries some common
blocks-per-cylinder values, until it finds one that fits. Format capac-
ities of standard floppy drives are obtained from the floppy device
NOTE: IDE floppy drives may report format capacities only after a disk
is inserted. Without a floppy disk, IDE floppy drives may not report
any available format capacities, or they may report the primary format
capacity that they are designed to format. For example, most LS-120
drives default to reporting 120mb when there is no disk inserted in the
$ floppy --capacity A:
Formattable capacities for /dev/hda:
6848x36x512 (120.37 Mb)
CAUTION: do not attempt to format 120Mb media in LS-120 drives. Most
LS-120 disks are not user-formattable. They are factory-formatted, and
attempts to format them in LS-120 drives will render them unusable (to
be sure, check the label on the floppy itself). The floppy utility does
not prevent one from trying to use any format capacity the IDE floppy
drive claims to support. If the drive claims it can format a disk of
the given capacity, floppy will oblige.
The --format option does a low-level format on the floppy.
$ ./floppy --format --size=80x36x512 A:
Formatting 1.40 Mb... 0%
--size must specify a geometry returned by --capacity. If --size is
absent, the first geometry is selected.
For floppy controller drives, the status counter will go from 0% to
100%. With most IDE floppy drives the counter will remain at 0% until
the format finishes. Some IDE floppy drives are capable of reporting
format progress status, which will would allow --format to count up
from 0% to 100%.
$ ./floppy --format --verify A:
The --verify option verifies the low-level format. For floppy con-
troller drives, the floppy disk is read from start to finish, after the
low-level format concludes. For IDE floppy drives, the format request
to the drive will include a request to verify the low-level format.
NOTE: Some IDE floppy drives ignore the verify request, or always ver-
ify low-level formats, whether or not it was requested.
$ ./floppy --format -V A:
The -V option is like --verify except that IDE floppy drive formats are
verified manually - like floppy controller drive formats - by reading
the floppy disk from start to finish.
- configuration file.
- floppy controller drives.
- ATAPI IDE floppy drives.
fd(4), mkdosfs(8), mke2fs(8)
Double Precision, Inc. January 4, 2006 floppy(8)
Man(1) output converted with