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FLOPPY(8)                                                            FLOPPY(8)



NAME
       floppy - format floppy disks

SYNOPSIS
       floppy [ --createrc >/etc/floppy | --format /dev/fdo | --format A: ]


       floppygtk


DESCRIPTION
       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 drives.

              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 example, 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.  If started from an X terminal window, floppy automatically
       runs floppygtk.

OPTIONS
       --probe, -p
              Probe for available floppy drives. floppy creates and displays a list of all detected floppy drives.

       --createrc, -r
              Print a configuration file. floppy prints on standard output the results of the --probe option in a con-
              figuration file format.  This configuration file should be saved as /etc/floppy.

       --showrc
              List floppy drives configured in /etc/floppy.

       --capacity, -c
              Show the available format capacities of the floppy drive. Most floppy drives can format disks of differ-
              ent capacities. --capacity 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
              kilobytes ormegabytes.

       --format, -f
              Format the disk in the floppy drive.

       --size=CxBxS, -s=CxBxS
              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 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 runs mkdosfs after formatting the floppy disk.

       --noprompt, -n
              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
              Eject the floppy from the drive (IDE floppy drives with an electronic eject mechanism).

   PROBING FOR AVAILABLE FLOPPY DRIVES
       floppy --probe

       This  command  probes  the  hardware and reports on the available floppy drives.  A typical output from --probe
       would be:


       floppy 0.16 Copyright 2001-2003, Double Precision, Inc.

       floppy    /dev/fd0: 3.5" HD
       idefloppy /dev/hda: LS-120 VER5 00 UHD Floppy
         Revision: F523M5A9
         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 automatically 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 "ide-
       floppy".

       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 capac-
       ities on the specified floppy device. A typical IDE floppy drive may report the following capacities:


       $ 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 "cylinders x blocks-per-cylinder x block size".
       IDE  floppy  drive only return a total block count, and --capacity tries some common blocks-per-cylinder geome-
       tries, until it finds one that fits.  Format capacities of standard floppy drives are obtained from the  floppy
       device driver.

              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 drive:


              $ floppy --capacity A:
              Formattable capacities for /dev/hda:
                6848x36x512     (120.37 Mb)

              Warning: Do not attempt to format 120Mb media in LS-120 drives. Most LS-120 disks are  not  user-format-
              table.   They are factory-formatted, and attempts to format them in LS-120 drives will render them unus-
              able (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.

   FORMATTING
       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 controller 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
       sets a flag that that requests low-level format verification.

              Note: Some IDE floppy drives ignore the verify request, or always verify 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 con-
       troller drive formats - by reading the floppy disk from start to finish.

FILES
       /etc/floppy
              The configuration file.

       /dev/fd[0-7]
              Floppy controller drives.

       /dev/hd[a-h]
              ATAPI IDE floppy drives.

SEE ALSO
       fd(4), mkdosfs(8), mke2fs(8).



Double Precision, Inc.          29 January 2006                      FLOPPY(8)