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mtools.1(3)                         MTOOLS                         mtools.1(3)

       mtools.conf - mtools configuration files

       This  manpage  describes  the configuration files for mtools. They are called '/etc/mtools.conf' and '~/.mtool-
       src'. If the environmental variable MTOOLSRC is set, its contents is used as the filename for a third  configu-
       ration file. These configuration files describe the following items:

       *  Global configuration flags and variables

       *  Per drive flags and variables

   Location of the configuration files
       '/etc/mtools.conf' is the system-wide configuration file, and '~/.mtoolsrc' is the user's private configuration

       On some systems, the system-wide configuration file is called '/etc/default/mtools.conf' instead.

     General configuration file syntax
       The configuration files is made up of sections. Each section starts with a keyword identifying the section fol-
       lowed by a colon.  Then follow variable assignments and flags. Variable assignments take the following form:

       Flags  are  lone  keywords without an equal sign and value following them.  A section either ends at the end of
       the file or where the next section begins.

       Lines starting with a hash (#) are comments. Newline characters are equivalent to whitespace (except where end-
       ing  a  comment). The configuration file is case insensitive, except for item enclosed in quotes (such as file-

   Default values
       For most platforms, mtools contains reasonable compiled-in defaults for physical floppy drives.  Thus, you usu-
       ally  don't  need  to  bother  with the configuration file, if all you want to do with mtools is to access your
       floppy drives. On the other hand, the configuration file is needed if you also want to  use  mtools  to  access
       your hard disk partitions and dosemu image files.

   Global variables
       Global flags may be set to 1 or to 0.

       The following global flags are recognized:

              If  this  is  set  to 1, mtools skips most of its sanity checks. This is needed to read some Atari disks
              which have been made with the earlier ROMs, and which would not be recognized otherwise.

              If this is set to 1, mtools skips the fat size checks. Some disks have a bigger  FAT  than  they  really
              need to. These are rejected if this option is not set.

              If  this is set to 1, mtools displays all-upper-case short filenames as lowercase. This has been done to
              allow a behavior which is consistent with older versions of mtools which  didn't  know  about  the  case

              If  this  is set to 1, mtools won't generate VFAT entries for filenames which are mixed-case, but other-
              wise legal dos filenames.  This is  useful  when  working  with  DOS  versions  which  can't  grok  VFAT
              longnames, such as FreeDos.

              In  a wide directory, prints the short name with a dot instead of spaces separating the basename and the

              If this is set to one (default), generate numeric tails for all long names (~1).  If set to  zero,  only
              generate numeric tails if otherwise a clash would have happened.

              If  1,  uses  the  European  notation  for  times (twenty four hour clock), else uses the UK/US notation

       Example: Inserting the following line into your configuration file instructs mtools to skip the sanity checks:


       Global variables may also be set via the environment:

            export MTOOLS_SKIP_CHECK=1

       Global string variables may be set to any value:

              The format used for printing dates of files.  By default, is dd-mm-yyyy.

   Per drive flags and variables
     General information
       Per drive flags and values may be described in a drive section. A drive section starts with drive "driveletter"

       Then follow variable-value pairs and flags.

       This is a sample drive description:

            drive a:
              file="/dev/fd0" use_xdf=1

     Location information
       For  each  drive,  you need to describe where its data is physically stored (imag file, physical device, parti-
       tion, offset).

       file   The name of the file or device holding the disk image. This  is  mandatory.  The  file  name  should  be
              enclosed in quotes.

              Tells  mtools  to  treat the drive as a partitioned device, and to use the given partition. Only primary
              partitions are accessible using this method, and they are numbered from 1 to 4. For logical  partitions,
              use  the  more  general  offset variable. The partition variable is intended for removable media such as
              Syquests, ZIP drives, and magneto-optical disks. Although traditional DOS  sees  Syquests  and  magneto-
              optical  disks as 'giant floppy disks' which are unpartitioned, OS/2 and Windows NT treat them like hard
              disks, i.e. partioned devices. The partition flag is also useful DOSEMU hdimages. It is not  recommended
              for hard disks for which direct access to partitions is available through mounting.

              Describes  where  in  the  file  the  MS-DOS filesystem starts. This is useful for logical partitions in
              DOSEMU hdimages, and for ATARI ram disks. By default, this is zero, meaning that the  filesystem  starts
              right at the beginning of the device or file.

     Disk Geometry Configuration
       Geometry information describes the physical characteristics about the disk. Its has three purposes:

              The  geometry  information is written into the boot sector of the newly made disk. However, you may also
              describe the geometry information on the command line. See section mformat, for details.

              On some Unices there are device nodes which only support one physical geometry. For instance, you  might
              need  a  different  node to access a disk as high density or as low density. The geometry is compared to
              the actual geometry stored on the boot sector to make sure that this device node is  able  to  correctly
              read  the  disk. If the geometry doesn't match, this drive entry fails, and the next drive entry bearing
              the same drive letter is tried. See section multiple descriptions, for more details on supplying several
              descriptions for one drive letter.

              If  no geometry information is supplied in the configuration file, all disks are accepted. On Linux (and
              on Sparc) there exist device nodes with configurable geometry ('/dev/fd0',  '/dev/fd1'  etc),  and  thus
              filtering  is  not needed (and ignored) for disk drives.  (Mtools still does do filtering on plain files
              (disk images) in Linux: this is mainly intended for test purposes, as I don't  have  access  to  a  Unix
              which would actually need filtering).

              If you do not need filtering, but want still a default geometry for mformatting, you may switch off fil-
              tering using the mformat_only flag.

              If you want filtering, you should supply the filter flag.  If you supply a geometry, you must supply one
              of both flags.

       initial geometry
              On  devices  that  support it (usually floppy devices), the geometry information is also used to set the
              initial geometry. This initial geometry is applied while reading the boot  sector,  which  contains  the
              real geometry.  If no geometry information is supplied in the configuration file, or if the mformat_only
              flag is supplied, no initial configuration is done.

              On Linux, initial geometry is not really needed, as the configurable devices are able to auto-detect the
              disk type accurately enough (for most common formats) to read the boot sector.

       Wrong  geometry  information  may lead to very bizarre errors. That's why I strongly recommend that you add the
       mformat_only flag to your drive description, unless you really need filtering or initial geometry.

       The following geometry related variables are available:

       tracks The number of cylinders. (cylinders is the preferred form, tracks is considered obsolete)

       heads  The number of heads (sides).

              The number of sectors per track.

       Example: the following drive section describes a 1.44M drive:

            drive a:
                cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=18

       The following shorthand geometry descriptions are available:

       1.44m  high density 3 1/2 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=18

       1.2m   high density 5 1/4 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=15

       720k   double density 3 1/2 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=9

       360k   double density 5 1/4 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=40 heads=2 sectors=9

       The shorthand format descriptions may be amended. For example, 360k sectors=8 describes  a  320k  disk  and  is
       equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=40 heads=2 sectors=8

     Open Flags
       Moreover, the following flags are available:

       sync   All i/o operations are done synchronously

              The device or file is opened with the O_NDELAY flag. This is needed on some non-Linux architectures.

              The device or file is opened with the O_EXCL flag. On Linux, this ensures exclusive access to the floppy
              drive. On most other architectures, and for plain files it has no effect at all.

     General Purpose Drive Variables
       The following general purpose drive variables are available.  Depending to their type, these variables  can  be
       set to a string (precmd) or an integer (all others)

              The  number  of  FAT  bits. This may be 12 or 16. This is very rarely needed, as it can almost always be
              deduced from information in the boot sector. On the contrary, describing the  number  of  fat  bits  may
              actually  be  harmful if you get it wrong. You should only use it if mtools gets the autodetected number
              of fat bits wrong, or if you want to mformat a disk with a weird number of fat bits.

              Describes the DOS codepage used for short filenames. This is a number between 1  and  999.  By  default,
              codepage  850 is used. The reason for this is because this codepage contains most of the characters that
              are also available in ISO-Latin-1. You may also specify a global codepage for all drives  by  using  the
              global default_codepage parameter (outside of any drive description). This parameters exists starting at
              version 4.0.0

              On some variants of Solaris, it is necessary to call 'volcheck -v' before opening a  floppy  device,  in
              order  for  the  system  to notice that there is indeed a disk in the drive. precmd="volcheck -v" in the
              drive clause establishes the desired behavior.

              This parameter represents a default block size to be always used on this device.  All I/O is  done  with
              multiples  of this block size, independantly of the sector size registered in the filesystem's boot sec-
              tor.  This is useful for character devices whose sector size is not 512, such  as  for  example  CD  Rom
              drives on Solaris.

       Only  the  file variable is mandatory. The other parameters may be left out. In that case a default value or an
       autodetected value is used.

     General Purpose Drive Flags
       A flag can either be set to 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled). If the value is ommitted, it is enabled.  For example,
       scsi is equivalent to scsi=1

              Instruct  mtools  to not use locking on this drive.  This is needed on systems with buggy locking seman-
              tics.  However, enabling this makes operation less safe in cases where several users may access the same
              drive at the same time.

       scsi   When  set to 1, this option tells mtools to use raw SCSI I/O instead of the standard read/write calls to
              access the device. Currently, this is supported on HP/UX, Solaris and SunOs.  This is needed because  on
              some  architectures,  such  as  SunOs  or  Solaris,  PC media can't be accessed using the read and write
              syscalls, because the OS expects them to contain a Sun specific "disk label".

              As raw Scsi access always uses the whole device, you need to specify the "partition" flag in addition

              On some architectures, such as Solaris, mtools needs root privileges to be able to use the scsi  option.
              Thus  mtools should be installed set uid root on Solaris if you want to access Zip/Jaz drives.  Thus, if
              the scsi flag is given, privileged is automatically implied, unless explicitly disabled by privileged=0

              Mtools uses its root privileges to open the device, and to issue the actual SCSI I/O  calls.   Moreover,
              root  privileges  are  only  used  for  drives  described  in  a  system-wide configuration file such as
              '/etc/mtools.conf', and not for those described in '~/.mtoolsrc' or '$MTOOLSRC'.

              When set to 1, this instructs mtools to use its set-uid and set-gid privileges  for  opening  the  given
              drive.   This  option is only valid for drives described in the system-wide configuration files (such as
              '/etc/mtools.conf', not '~/.mtoolsrc' or '$MTOOLSRC').  Obviously, this option is also a no op if mtools
              is  not  installed  setuid  or  setgid.   This  option is implied by 'scsi=1', but again only for drives
              defined in system-wide configuration files.  Privileged may also be set explicitely to 0,  in  order  to
              tell mtools not to use its privileges for a given drive even if scsi=1 is set.

              Mtools  only  needs to be installed setuid if you use the privileged or scsi drive variables.  If you do
              not use these options, mtools works perfectly well even when not installed setuid root.


              Instructs mtools to interpret the device name as a vold identifier rather than as a filename.  The  vold
              identifier  is  translated  into a real filename using the media_findname() and media_oldaliases() func-
              tions of the volmgt library.  This flag is only available if you configured mtools  with  the  --enable-
              new-vold option before compilation.


              Consider the media as a word-swapped Atari disk.

              If  this is set to a non-zero value, mtools also tries to access this disk as an XDF disk. XDF is a high
              capacity format used by OS/2. This is off by default. See section XDF, for more details.

              Tells mtools to use the geometry for this drive only for mformatting and not for filtering.

              Tells mtools to use the geometry for this drive both for mformatting and filtering.

              Tells mtools to connect to floppyd (see section  floppyd).

     Supplying multiple descriptions for a drive
       It is possible to supply multiple descriptions for a drive. In that case, the descriptions are tried  in  order
       until one is found that fits. Descriptions may fail for several reasons:

       1.     because the geometry is not appropriate,

       2.     because there is no disk in the drive,

       3.     or because of other problems.

       Multiple  definitions  are  useful  when  using physical devices which are only able to support one single disk
       geometry.  Example:

            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H1440" 1.44m
            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H720" 720k

       This instructs mtools to use /dev/fd0H1440 for 1.44m (high density) disks and  /dev/fd0H720  for  720k  (double
       density) disks. On Linux, this feature is not really needed, as the /dev/fd0 device is able to handle any geom-

       You may also use multiple drive descriptions to access both of your physical drives through one drive letter:

            drive z: file="/dev/fd0"
            drive z: file="/dev/fd1"

       With this description, mdir z: accesses your first physical drive if it contains a disk.  If  the  first  drive
       doesn't contain a disk, mtools checks the second drive.

       When  using multiple configuration files, drive descriptions in the files parsed last override descriptions for
       the same drive in earlier files. In order to avoid this, use the drive+ or +drive keywords  instead  of  drive.
       The  first adds a description to the end of the list (i.e. it will be tried last), and the first adds it to the
       start of the list.

   Location of configuration files and parsing order
       The configuration files are parsed in the following order:

       1.     compiled-in defaults

       2.     '/etc/mtools.conf'

       3.     '/etc/mtools' This is for backwards compatibility only, and is  only  parsed  if  'mtools.conf'  doesn't

       4.     '~/.mtoolsrc'.

       5.     '$MTOOLSRC' (file pointed by the MTOOLSRC environmental variable)

       Options  described  in the later files override those described in the earlier files. Drives defined in earlier
       files persist if they are not overridden in the later files. For instance, drives A and B  may  be  defined  in
       '/etc/mtools.conf'  and  drives  C and D may be defined in '~/.mtoolsrc' However, if '~/.mtoolsrc' also defines
       drive A, this new description would override the description of drive A in '/etc/mtools.conf' instead of adding
       to  it.  If  you want to add a new description to a drive already described in an earlier file, you need to use
       either the +drive or drive+ keyword.

   Backwards compatibility with old configuration file syntax
       The syntax described herein is new for version mtools-3.0. The old line-oriented  syntax  is  still  supported.
       Each  line  beginning  with  a  single letter is considered to be a drive description using the old syntax. Old
       style and new style drive sections may be mixed within the same configuration file, in order to make  upgrading
       easier.  Support  for  the old syntax will be phased out eventually, and in order to discourage its use, I pur-
       posefully omit its description here.

See also

MTOOLS                              03Nov09                        mtools.1(3)