floppy - Unix, Linux Command
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 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
floppygtk is a GTK interface to the floppy utility. When started
from an X terminal window, floppy will automatically run
--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 configuration file format.
This configuration file should be saved as /etc/floppy.
- 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 different 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 or
--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.
- 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.
- 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.
--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 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
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 "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
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
$ 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". 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 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)
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
$ ./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 will include a request to verify the low-level format.
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 controller drive formats - by
reading the floppy disk from start to finish.
- configuration file.
- floppy controller drives.
- ATAPI IDE floppy drives.