floppy(8)                                                            floppy(8)

       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, -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 for-
              mat.  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. --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, -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 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.

       --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).

       floppy --probe

       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
       Revision: F523M5A9
       Serial number: 9803M9A03464

       Here, floppy detected a high density floppy drive on /dev/fd0,  and  an
       IDE floppy drive on /dev/hda.

       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.

       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.         November 17, 2005                     floppy(8)