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Old 04-13-2005, 04:21 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: FC3/GNOME, Slack 10.1
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Question Writing to a diskette

My frame of reference is W98, and so Linux is completely foreign to me. I am experimenting with Fedora Core 3, among other distros.

1) How do I go about formatting a diskette in /dev/fd0?
2) How do I go about writing a simple TXT file to a diskette, to be reread by a) a W98 machine and b) another Linux machine?
3) How do I go about reading a file on a diskette or copying it from there to my Linux system?
Old 04-13-2005, 04:23 AM   #2
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You simply need to mount the diskette with a vfat (FAT32) filesystem. This will probably be as simple as this:
1) Insert the diskette
2) Type this command
mount /dev/fd0
Post back if that returns errors, preferably with the output of
cat /etc/fstab
3) It will probably be mounted automagically to a set directory -- probably /mnt/floppy
4) Copy whatever you wish to the directory it gets mounted to, then unmount the disk with this command
umount /dev/fd0
If you need more information, please post back with the output of cat /etc/fstab as mentioned above.

Last edited by scuzzman; 04-13-2005 at 04:25 AM.
Old 04-13-2005, 08:45 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2005
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To format a floppy...

You will need to su into root (I've tried several pleas for help, but no response. Try adding yourself to group floppy)

Once that's done:

fdformat /dev/fd0
mkdosfs /dev/fd0
I'm using mkdosfs because I assume you want to put this floppy into a Windows Machine.

Old 04-13-2005, 09:56 AM   #4
Registered: Jul 2003
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OK. I formatted the diskette as you suggested. I presume the 'mkdosfs' will still enable me to read/write to/from Linux systems as well as Windows systems.

Now, how do I copy to or from the diskette?

If I try "cp somefile.txt /dev/fd0", I get a message warning me about overwriting /dev/fd0. I don't think that is something I should do.
Old 04-13-2005, 10:44 AM   #5
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Once you're done with formatting the floppy disk and you have a filesystem written on it, there is something else that must be done before you can write to it: mount it
su          --press Enter, enter root password, then press Enter again
mkdir /mnt/floppy
mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
Now you can write to your diskette by using
cp somefile /mnt/floppy
ls -al /mnt/floppy
instead of copying to /dev/fd0. When you're done with it, unmount the floppy with
umount /dev/fd0
And don't forget to also 'exit' the root account, which is use for all the steps above. If you want to be able to write to your diskette as a regular user, look into the 'man mount' documentation for options that can be passed to the mount command (such as umask).


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