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 Formatting the floppy

On most Linux systems, users have access to the floppy disk device. The name of the device may vary depending on the size and number of floppy drives, contact your system admin if you are unsure. On some systems, there will likely be a link /dev/floppy pointing to the right device, probably /dev/fd0 (the auto-detecting floppy device) or /dev/fd0H1440 (set for 1,44MB floppies).

fdformat is the low-level floppy disk formatting tool. It has the device name of the floppy disk as an option. fdformat will display an error when the floppy is write-protected.

emma:~> fdformat /dev/fd0H1440
Double-sided, 80 tracks, 18 sec/track. Total capacity 1440 kB.
Formatting ... done
Verifying ... done

The mformat command (from the mtools package) is used to create DOS-compatible floppies which can then be accessed using the mcopy, mdir and other m-commands.

Graphical tools are also available.

Figure 9-1. Floppy formatter

After the floppy is formatted, it can be mounted into the file system and accessed as a normal, be it small, directory, usually via the /mnt/floppy entry.

Should you need it, install the mkbootdisk utility, which makes a floppy from which the current system can boot.

Introducing Linux
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