Re: Floppy handling

From: Horst von Brand (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 19:31:21 EST

Scott Lenser <> said:


> I don't see why we need to assume a single user to make floppies
> automount/ unmount. We do need an assumption, but I think we can get by
> with a weaker one: a user can expect to lose data if the floppy is
> ejected while in use.

The user at the machine (if there is one) might not care for my data...

> For this to work, the user at the console needs to be able to tell
> whether the floppy drive is in use. I see several possible ways to do
> this:

> 1) some kind of device in use command

Nobody will use it.

> 2) auto unmount when no files on the floppy drive are in use (can be
> confusing to user if 'ls /floppy' gives no files when floppy is in drive
> and unmounted

Use automount. Trick to do so has been documented for ages.

> 3) make sure that the floppy drive busy light is on when their are dirty
> buffers for the floppy (may not be possible on all/any hardware)

Wears out the disk, perhaps damages heads of the drive. To do this probably
also implies a gross violation of layering within the kernel.

> 4) make sure that all dirty data is written back whenever the device
> would otherwise become not busy (this should keep the floppy drive light
> on, may not be appropriate for other kinds of removable media)

This probably implies a gross violation of layering within the kernel.

Just use the graphical tools your desktop gives you, or use mtools.

Horst von Brand                   
Casilla 9G, Vin~a del Mar, Chile                               +56 32 672616

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