On the handling of Floppy disks...

Michael R Head burner at suppressingfire.org
Mon Feb 7 09:29:59 CST 2005


I've been a Debian user for quite some time, and after trying Ubuntu for
several months, I've decided to put it on my girlfriend's and sister's
computers. So far, most things have worked very well, and them both seem

There is one fairly major problem that I've come across. My girlfriend
must use floppies to print her papers out at school. It's very confusing
for her to have to unmount her floppy disk before ejecting it. She's
used to simply being able to write to the A: drive, and pulling out the
floppy when the green light goes off.

First of all, is there any built-in way to improve the situation? Right
now, the floppy is mounted 'sync', so things are committed to disk even
if she takes the disk out before unmounting, but if attempts to write to
the disk after the disk is removed, writes to the '/media/floppy' will
succeed, even though they can't be committed to disk. 

That might be OK, but the biggest problem is that inserting a second
disk without unmounting the first disk causes the newly inserted disk
not to be read at all.

If there's no way to configure away the problem, I do have a suggestion:

One possible way to fix this might be to implement an mtools-based
floppy drive gnome-vfs location, and use this on systems with PC-style
floppy drives. Of course, ext2 formatted floppies will not work with
mtools, but perhaps there would be a way to add support for that, too.

Thoughts? Suggestions?


Michael R Head <burner at suppressingfire.org>
GPG: http://www.suppressingfire.org/~burner/gpg.key.txt (ID 23A02B1F)
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