Beginner Q1: Linux incapable of handling FDD? CONCLUDED

Andrew Kane googoleyes at
Mon Jan 18 16:05:37 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Thomas Blasejewicz
<thomas at> wrote:
> Over these 2+ years I spent more time and effort on my attempts to
> install the OS and get BASIC things (like for example reading a floppy)
> done with Linux,
> than I spent over the past 25 years on ALL my computers, ALL OS, all
> installations, re-installations, repairs, tweaking etc. put together.

     Linux can be difficult, and the learning curve is steep- but it is free.
Whether you know it or not, you have spent a lot more money on other
software in the aforementioned 25 years than you ever will with Linux.
Whether you know it or not, you have suffered more legal encumbrance
in those 25 years of other software than you ever will with Linux.
     I know that doesn't help much with usability problems. Your
complaints are germane and are welcome.

> Again and again: I am NOT trying to tell anybody that those are
> better/preferrable or whatever over Linux.
> The only reason why I keep this effort still up, is that I WANT(!!!) to
> get away from MS, but Linux definitely does NOT make this an easy task!!

     Any GNU / Linux distribution is a complex entity that is capable
of many, many more tasks than most individual users care about. It is
an industrial-strength system, and really meant for multiple users and
supervision by an experienced and skilled administrator. The various
desktop distributions have done a good job of making up for the lack
of such a person, but there is some way to go yet IMO.

And now for the practical part of this email:

     Have you tried to use a USB floppy drive, rather than the
built-in type? In Ubuntu especially, I suspect that this will work
better / more easily since the device driver is abstracted by the USB
subsystem, which is accustomed to dealing with various hardware. I've
been using various flavors of Linux for more than 14 years, and I can
assure you that dealing directly with FDD controllers has never been
easy or simple.
     With that said, if you have relatively modern hardware and a
recent release of Ubuntu, you shouldn't be having big problems unless
you are trying to accomplish something fairly exotic.
     Perhaps there is a LUG in your area, or someone on this list
local to you who would be willing to make a tech-support house call?

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