Floppy disks

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Reason: Cover fdformat(8)[dead link 2021-06-20] and recovering a "dead" floppy. (Discuss in Talk:Floppy disks)

From Wikipedia:

A floppy disk, also called a diskette, is a disk storage medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles. Floppy disks are read and written by a floppy disk drive (FDD).

Common tasks with floppy disks are described bellow, with available tools to accomplish them.


Kernel module

Most of the floppy drives should be supported by stock kernel. The module floppy is used as a driver for floppy drives.

The floppy module might not be loaded by default. In such case, it could be loaded with the following command:

# modprobe floppy


There are two packages in the Arch package repository related with floppy disks:

Common tasks

Here are the commands needed to perform the most common tasks. In all examples is assumed that /dev/fd0 is linux device for the floppy drive. By default, all these tasks need to be performed as root.


# mkfs.fat /dev/fd0


# mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /media/floppy


Unable to get diskette geometry

# mkfs.fat /dev/fd0
mkfs.fat 4.1 (2017-01-24)
mkfs.fat: unable to get diskette geometry for '/dev/fd0'

In such case, is probably that the diskette is physically damaged.

See also