Bug 864206 - Fedora 16 does not recognise a directly attached floppy drive.
Fedora 16 does not recognise a directly attached floppy drive.
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: udev (Show other bugs)
athlon Linux
unspecified Severity high
: ---
: ---
Assigned To: udev-maint
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2012-10-08 16:52 EDT by Martin Gregorie
Modified: 2013-02-13 19:01 EST (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2013-02-13 19:01:53 EST
Type: Bug
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Attachments (Terms of Use)

  None (edit)
Description Martin Gregorie 2012-10-08 16:52:57 EDT
Description of problem:
I am unable to access a directly attached 3.5" floppy drive. I believe the drive and its connections are good: it starts momentarily when a disk is inserted and is the drive I used to create the floppy disks I'm trying to read. However:
(1) I can't find anything in /dev to mount it on or to read with the dd utility.
    /dev/fd/[0123] exist, however both the fd and [0123] components are
    - /dev/fd points to /proc/self/fd 
    - /dev/fd/[012] all point to /dev/pts/0
    - /dev/fd/3 is an orphan
    none of which seem relevant to floppy access

(2) the "floppy --probe" command doesn't find anything to report

(3) I should add that the disk I need to access has a non-standard format
    (it's from a system running Microware OS-9/68000 v2.4). I want to 
    create an image of it on my hard disk with 'dd' so the os9exec emulator
    can read its contents.

(4) F16 doesn't take any notice of an DOS formatted floppy either, so I don't
    think the disk format has anything to do with this problem. 

How reproducible:
I can't NOT reproduce it.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Stick a DOS floppy in the drive (3.5", 1.4MB floppy drive)
2. Run "floppy --probe"
Actual results:
   The program identification is output followed by two blank lines.
   No floppy drives are reported.

Expected results:
   Details of the directly attached drive to be shown.
Comment 1 Kay Sievers 2012-10-09 07:38:53 EDT
(In reply to comment #0)
> I am unable to access a directly attached 3.5" floppy drive. I believe the
> drive and its connections are good: it starts momentarily when a disk is
> inserted and is the drive I used to create the floppy disks I'm trying to
> read.

You probably just need to run "modprobe floppy".

The floppy driver is no longer loaded by default, it causes to many failures
on machines which just *look* like they have a floppy drive, but there is
none and it creates just delays and errors trying to access the non-existent

>     /dev/fd/[0123] exist, however both the fd and [0123] components are
>     symlinks

These stand for "file descriptor" not for "floppy drive", they are entirely
Comment 2 Martin Gregorie 2012-10-09 08:59:50 EDT
Thanks: "modprobe floppy" did the trick and I can now access a DOS-formatted floppy. 

However, this will, of course, need to be repeated after the next reboot.
Prior to systemd I would have added the modprobe to /etc/rc.d/rc.local, but as there is no longer a default rc.local file I assume this is no longer an option, so how can I cause the modprobe to be issued after every boot? 

It seems like something that a udev rule could handle. I can write simple rules that affect already existing devices, e.g. altering access permissions, etc., but what would a rule to load the floppy driver look like? 

Is this something that anaconda should be setting up in /etc/udev/rules.d ?
Comment 3 Kay Sievers 2012-10-09 09:34:09 EDT
rc.local still works, it's just not there by default anymore.

modules can be force-loaded by creating an module-load entry in:
  $ man modules-load.d

udev is not really supposed to unconditionally do anything, it handles and
sets up devices based on conditions, it does not fit too well here.

The floppy support was intentionally disabled by default in the kernel, not
sure, if anaconda wants to get involved here. Fedora just might require a manual
setup for legacy hardware these days.
Comment 4 Martin Gregorie 2012-10-09 14:41:08 EDT
Thanks again for the info.

I've gone with adding a file to /etc/modules-load.d in the expectation that /etc/rc.d will fade away sooner or later.

As far as I'm concerned this bug can be closed.

However, though adding a short note containing what you've told me to the documentation and/or release notes would be helpful: I did a fairly careful search for info about enabling floppy access before posting this bug but it didn't turn up anything relevent. My guess is that there are there are still a number of us who need the transfer data to or from computers that predate USB, flash and ethernet connections and so use FAT format floppies as the most convenient data transfer medium.

It would be good to know if this will also work for an external USB-attached floppy.
Comment 5 Kay Sievers 2012-10-10 06:35:10 EDT
USB floppy drives work out-of-the-box, without any setup, it's just the
plain old floppy controller that needs the floppy driver, which is not
Comment 6 Fedora End Of Life 2013-01-16 15:37:05 EST
This message is a reminder that Fedora 16 is nearing its end of life.
Approximately 4 (four) weeks from now Fedora will stop maintaining
and issuing updates for Fedora 16. It is Fedora's policy to close all
bug reports from releases that are no longer maintained. At that time
this bug will be closed as WONTFIX if it remains open with a Fedora 
'version' of '16'.

Package Maintainer: If you wish for this bug to remain open because you
plan to fix it in a currently maintained version, simply change the 'version' 
to a later Fedora version prior to Fedora 16's end of life.

Bug Reporter: Thank you for reporting this issue and we are sorry that 
we may not be able to fix it before Fedora 16 is end of life. If you 
would still like to see this bug fixed and are able to reproduce it 
against a later version of Fedora, you are encouraged to click on 
"Clone This Bug" and open it against that version of Fedora.

Although we aim to fix as many bugs as possible during every release's 
lifetime, sometimes those efforts are overtaken by events. Often a 
more recent Fedora release includes newer upstream software that fixes 
bugs or makes them obsolete.

The process we are following is described here: 
Comment 7 Fedora End Of Life 2013-02-13 19:01:57 EST
Fedora 16 changed to end-of-life (EOL) status on 2013-02-12. Fedora 16 is 
no longer maintained, which means that it will not receive any further 
security or bug fix updates. As a result we are closing this bug.

If you can reproduce this bug against a currently maintained version of 
Fedora please feel free to reopen this bug against that version.

Thank you for reporting this bug and we are sorry it could not be fixed.

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.