Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 864206
Fedora 16 does not recognise a directly attached floppy drive.
Last modified: 2013-02-13 19:01:57 EST
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/ exist, however both the fd and  components are
- /dev/fd points to /proc/self/fd
- /dev/fd/ 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.
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"
The program identification is output followed by two blank lines.
No floppy drives are reported.
Details of the directly attached drive to be shown.
(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
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/ exist, however both the fd and  components are
These stand for "file descriptor" not for "floppy drive", they are entirely
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 ?
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.
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.
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
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