Subject: Re: newfs_msdos
To: Brook Milligan <>
From: Manuel Bouyer <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/10/1999 18:30:13
On Fri, Dec 10, 1999 at 08:15:43AM -0700, Brook Milligan wrote:
>    On Thu, Dec 09, 1999 at 10:57:24PM -0700, Brook Milligan wrote:
>    > Clearly, no one feels like writing unnecessary config entries.  The
>    > information (which includes more than geometry) needs to come from
>    > somewhere, though.
>    Which informations ? How can mformat work then ?
> Well, information like sectors per cluster, a drive number, number of
> root directory entries, ... .  Perhaps you used command line swithces
> for mformat to set these?  Perhaps the data come from within the
> program as compiled in defaults?  I don't know exactly how you
> manipulated mformat.  The point is that the BIOS parameter block needs

I just created a /etc/mtools.conf with:
drive C:

This is because I can't just tell mformat /dev/rwd0a (I'd expect to be able to
do this with newfs_msdos).
I guess mfomat just has reasonable defaults for other values. You can't
select them with MSDOS's format anyway :)

> Yes, it is a good idea to try reading the disklabel as a means of
> getting whatever information is available.

Not the disklabel, the dos partition table (this is what mformat does). I think
there's not enouth infos in the disklabel.
> Overall, I'm unclear about your message.  Is it that there is no need
> for an enhanced newfs_msdos?  Is it that /etc/floppytab should not be

For sure not, I'd like to see it !

> used as a table to contain the information needed?  Is it that this is

It could be usefull but it should not be required if informations can be found
somewhere else or resonable default values provided.

> a good idea but you'd like to see information in the disklabel used if
> possible?  Or is it something else?  There is no point in continuing
> if the message is the first?  I'm asking these questions, after all,
> so that the final version will be accepted into the tree.

Sure, it's what the list is for :)

Manuel Bouyer, LIP6, Universite Paris VI.