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Mounting Other Filesystems
Pages: 1, 2

It is possible to format a floppy with DOS from FreeBSD. To format a floppy, do NOT mount it first. Remember, you mount filesystems, and you don't have a filesystem until you format. As root, put a floppy in your floppy drive, then type:

fdformat /dev/rfd0
Format 1440 floppy '/dev/rfd0'? (y/n):y

When it is finished processing,

disklabel -w -r /dev/rfd0 fd1440
newfs_msdos -f 1440 fd0

You can now mount that floppy like this:

mount -t msdos /dev/fd0 /floppy
cd /floppy

The ls command should confirm that there is nothing on the floppy. Let's copy something onto the floppy:

cp /etc/fstab /floppy

You should now see a file called "fstab" on your floppy. Type:

more /floppy/fstab

You should be able to hear your floppy drive churn as you view the contents of fstab. If you try to unmount the floppy,

umount /floppy

you'll see:

umount: unmount of /floppy failed: Device busy

You can't unmount a filesystem if it is your present working directory. Let's try again:

cd /
umount /floppy

It is now safe to eject the floppy from the floppy drive.

Now let's try a CD-ROM. Put a data CD-ROM, not a music CD-ROM, into your CD-ROM bay and type:

mount /cdrom

You should be able to see the contents of the CD. Why did the shortened mount command work? Remember that FreeBSD already created a mountpoint called /cdrom for you? Well, it also added an entry to a file that is read by the mount command if you don't specify a device name. Try this:

more /etc/fstab
# Device     Mountpoint	FStype  Options   Dump Pass#
/dev/ad0s2b  none		swap    sw        0	   0
/dev/ad0s2a  /          ufs     rw        1    1
/dev/ad0s2f  /usr       ufs     rw        2    2
/dev/ad0s2e  /var       ufs     rw        2    2
/dev/acd0c   /cdrom     cd9660  ro,noauto 0    0
proc         /proc      procfs  rw        0    0

Notice that there is an entry for /cdrom with its options set at "noauto." This tells FreeBSD not to mount your CD-ROM automatically when you reboot; however, it now shortens the mount command for when you do want to mount a CDROM. Let's unmount the CDROM and add an entry to the /etc/fstab file to shorten the mount command for floppies:

cd /
umount /cdrom
pico /etc/fstab

At the end of the file, add this line:

/dev/fd0    /floppy    msdos    rw,noauto    0    0

Make sure you tab over to keep your columns neat; also, make sure it all fits on one line. Doublecheck for typos before saving this file.

Now, insert a floppy into your floppy drive and try:

mount /floppy
cd /
umount /floppy

I can also mount my C:\ drive while in FreeBSD; since its device name is /dev/ad0s1, I issue this command:

mount -t msdos /dev/ad0s1 /fat

I can then enter cd /fat and freely edit and delete files on the C:\ drive using my favorite Unix commands. I can also copy files back and forth between C:\ and FreeBSD.

If I want to get real fancy, I'll also mount my FAT32 partition:

mount -t msdos /dev/ad0s4 /fat32

and I can copy a file from C:\ to what Windows 98 calls the D:\ partition:

cp /fat/test.txt /fat32/test.txt

Saves a lot of rebooting if I just want to move some files around. If I want to save myself some typing when I wish to access these filesystems, I'll add the following lines to the end of /etc/fstab:

# Device    Mountpoint  FStype  Options  Dump  Pass#
/dev/ad0s1  /fat        msdos   rw       0     0
/dev/ad0s4  /fat32      msdos   rw       0     0

Because these file systems are located on my permanent storage device, I can have FreeBSD mount them at every boot; therefore, I haven't set the Options to "noauto".

If I've rebooted since adding these lines to /etc/fstab, these partitions will be mounted for me. I can simply use the commands cd /fat or cd /fat32 to access the data on these partitions.

Today's article focused on accessing the file systems of devices physically attached to your FreeBSD computer. Next week, we'll discuss how to access data located on Microsoft computers within your network.

Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux, and BSD systems. A prolific author, she pens the popular FreeBSD Basics column for O'Reilly and is author of BSD Hacks and The Best of FreeBSD Basics.

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