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FDWRITE(1)		FreeBSD	General	Commands Manual		    FDWRITE(1)

     fdwrite --	format and write floppy	disks

     fdwrite [-v] [-y] [-f inputfile] [-d device]

     The fdwrite utility formats and writes one	and more floppy	disks.	Any
     floppy disk device	capable	of formatting can be used.

     The fdwrite utility will ask the user (on /dev/tty) to insert a new
     floppy and	press return.  The device will then be opened, and queried for
     its parameters, then each track will be formatted,	written	with data from
     the inputfile, read back and compared.  When the floppy disk is filled,
     the process is repeated, with the next disk.  This	continues until	the
     program is	interrupted or EOF is encountered on the inputfile.

     The options are as	follows:

	   -v	       Toggle verbosity	on stdout.  Default is ``on''.	After
		       device is opened	first time the format will be printed.
		       During operation	progress will be reported with the
		       number of tracks	remaining on the current floppy	disk,
		       and the letters I, Z, F,	W, R and C, which indicates
		       completion of Input, Zero-fill, Format Write, Read and
		       Compare of current track	respectively.

	   -y	       Do not ask for presence of a floppy disk	in the drive.
		       This non-interactive flag is useful for shell scripts.

	   -f inputfile
		       Input file to read.  If none is given, stdin is

	   -d device   The name	of the floppy device to	write to.  Default is

     The fdwrite utility actually closes the device while it waits for the
     user to press return, it is thus quite possible to	use the	drive for
     other purposes at this time and later resume writing with the next

     The parameters returned from device are used for formatting.  If custom
     formatting	is needed, please use fdformat(1) instead.

     The fdwrite utility was planned as	a tool to make life easier when	writ-
     ing a set of floppies, one	such use could be to write a tar-archive:

	   tar cf - . |	gzip -9	| fdwrite -d /dev/fd0.1720 -v

     The main difference from using tar(1)'s multivolume facility is of	course
     the formatting of the floppies, which here	is done	on the fly, thus
     reducing the amount of work for the floppy-jockey.


     The fdwrite utility was written while waiting for ``make world'' to com-
     plete.  Some of the code was taken	from fdformat(1).

     The program has been contributed by Poul-Henning Kamp <>.

     Diagnostics are less than complete	at present.

     If	a floppy is sick, and the inputfile is seekable, it should ask the
     user to frisbee the disk, insert another, and rewind to the right spot
     and continue.

     This concept could	be extended to cover non-seekable input	also by
     employing a temporary file.

     An	option (defaulting to zero) should allow the user to ask for retries
     in	case of	failure.

     At	present	a suitable tool	for reading back a multivolume set of floppies
     is	missing.  Programs like	tar(1) for instance, will do the job, if the
     data has not been compressed.  One	can always trust dd(1) to help out in
     this situation of course.

FreeBSD	8.4		      September	16, 1993		   FreeBSD 8.4


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