This article is from the Frequently Asked Questions for Linux, the Free/Open Source UNIX-like operating system kernel that runs on many modern computer systems. Maintained by David C. Merrill with numerous contributions by others. (v1.0).
A: If you are running recent Gnome or KDE desktops, you have a GUI tool that makes formatting floppies easy.
A: To format a 3.5-inch, high density floppy at the command prompt:
$ fdformat /dev/fd0H1440 $ mkfs -t ext2 -m 0 /dev/fd0H1440 1440
For a 5.25 inch floppy, use /dev/fd0h1200 and 1200 as appropriate. For the B: drive use /dev/fd1 instead of /dev/fd0.
The -m 0 option tells mkfs.ext2 not to reserve any space on the disk for the superuserusually the last 10% is reserved for root.
The first command performs a low-level format. The second creates an empty file system. You can mount the floppy like a hard disk partition and simply cp and mv files, etc.
Device naming conventions generally are the same as for other unices. They can be found in Matt Welsh's Installation and Getting Started guide. Refer to Where Is the Documentation?. A more detailed and technical description is Linux Allocated Devices by H. Peter Anvin, firstname.lastname@example.org, which is included in LaTeX and ASCII form in the kernel source distribution (probably in /usr/ src/kernel/Documentation/), as devices.tex and devices.txt.