Home > Uncategorized > Howto: Use Floppy in Ubuntu

Howto: Use Floppy in Ubuntu

By default, the use of floppy drives is disabled in Ubuntu 8.10.
The reason for a not responding floppy under /dev/fd0 (standard device) is the deactivated kernel module for floppies. To permanently activate the module loading of the floppy, simply run in xterm:

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

and add this simple line to /etc/modules at the end of the file


Don´t forget to save (and overwrite) the file afterwards !!!

The Floppy will be now available after reboot – to use it instantly, simply type into xterm:

sudo modprobe floppy

To mount the floppy, add a mountpoint in /media like

sudo mkdir /media/floppy

and mount it with:

sudo mount /dev/fd0 /media/floppy

To permanently have the device linked to the mountpoint, edit /etc/fstab:

gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

and add this line:

/dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

Again, don´t forget to save (and overwrite) the file!!!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you! First time I had to use a floppy, this did the trick.

  2. Rock
    March 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    You’re very welcome

  3. March 30, 2009 at 1:36 am


    Although these instructions are super clear, and I’ve followed them, and Ryan had good results, but, alas, I still cannot get my system to acknowledge the floppy drive. I’m hoping there is something else I can check.

    enter: gksudo gedit /etc/modules
    # /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
    # This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
    # at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with “#” are ignored.

    enter:gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

    # /etc/fstab: static file system information.
    proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
    # /dev/sda1
    UUID=1021fa6c-28ee-421c-8377-768bbd688f01 / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1
    # /dev/sda5
    UUID=1d818b3b-a339-4c22-b8fc-ea952b0bd65b none swap sw 0 0
    /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0
    /dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

    enter: sudo mkdir /media/floppy
    mkdir: cannot create directory `/media/floppy’: File exists

    enter: sudo mount /dev/fd0 /media/floppy
    mount: special device /dev/fd0 does not exist << /proc/self/fd/2
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2009-03-29 19:54 stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2009-03-29 19:54 stdout -> /proc/self/fd/1

    I have re-booted several times (soft & hard boot), but still no floppy drive…

    help!? Is the “special device /dev/fd0 does not exist” error because the “/dev/fd0” is not the right location? .Is there anything else I can check in the logs for errors?


  4. Rock
    April 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Just for info:
    Ist the floppy standard IDE or an external (for instance USB) one ? Is the drive enabled in BIOS ?

    Looks like that your floppy is either not correctly detected or not /dev/fd0.

    To find out, what device the floppy is or to determine, if the floppy is detected, run:
    sudo lshw

    which will present you a list of hardware in your computer – so you have to scroll for your floppy.

    And do a:
    dmesg | grep floppy

  5. April 1, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    thanks ..it is a standard IDE…

    on running sudo lshw:
    found iDE:
    description: IDE interface
    product: 5513 [IDE]
    vendor: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS]
    physical id: 2.5
    bus info: pci@0000:00:02.5
    logical name: scsi0
    logical name: scsi1
    version: 01
    width: 32 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: ide bus_master emulated
    configuration: driver=pata_sis latency=128 module=pata_sis


    and, for “dmesg | grep floppy” ,nothing returned…

    how do i check if it’s in BIOS? (i switched this op sys from windows to linux, no partition…)

    thanks so much…

  6. Rock
    April 18, 2009 at 6:48 am

    sorry for the very late answer.
    If the floppy did work in Windows, it should be already enabled in the BIOS. If not, then you have to enable it manually.

    To enter the BIOS, you have to watch your screen when you turn on your machine. It will display, press F2 or DEL to enter BIOS.

    In most cases, it is DEL (the small key under INSERT) – press it several times when you see the message “Press xyz to enter BIOS Setup”. Then you should see your BIOS. But beware, wrong settings might damage your system or make it unusable – but as long as you don´t play around in parts other than the General Settings (Floppy drive) – it should be okay.

    Google for BIOS settings for your board or your BIOS (AMIBios, Award whatever) –
    should look like this:

    If the floppy wasn´t added by yourself and the computer is a stock machine, then it is very likely that it is enabled already.

  7. April 30, 2009 at 1:08 am

    This was great! Thank you! A Real life saver… I had some old stuff backed up onto floppies, but I couldn’t get to it until now. Great help!

  8. Dave Greenhill
    December 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I followed the instructions and it worked – until I rebooted. Then it lost the floppy again.

    I noticed that when I do a DF I get

    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1 237429884 5418424 219950664 3% /
    udev 509216 292 508924 1% /dev
    none 509216 1080 508136 1% /dev/shm
    none 509216 284 508932 1% /var/run
    none 509216 0 509216 0% /var/lock
    none 509216 0 509216 0% /lib/init/rw
    /dev/fd0 1424 161 1263 12% /media/floppy0

    but /etc/fstab shows

    /dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

    The original entry read

    /dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0

    I’m not Linux educated so I don’t understand what this means, but it seems that both entries should be the same.

    The problem also to affect Xubuntu. I have today installed it on a laptop and, with the original installation, the floppy worked ok. Updating Xubuntu seems to have stopped it working

  9. Rock
    March 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Well, dunno if this extremely late answer might help, but if I understand your comment correctly, you did have the entry with /media/floppy0 in your fstab.

    You can leave it as /media/floppy0 as long as the mountpoint exists ( ls /media ) – there is no need to change this entry then.

    The lost floppy after reboot might be because you didn´t save the changes in /etc/modules ?

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