> From: "Chris Swiedler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 12:13:32 -0400
> Subject: Re: Floppy handling
> Richard Stallman <email@example.com> wrote in message
> > Is there any possibility of making Linux handle file systems on
> > floppies like MSDOS, so that there is no need to explicitly mount and
> > unmount a floppy drive in order to access floppies through the file
> > system?
> In discussing this problem, several people had possible solutions which were
> all shot down with a similar counterargument: the kernel can't assume that
> the user who is using the floppy drive is at the console. Apparently,
> Windows can automount floppies in part because it makes the assumption that
> there is only one user on the machine--an assumption which Unices by design
> can't make.
> I completely agree that the standard Linux kernel could never assume that
> only a single user is logged in. But I don't think we should completely
> disregard patches which require this assumption. There are quite a few
> desktop-workstation users who wouldn't mind gaining a usability advantage in
> exchange for losing some multiuser functionality.
I don't see why we need to assume a single user to make floppies automount/
unmount. We do need an assumption, but I think we can get by with a weaker
one: a user can expect to lose data if the floppy is ejected while in use.
For this to work, the user at the console needs to be able to tell whether the
floppy drive is in use. I see several possible ways to do this:
1) some kind of device in use command
2) auto unmount when no files on the floppy drive are in use (can be confusing
to user if 'ls /floppy' gives no files when floppy is in drive and unmounted
3) make sure that the floppy drive busy light is on when their are dirty
buffers for the floppy (may not be possible on all/any hardware)
4) make sure that all dirty data is written back whenever the device would
otherwise become not busy (this should keep the floppy drive light on, may not
be appropriate for other kinds of removable media)
I would prefer option 3 if possible, option 4 if not since the floppy drive
light is the most intuitive way to found out if the floppy is busy.
I think it would be most intuitive for users if we can manage to have the
floppy automounted when it is inserted and autounmounted when removed. Dirty
data needs to be flushed expediently for this to work well.
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