Provided by: mtools_3.9.9-2.1ubuntu1_i386 bug


       mtools.conf - mtools configuration files


       This  manpage  describes  the  configuration files for mtools. They are
       called  ‘/etc/mtools.conf’  and  ‘~/.mtoolsrc’.  If  the  environmental
       variable  MTOOLSRC  is  set, its contents is used as the filename for a
       third  configuration  file.  These  configuration  files  describe  the
       following items:

       *  Global configuration flags and variables

       *  Per drive flags and variables

       *  Character translation tables

   Location of the configuration files
       ‘/etc/mtools.conf’   is   the   system-wide   configuration  file,  and
       ‘~/.mtoolsrc’ is the user’s private configuration file.

       On  some  systems,  the  system-wide  configuration  file   is   called
       ‘/etc/defaults/mtools.conf’ instead.

     General configuration file syntax
       The  configuration  files  is  made up of sections. Each section starts
       with a keyword identifying the  section  followed  by  a  colon.   Then
       follow  variable  assignments  and flags. Variable assignments take the
       following form:

       Flags are lone keywords without an equal sign and value following them.
       A  section either ends at the end of the file or where the next section

       Lines starting with a hash (#) are  comments.  Newline  characters  are
       equivalent   to   whitespace  (except  where  ending  a  comment).  The
       configuration file is case insensitive, except  for  item  enclosed  in
       quotes (such as filenames).

   Default values
       For most platforms, mtools contains reasonable compiled-in defaults for
       physical floppy drives.  Thus, you usually don’t need  to  bother  with
       the  configuration file, if all you want to do with mtools is to access
       your floppy drives. On the other hand, the configuration file is needed
       if  you also want to use mtools to access your hard disk partitions and
       dosemu image files.

   Global variables
       Global flags may be set to 1 or to 0.

       The following global flags are recognized:

              If this is set to 1, mtools skips most  of  its  sanity  checks.
              This  is  needed  to  read some Atari disks which have been made
              with the  earlier  ROMs,  and  which  would  not  be  recognized

              If  this  is  set  to  1, mtools skips the fat size checks. Some
              disks have a bigger FAT than they  really  need  to.  These  are
              rejected if this option is not set.

              If  this  is  set  to  1,  mtools  displays all-upper-case short
              filenames as lowercase. This has been done to allow  a  behavior
              which  is  consistent with older versions of mtools which didn’t
              know about the case bits.

              If this is set to 1, mtools  won’t  generate  VFAT  entries  for
              filenames   which   are  mixed-case,  but  otherwise  legal  dos
              filenames.  This is useful when working with DOS versions  which
              can’t grok VFAT longnames, such as FreeDos.

              In a wide directory, prints the short name with a dot instead of
              spaces separating the basename and the extension.

              If this is set to one (default), generate numeric tails for  all
              long names (~1).  If set to zero, only generate numeric tails if
              otherwise a clash would have happened.

              If 1, uses the European notation for  times  (twenty  four  hour
              clock), else uses the UK/US notation (am/pm)

       Example:  Inserting  the  following  line  into your configuration file
       instructs mtools to skip the sanity checks:


       Global variables may also be set via the environment:

            export MTOOLS_SKIP_CHECK=1

       Global string variables may be set to any value:

              The format used for printing dates of files.  By default, is dd-

   Per drive flags and variables
     General information
       Per drive flags and values may be described in a drive section. A drive
       section starts with drive "driveletter" :

       Then follow variable-value pairs and flags.

       This is a sample drive description:

            drive a:
              file="/dev/fd0" use_xdf=1

     Disk Geometry Configuration
       Geometry information describes the physical characteristics  about  the
       disk. Its has three purposes:

              The  geometry information is written into the boot sector of the
              newly made disk. However, you may  also  describe  the  geometry
              information  on  the  command  line.  See  section  mformat, for

              On some Unices there are device nodes  which  only  support  one
              physical geometry. For instance, you might need a different node
              to access a disk as high density or as low density. The geometry
              is  compared to the actual geometry stored on the boot sector to
              make sure that this device node is able to  correctly  read  the
              disk. If the geometry doesn’t match, this drive entry fails, and
              the next drive entry bearing the same drive letter is tried. See
              section  multiple  descriptions,  for  more details on supplying
              several descriptions for one drive letter.

              If no geometry information  is  supplied  in  the  configuration
              file,  all  disks  are  accepted.  On Linux (and on Sparc) there
              exist  device  nodes  with  configurable  geometry  (‘/dev/fd0’,
              ‘/dev/fd1’  etc), and thus filtering is not needed (and ignored)
              for disk drives.  (Mtools still does do filtering on plain files
              (disk  images)  in  Linux:  this  is  mainly  intended  for test
              purposes, as I don’t have access to a Unix which would  actually
              need filtering).

              If  you do not need filtering, but want still a default geometry
              for  mformatting,  you  may  switch  off  filtering  using   the
              mformat_only flag.

              If  you  want  filtering, you should supply the filter flag.  If
              you supply a geometry, you must supply one of both flags.

       initial geometry
              On  devices  that  support  it  (usually  floppy  devices),  the
              geometry  information  is also used to set the initial geometry.
              This initial geometry is applied while reading the boot  sector,
              which contains the real geometry.  If no geometry information is
              supplied in the configuration file, or if the mformat_only  flag
              is supplied, no initial configuration is done.

              On  Linux,  initial  geometry  is  not  really  needed,  as  the
              configurable devices are  able  to  auto-detect  the  disk  type
              accurately  enough  (for  most  common formats) to read the boot

       Wrong geometry information may lead to very bizarre errors. That’s  why
       I  strongly  recommend that you add the mformat_only flag to your drive
       description, unless you really need filtering or initial geometry.

       The following geometry related variables are available:

       tracks The number of  cylinders.  (cylinders  is  the  preferred  form,
              tracks is considered obsolete)

       heads  The number of heads (sides).

              The number of sectors per track.

       Example: the following drive section describes a 1.44M drive:

            drive a:
                cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=18

       The following shorthand geometry descriptions are available:

       1.44m  high density 3 1/2 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80
              heads=2 sectors=18

       1.2m   high density 5 1/4 disk. Equivalent to: fat_bits=12 cylinders=80
              heads=2 sectors=15

       720k   double   density   3   1/2   disk.  Equivalent  to:  fat_bits=12
              cylinders=80 heads=2 sectors=9

       360k   double  density  5  1/4   disk.   Equivalent   to:   fat_bits=12
              cylinders=40 heads=2 sectors=9

       The  shorthand  format  descriptions  may be amended. For example, 360k
       sectors=8 describes a 320k  disk  and  is  equivalent  to:  fat_bits=12
       cylinders=40 heads=2 sectors=8

     Open Flags
       Moreover, the following flags are available:

       sync   All i/o operations are done synchronously

              The  device  or  file  is opened with the O_NDELAY flag. This is
              needed on some non-Linux architectures.

              The device or file is opened with the  O_EXCL  flag.  On  Linux,
              this ensures exclusive access to the floppy drive. On most other
              architectures, and for plain files it has no effect at all.

   General Purpose Drive Variables
       The following general purpose drive variables are available.  Depending
       to their type, these variables can be set to a string (file, precmd) or
       an integer (all others)

       file   The name of the file or device holding the disk image.  This  is
              mandatory. The file name should be enclosed in quotes.

              Tells  mtools to treat the drive as a partitioned device, and to
              use the given partition. Only primary partitions are  accessible
              using  this  method,  and  they  are  numbered  from 1 to 4. For
              logical partitions, use the more general  offset  variable.  The
              partition  variable  is  intended  for  removable  media such as
              Syquests,  ZIP  drives,  and  magneto-optical  disks.   Although
              traditional  DOS  sees  Syquests  and  magneto-optical  disks as
              ‘giant floppy disks’ which are unpartitioned, OS/2  and  Windows
              NT  treat  them  like  hard  disks,  i.e. partioned devices. The
              partition flag  is  also  useful  DOSEMU  hdimages.  It  is  not
              recommended for hard disks for which direct access to partitions
              is available through mounting.

              Describes where in the file the MS-DOS filesystem  starts.  This
              is  useful  for  logical  partitions in DOSEMU hdimages, and for
              ATARI ram disks. By default, this  is  zero,  meaning  that  the
              filesystem  starts right at the beginning of the device or file.

              The number of FAT bits. This may be  12  or  16.  This  is  very
              rarely   needed,  as  it  can  almost  always  be  deduced  from
              information in the boot sector. On the contrary, describing  the
              number  of fat bits may actually be harmful if you get it wrong.
              You should only use it if mtools gets the autodetected number of
              fat  bits  wrong,  or if you want to mformat a disk with a weird
              number of fat bits.


              On some variants of Solaris, it is necessary to  call  ’volcheck
              -v’  before  opening a floppy device, in order for the system to
              notice  that  there   is   indeed   a   disk   in   the   drive.
              precmd="volcheck -v" in the drive clause establishes the desired


              This parameter represents a default block size to be always used
              on  this  device.   All I/O is done with multiples of this block
              size,  independantly  of  the  sector  size  registered  in  the
              filesystem’s  boot sector.  This is useful for character devices
              whose sector size is not 512, such as for example CD Rom  drives
              on Solaris.

       Only  the  file variable is mandatory. The other parameters may be left
       out. In that case a default value or an autodetected value is used.

   General Purpose Drive Flags
       A flag can either be set to 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled). If  the  value
       is ommitted, it is enabled.  For example, scsi is equivalent to scsi=1

              Instruct  mtools  to  not  use  locking  on this drive.  This is
              needed  on  systems  with  buggy  locking  semantics.   However,
              enabling  this  makes operation less safe in cases where several
              users may access the same drive at the same time.

       scsi   When set to 1, this option tells mtools  to  use  raw  SCSI  I/O
              instead  of  the standard read/write calls to access the device.
              Currently, this is supported on HP/UX, Solaris and SunOs.   This
              is  needed  because  on  some  architectures,  such  as SunOs or
              Solaris, PC media can’t be accessed using  the  read  and  write
              syscalls,  because the OS expects them to contain a Sun specific
              "disk label".

              As raw Scsi access always uses the whole  device,  you  need  to
              specify the "partition" flag in addition

              On  some  architectures,  such  as  Solaris,  mtools  needs root
              privileges to be able to  use  the  scsi  option.   Thus  mtools
              should  be  installed  set  uid  root  on Solaris if you want to
              access Zip/Jaz  drives.   Thus,  if  the  scsi  flag  is  given,
              privileged  is automatically implied, unless explicitly disabled
              by privileged=0

              Mtools uses its root privileges to open the device, and to issue
              the  actual  SCSI I/O calls.  Moreover, root privileges are only
              used for drives described in a  system-wide  configuration  file
              such  as  ‘/etc/mtools.conf’,  and  not  for  those described in
              ‘~/.mtoolsrc’ or ‘$MTOOLSRC’.

              When set to 1, this instructs mtools to use its set-uid and set-
              gid privileges for opening the given drive.  This option is only
              valid for drives  described  in  the  system-wide  configuration
              files   (such   as   ‘/etc/mtools.conf’,  not  ‘~/.mtoolsrc’  or
              ‘$MTOOLSRC’).  Obviously, this option is also a no op if  mtools
              is  not  installed  setuid or setgid.  This option is implied by
              ’scsi=1’, but again  only  for  drives  defined  in  system-wide
              configuration  files.  Privileged may also be set explicitely to
              0, in order to tell mtools not to use its privileges for a given
              drive even if scsi=1 is set.

              Mtools  only  needs  to  be  installed  setuid  if  you  use the
              privileged or scsi drive variables.  If you  do  not  use  these
              options,  mtools  works  perfectly  well even when not installed
              setuid root.


              Instructs  mtools  to  interpret  the  device  name  as  a  vold
              identifier  rather  than  as a filename.  The vold identifier is
              translated into a real filename using the  media_findname()  and
              media_oldaliases()  functions  of the volmgt library.  This flag
              is only available if you configured mtools  with  the  --enable-
              new-vold option before compilation.


              Consider the media as a word-swapped Atari disk.

              If  this is set to a non-zero value, mtools also tries to access
              this disk as an XDF disk. XDF is a high capacity format used  by
              OS/2. This is off by default. See section XDF, for more details.

              Tells mtools to  use  the  geometry  for  this  drive  only  for
              mformatting and not for filtering.

              Tells  mtools  to  use  the  geometry  for  this  drive both for
              mformatting and filtering.

              Tells mtools to connect to floppyd (see section  floppyd).

     Supplying multiple descriptions for a drive
       It is possible to supply multiple descriptions for  a  drive.  In  that
       case, the descriptions are tried in order until one is found that fits.
       Descriptions may fail for several reasons:

       1.     because the geometry is not appropriate,

       2.     because there is no disk in the drive,

       3.     or because of other problems.

       Multiple definitions are useful when using physical devices  which  are
       only able to support one single disk geometry.  Example:

            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H1440" 1.44m
            drive a: file="/dev/fd0H720" 720k

       This  instructs  mtools  to  use /dev/fd0H1440 for 1.44m (high density)
       disks and /dev/fd0H720 for 720k (double density) disks. On Linux,  this
       feature  is not really needed, as the /dev/fd0 device is able to handle
       any geometry.

       You may also use multiple drive descriptions to  access  both  of  your
       physical drives through one drive letter:

            drive z: file="/dev/fd0"
            drive z: file="/dev/fd1"

       With this description, mdir z: accesses your first physical drive if it
       contains a disk. If the first drive  doesn’t  contain  a  disk,  mtools
       checks the second drive.

       When  using  multiple  configuration  files,  drive descriptions in the
       files parsed last override descriptions for the same drive  in  earlier
       files.  In  order  to  avoid  this,  use  the drive+ or +drive keywords
       instead of drive. The first adds a description to the end of  the  list
       (i.e. it will be tried last), and the first adds it to the start of the

   Character set translation tables
       If you live in the USA, in Western Europe or in Australia, you may skip
       this section.

     Why character set translation tables are needed
       DOS uses a different character code mapping than Unix. 7-bit characters
       still have the same meaning, only characters with the eight bit set are
       affected.  To  make matters worse, there are several translation tables
       available depending on the country where you are. The appearance of the
       characters  is  defined  using  code pages. These code pages aren’t the
       same for all countries. For instance, some  code  pages  don’t  contain
       upper  case  accented  characters.  On  the other hand, some code pages
       contain characters which don’t exist in Unix,  such  as  certain  line-
       drawing characters or accented consonants used by some Eastern European
       countries. This affects two things, relating to filenames:

       upper case characters
              In short names, only upper case  characters  are  allowed.  This
              also holds for accented characters. For instance, in a code page
              which  doesn’t  contain  accented  uppercase   characters,   the
              accented   lowercase   characters  get  transformed  into  their
              unaccented counterparts.

       long file names
              Micro$oft has finally come to  their  senses  and  uses  a  more
              standard  mapping  for  the  long  file names. They use Unicode,
              which is basically a 32 bit version  of  ASCII.  Its  first  256
              characters are identical to Unix ASCII. Thus, the code page also
              affects the correspondence between the codes used in long  names
              and those used in short names

       Mtools  considers  the  filenames entered on the command line as having
       the Unix mapping, and translates the characters to get short names.  By
       default,  code  page  850  is  used  with the Swiss uppercase/lowercase
       mapping. I chose this code page, because its set of existing characters
       most  closely  matches  Unix’s.  Moreover,  this  code page covers most
       characters in use in the USA, Australia and Western Europe. However, it
       is  still possible to chose a different mapping. There are two methods:
       the country variable and explicit tables.

     Configuration using Country
       The COUNTRY variable is recommended for people which also  have  access
       to  MS-DOS  system files and documentation. If you don’t have access to
       these, I’d suggest you’d rather use explicit tables instead.


       COUNTRY="country[,[codepage], country-file]"

       This tells mtools to use a Unix-to-DOS translation table which  matches
       codepage and an lowercase-to-uppercase table for country and to use the
       country-file file to get the lowercase-to-uppercase table. The  country
       code  is  most  often the telephone prefix of the country. Refer to the
       DOS help page on "country" for  more  details.  The  codepage  and  the
       country-file  parameters  are optional. Please don’t type in the square
       brackets, they are only there to say which parameters are optional. The
       country-file  file  is  supplied  with  MS-DOS,  and  is usually called
       ‘COUNTRY.SYS’, and stored in the ‘C:\DOS’ directory. In most cases  you
       don’t  need it, as the most common translation tables are compiled into
       mtools. So, don’t worry if you run a Unix-only  box  which  lacks  this

       If  codepage  is not given, a per country default code page is used. If
       the country-file parameter isn’t given, compiled-in defaults  are  used
       for  the  lowercase-to-uppercase table. This is useful for other Unices
       than Linux, which may have no ‘COUNTRY.SYS’ file available online.

       The Unix-to-DOS are not contained in the ‘COUNTRY.SYS’ file,  and  thus
       mtools always uses compiled-in defaults for those. Thus, only a limited
       amount of code pages are supported. If  your  preferred  code  page  is
       missing,  or if you know the name of the Windows 95 file which contains
       this mapping, could you please drop me a line at

       The COUNTRY variable can also be set using the environment.

     Configuration using explicit translation tables
       Translation tables may be described in line in the configuration  file.
       Two  tables  are  needed:  first  the  DOS-to-Unix  table, and then the
       Lowercase-to-Uppercase table.  A  DOS-to-Unix  table  starts  with  the
       tounix  keyword,  followed  by a colon, and 128 hexadecimal numbers.  A
       lower-to-upper table starts with the  fucase  keyword,  followed  by  a
       colon, and 128 hexadecimal numbers.

       The  tables  only  show  the translations for characters whose codes is
       greater than 128, because translation for lower codes is trivial.


             0xc7 0xfc 0xe9 0xe2 0xe4 0xe0 0xe5 0xe7
             0xea 0xeb 0xe8 0xef 0xee 0xec 0xc4 0xc5
             0xc9 0xe6 0xc6 0xf4 0xf6 0xf2 0xfb 0xf9
             0xff 0xd6 0xdc 0xf8 0xa3 0xd8 0xd7 0x5f
             0xe1 0xed 0xf3 0xfa 0xf1 0xd1 0xaa 0xba
             0xbf 0xae 0xac 0xbd 0xbc 0xa1 0xab 0xbb
             0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0xc1 0xc2 0xc0
             0xa9 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0xa2 0xa5 0xac
             0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0xe3 0xc3
             0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0xa4
             0xf0 0xd0 0xc9 0xcb 0xc8 0x69 0xcd 0xce
             0xcf 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x5f 0x7c 0x49 0x5f
             0xd3 0xdf 0xd4 0xd2 0xf5 0xd5 0xb5 0xfe
             0xde 0xda 0xd9 0xfd 0xdd 0xde 0xaf 0xb4
             0xad 0xb1 0x5f 0xbe 0xb6 0xa7 0xf7 0xb8
             0xb0 0xa8 0xb7 0xb9 0xb3 0xb2 0x5f 0x5f

             0x80 0x9a 0x90 0xb6 0x8e 0xb7 0x8f 0x80
             0xd2 0xd3 0xd4 0xd8 0xd7 0xde 0x8e 0x8f
             0x90 0x92 0x92 0xe2 0x99 0xe3 0xea 0xeb
             0x59 0x99 0x9a 0x9d 0x9c 0x9d 0x9e 0x9f
             0xb5 0xd6 0xe0 0xe9 0xa5 0xa5 0xa6 0xa7
             0xa8 0xa9 0xaa 0xab 0xac 0xad 0xae 0xaf
             0xb0 0xb1 0xb2 0xb3 0xb4 0xb5 0xb6 0xb7
             0xb8 0xb9 0xba 0xbb 0xbc 0xbd 0xbe 0xbf
             0xc0 0xc1 0xc2 0xc3 0xc4 0xc5 0xc7 0xc7
             0xc8 0xc9 0xca 0xcb 0xcc 0xcd 0xce 0xcf
             0xd1 0xd1 0xd2 0xd3 0xd4 0x49 0xd6 0xd7
             0xd8 0xd9 0xda 0xdb 0xdc 0xdd 0xde 0xdf
             0xe0 0xe1 0xe2 0xe3 0xe5 0xe5 0xe6 0xe8
             0xe8 0xe9 0xea 0xeb 0xed 0xed 0xee 0xef
             0xf0 0xf1 0xf2 0xf3 0xf4 0xf5 0xf6 0xf7
             0xf8 0xf9 0xfa 0xfb 0xfc 0xfd 0xfe 0xff

       The first table maps DOS character codes to Unix character  codes.  For
       example,  the DOS character number 129. This is a u with to dots on top
       of it. To translate it into Unix, we look at the character number 1  in
       the  first  table  (1  =  129  - 128). This is 0xfc. (Beware, numbering
       starts at 0).  The second table maps lower case DOS characters to upper
       case  DOS characters. The same lower case u with dots maps to character
       0x9a, which is an uppercase U with dots in DOS.

     Unicode characters greater than 256
       If an existing MS-DOS name contains Unicode character greater than 256,
       these are translated to underscores or to characters which are close in
       visual appearance. For example, accented consonants are translated into
       their  unaccented  counterparts.  This translation is used for mdir and
       for the Unix filenames generated by mcopy. Linux does  support  Unicode
       too,  but  unfortunately  too few applications support it yet to bother
       with it in mtools. Most importantly, xterm can’t display  Unicode  yet.
       If  there  is sufficient demand, I might include support for Unicode in
       the Unix filenames as well.

       Caution: When deleting files with mtools, the  underscore  matches  all
       characters which can’t be represented in Unix. Be careful with mdel!

   Location of configuration files and parsing order
       The configuration files are parsed in the following order:

       1.     compiled-in defaults

       2.     ‘/etc/mtools.conf’

       3.     ‘/etc/mtools’  This  is for backwards compatibility only, and is
              only parsed if ‘mtools.conf’ doesn’t exist.

       4.     ‘~/.mtoolsrc’.

       5.     ‘$MTOOLSRC’  (file  pointed  by   the   MTOOLSRC   environmental

       Options  described  in  the later files override those described in the
       earlier files. Drives defined in earlier files persist if they are  not
       overridden  in  the  later  files.  For instance, drives A and B may be
       defined in ‘/etc/mtools.conf’ and drives C and  D  may  be  defined  in
       ‘~/.mtoolsrc’  However, if ‘~/.mtoolsrc’ also defines drive A, this new
       description  would   override   the   description   of   drive   A   in
       ‘/etc/mtools.conf’  instead  of  adding to it. If you want to add a new
       description to a drive already described in an earlier file,  you  need
       to use either the +drive or drive+ keyword.

   Backwards compatibility with old configuration file syntax
       The  syntax  described  herein  is  new for version mtools-3.0. The old
       line-oriented syntax is still supported. Each  line  beginning  with  a
       single  letter  is  considered  to be a drive description using the old
       syntax. Old style and new style drive sections may be mixed within  the
       same configuration file, in order to make upgrading easier. Support for
       the old  syntax  will  be  phased  out  eventually,  and  in  order  to
       discourage its use, I purposefully omit its description here.

See also