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       mtools.conf - mtools configuration files


       This   manual  page  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

   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/default/mtools.conf'

     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 begins.

       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 otherwise.

              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 long names, 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

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

              How long, in seconds, to wait for a locked device to become free.  Defaults to 30.

       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-mm-yyyy.

   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

     Location information
       For each drive, you need to describe where its data  is  physically  stored  (image  file,
       physical device, partition, offset).

       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 Syquest disks, ZIP
              drives, and magneto-optical disks. Although traditional DOS sees Syquest disks  and
              magneto-optical  disks  as  `giant  floppy disks' which are unpartitioned, OS/2 and
              Windows NT treat them like hard disks, i.e. partitioned 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 file  system  starts.  This  is  useful  for
              logical partitions in DOSEMU hdimages, and for ATARI ram disks. By default, this is
              zero, meaning that the file system starts right at the beginning of the  device  or

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

              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 details.

              On some Unixes 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 sector.

       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

       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

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

       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 (precmd) or an integer (all others)

              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 auto-detected number of fat bits wrong, or if
              you want to mformat a disk with a weird number of fat bits.

              Describes  the  DOS  code page used for short filenames. This is a number between 1
              and 999. By default, code page 850 is used. The reason for  this  is  because  this
              code  page  contains most of the characters that are also available in ISO-Latin-1.
              You may also specify a global  code  page  for  all  drives  by  using  the  global
              default_codepage  parameter  (outside  of  any  drive description). This parameters
              exists starting at version 4.0.0

              Remaps data from image file. This is  useful  for  image  files  which  might  need
              additional  zero-filled  sectors  to be inserted. Such is the case for instance for
              IBM 3174 floppy images. These images represent floppy disks with fewer  sectors  on
              their  first  cylinder.  These missing sectors are not stored in the image, but are
              still counted in the filesystem layout. The data_map allows to fake  these  missing
              sectors for the upper layers of mtools. A data_map is a comma-separated sequence of
              source type and size. Source type may be zero for zero-filled  sectors  created  by
              map, skip for data in raw image to be ignored (skipped), and nothing for data to be
              used as is (copied) from the raw image. Datamap is automatically complemented by an
              implicit  last element of data to be used as is from current offset to end of file.
              Each size is a number followed by a unit: s for a 512 byte sector, K for Kbytes,  M
              for megabytes, G for gigabytes, and nothing for single bytes.


              data_map=1s,zero31s,28s,skip1s  would be a map for use with IBM 3174 floppy images.
              First sector (1s, boot sector) is used as  is.  Then  follow  31  fake  zero-filled
              sectors  (zero31s),  then the next 28 sectors from image (28s) are used as is (they
              contain FAT and root directory), then one sector from image  is  skipped  (skip1s),
              and finally the rest of image is used as is (implicit)

              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 behavior.

              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, independently of the sector size
              registered  in the file system'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 auto-detected value is used.

     General Purpose Drive Flags
       A  flag  can  either be set to 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled). If the value is omitted, 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 system calls, 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 setuid 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 setuid and setgid 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  explicitly
              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


              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

              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

       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 list.

   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.     `~/.mtoolsrc'.

       4.     `$MTOOLSRC' (file pointed by the MTOOLSRC environmental variable)

       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