Suggestion to Remove KFloppy and hold back K3b

Wolfgang Bauer wbauer at
Wed Feb 15 18:50:22 UTC 2017

On 11 February 2017 at 13:44, Jonathan Riddell <jr at> wrote:
> I recommend KFloppy be removed from Applications releases.  It
> couldn't find my floppy drive and when I hacked the code to tell it
> where to look it depended on an external tool fdformat which didn't
> work anyway. 

KFloppy and fdformat work fine here in openSUSE, I do use it regularly (with 
an internal floppy drive).

And as the current maintainer, I'd prefer to (try to) fix problems instead of 
having it dropped.

I'm a bit surprised that in the test the floppy drive showed up as /dev/sdc 
though, mine always have been and still are at /dev/fd0...
I suppose that was an external one?
Not sure how to fix that then, it supposedly can be a random /dev/sdX...

There is a (somewhat "hidden") feature though to use any device you want: just 
enter it into the text field (this is mentioned in the documentation, it's a 
rather old feature already and intended to be able to format USB sticks too, 
or other unpartitioned devices).
It would definitely be possible to list all /dev/sdX devices in the chooser 
too, but that may be dangerous and cause data loss without any further check 
that it is really a floppy drive (or USB stick).
I have to think about that one.

I am aware of one particular problem related to permissions though:
Normally the device can only be accessed by members of the group "disk" (or 
"floppy"), but modern distributions tend to not add users to these groups any 

You'd have to add the user to the appropriate group manually to make KFloppy 
and fdformat work, or run KFloppy as root.
Not great, I agree.

Actually I was thinking about this problem recently though.

The error message could definitely be improved.

And one "solution" would probably be to make KFloppy offer to restart itself 
as root (if it detects insufficient permissions) like partitionmanager does 
Or maybe use kauth to run the external commands as root.

I will work on that.

Suggestion would of course be welcome (for both problems).

Btw, fdformat is only used for a "Full Format".
A "Quick Format" uses mkfs and friends instead, and "Zero out" uses dd.
The same permissions problem would apply there though of course.
(just like as you would run partitionmanager as user)

> It's only feature is to format a disc and arguably
> support could be added to partitonmanager although it didn't work when
> I tried it.

Well, personally I would find it a bit overkill to run a tool like 
partitionmanager to format a floppy disk.
And it's probably not really obvious either, as a floppy disk normally doesn't 
have partitions.

> We seem to have no great solution to playing audio CDs, dragonplayer
> doesn't understand playlists so can't select a track, amarok doesn't
> see any tracks

Amarok does see audio CD tracks here, but as it is still KDE4 based it also 
requires a KDE4 based kio_audiocd which is no longer part of KDE Applications.

We still package the last released one as kio_audiocd4 in openSUSE (mainly for 
amarok actually)...

Kind Regards,

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