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Re: Suggestion to Remove KFloppy and hold back K3b

Removing release from this thread.

I'm going to start by saying I'm a little miffed at the lack of
progress on this, so I've now taken matters into my own hands.
Jonathan very kindly shipped a USB floppy drive and some blank
diskettes for me to run tests with, so I've been playing away with a
little new code every day.

I've discovered the following re USB-connected floppy drives:

* They are attached as USB Mass Storage Devices (predictably) but have
their own subclass (USB Floppy Interface - UFI for short) with their
own command set which is based on the USB CBI (Control/Bulk/Interrupt)
spec. The whole UFI spec is available here:
http://www.usb.org/developers/docs/devclass_docs/usbmass-ufi10.pdf -
there's nothing apart from the official specs to draw from though - no
tutorials online, for example, so you'll have to know USB inside out
to make sense of this. Lucky for me I took a course on this in
college... :-D

* There's a tool called ufiformat that's written using this spec
(https://github.com/jumski/ufiformat) but surprise, doesn't work on my
computer. Fails with some error message.

* I've been writing my own ufiformat analogue using libusb - the
modern and more correct way of doing things - and so far I've
implemented a few commands (INQUIRY, READ FORMAT CAPACITY, FORMAT). It
seems to work, but I'll do some more polishing over the weekend.

* From the spec, UFI doesn't support capacities higher than 1.44 MB.
Nope, not even DMF, let alone 2.88 MB. It can't even *read* these
disks. If someone's managed to read high capacity floppies with USB
drives, please repeat the experiment thrice and report on how it
worked. I want to see if it's actually possible to use high-capacity

* I'm also going to give the tool a thorough once-over re security,
and then we can publish this as a tool which can be installed
suid-root and then KFloppy can execute this via QProcess. This is how
ksysguard works, btw - uses a suid-root helper running in the
background, communicating over sockets.

It's clear that FDC-attached floppy drives and UFI drives will need
separate backends for low-level formats.


Freundliche Grüße
Boudhayan Gupta
KDE e.V. - Sysadmin and Community Working Groups
+49 151 71032970

On 24 February 2017 at 19:43, Andreas Sturmlechner
<andreas.sturmlechner@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> ---Original Message---
> On Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 23:05, Wolfgang Bauer wrote:
>> My plan (now) is to query Solid for removable devices (not only Floppy
>> drives), and offer them in the chooser too.
>> But this needs more thoughts...
> +1 on that - I have an actual use case for this where regular users are
> formatting SD/CF/CFast/XQD cards on a regular basis every day. A tool like
> kfloppy is exactly what they need, coming from a certain well-known closed-
> source OS.
> Regards,
> Andreas