PCFS(7FS) File Systems PCFS(7FS)


pcfs - FAT formatted file system


#include <sys/param.h>
#include <sys/mount.h>
#include <sys/fs/pc_fs.h>

int mount(const char *spec,
const char * dir, int mflag,
"pcfs", NULL, 0, char *optptr,
int optlen);


pcfs is a file system type that enables direct access to files on FAT
formatted disks from within the SunOS operating system.

Once mounted, pcfs provides standard SunOS file operations and semantics.
Using pcfs, you can create, delete, read, and write files on a FAT
formatted disk. You can also create and delete directories and list files
in a directory.

pcfs supports FAT12 (floppies) and FAT16 and FAT32 file systems.

pcfs file systems can be force umounted using the -f argument to

The pcfs file system contained on the block special file identified by
spec is mounted on the directory identified by dir. spec and dir are
pointers to pathnames. mflag specifies the mount options. The MS_DATA bit
in mflag must be set. Mount options can be passed to pcfs using the
optptr and optlen arguments. See mount_pcfs(1M) for a list of mount
options supported by pcfs.

Because FAT formatted media can record file timestamps between January
1st 1980 and December 31st 2127, it's not possible to fully represent
UNIX time_t in pcfs for 32 bit or 64 bit programs. In particular, if
post-2038 timestamps are present on a FAT formatted medium and pcfs
returns these, 32bit applications may unexpectedly fail with EOVERFLOW
errors. To prevent this, the default behaviour of pcfs has been modified
to clamp post-2038 timestamps to the latest possible value for a 32bit
time_t, which is January 19th 2038, 03:14:06 UTC when setting and
retrieving file timestamps. You can override this behavior using the
noclamptime mount option, as described in mount_pcfs(1M).

Timestamps on FAT formatted media are recorded in local time. If the
recording and receiving systems use different timezones, the
representation of timestamps shown on the two systems for the same medium
might vary. To correct this, pcfs provides a timezone mount option to
force interpretation of timestamps as read from a FAT formatted medium
in a given timezone (that of the recorder). By default, the local
timezone of the receiver is used. See mount_pcfs(1M) for details.

The root directory of a FAT formatted medium has no timestamps and pcfs
returns the time when the mount was done as timestamp for the root of
the filesystem.

The FAT filesystem doesn't support multiple links. As a result, the link
count for all files and directories in pcfs is hard-coded as "1."

Mounting File Systems

Use the following command to mount pcfs from diskette:

mount -F pcfs device-special directory-name

You can use:

mount directory-name

if the following line is in your /etc/vfstab file:

device-special - directory-namepcfs - no rw

Use the following command to mount pcfs from non-diskette media:

mount -F pcfs device-special:logical-drive directory-name

You can use:

mount directory-name

if the following line is in your /etc/vfstab file:

device-special:logical_drive - directory-name pcfs - no rw

device-special specifies the special block device file for the diskette
(/dev/disketteN) or the entire hard disk (/dev/dsk/cNtNdNp0 for a SCSI
disk, and /dev/dsk/cNdNp0 for IDE disks) or the PCMCIA pseudo-floppy
memory card (/dev/dsk/cNtNdNsN).

logical-drive specifies either the DOS logical drive letter (c through z)
or a drive number (1 through 24). Drive letter c is equivalent to drive
number 1 and represents the Primary DOS partition on the disk; drive
letters d through z are equivalent to drive numbers 2 through 24, and
represent DOS drives within the Extended FAT partition. Note that device-
special and logical-drive must be separated by a colon.

directory-name specifies the location where the file system is mounted.

For example, to mount the Primary DOS partition from a SCSI hard disk,

mount -F pcfs /dev/dsk/cNtNdNp0:c /pcfs/c

To mount the first logical drive in the Extended DOS partition from an
IDE hard disk, use:

mount -F pcfs /dev/dsk/cNdNp0:d /pcfs/d

To mount a DOS diskette in the first floppy drive when volume management
is not running use:

mount -F pcfs /dev/diskette /pcfs/a

If Volume Management is running, run volcheck(1) to automatically mount
the floppy and some removable disks.

To mount a PCMCIA pseudo-floppy memory card, with Volume Management not
running (or not managing the PCMCIA media), use:

mount -F pcfs /dev/dsk/cNtNdNsN /pcfs


Files and directories created through pcfs must comply with either the
FAT short file name convention or the long file name convention
introduced with Windows 95. The FAT short file name convention is of the
form filename[.ext], where filename generally consists of from one to
eight upper-case characters, while the optional ext consists of from one
to three upper-case characters.

The long file name convention is much closer to Solaris file names. A
long file name can consist of any characters valid in a short file name,
lowercase letters, non-leading spaces, the characters +,;=[], any number
of periods, and can be up to 255 characters long. Long file names have an
associated short file name for systems that do not support long file
names (including earlier releases of Solaris). The short file name is not
visible if the system recognizes long file names. pcfs generates a unique
short name automatically when creating a long file name.

Given a long file name such as This is a really long filename.TXT, the
short file name will generally be of the form THISIS~N.TXT, where N is a
number. The long file name will probably get the short name THISIS~1.TXT,
or THISIS~2.TXT if THISIS~1.TXT already exits (or THISIS~3.TXT if both
exist, and so forth). If you use pcfs file systems on systems that do not
support long file names, you may want to continue following the short
file name conventions. See EXAMPLES.

When creating a file name, pcfs creates a short file name if it fits the
FAT short file name format, otherwise it creates a long file name. This
is because long file names take more directory space. Because the root
directory of a pcfs file system is fixed size, long file names in the
root directory should be avoided if possible.

When displaying file names, pcfs shows them exactly as they are on the
media. This means that short names are displayed as uppercase and long
file names retain their case. Earlier versions of pcfs folded all names
to lowercase, which can be forced with the PCFS_MNT_FOLDCASE mount
option. All file name searches within pcfs, however, are treated as if
they were uppercase, so readme.txt and ReAdMe.TxT refer to the same file.

To format a diskette or a PCMCIA pseudo-floppy memory card in FAT format
in the SunOS system, use either the fdformat -d or the DOS FORMAT

Boot Partitions

On x86 systems, hard drives may contain an fdisk partition reserved for
the Solaris boot utilities. These partitions are special instances of
pcfs. You can mount an x86 boot partition with the command:

mount -F pcfs device-special:boot directory-name

or you can use:

mount directory-name

if the following line is in your /etc/vfstab file:

device-special:boot - directory-name pcfs - no rw

device-special specifies the special block device file for the entire
hard disk (/dev/dsk/cNtNdNp0)

directory-name specifies the location where the file system is mounted.

All files on a boot partition are owned by super-user. Only the super-
user may create, delete, or modify files on a boot partition.


Example 1: Sample Displays of File Names

If you copy a file financial.data from a UNIX file system to pcfs, it
displays as financial.data in pcfs, but may show up as FINANC~1.DAT in
systems that do not support long file names.

The following are legal long file names. They are also illegal short file


Other systems that do not support long file names may see:


The short file name is generated from the initial characters of the long
file name, so differentiate names in the first few characters. For
example, these names:


result in these short names, which are not distinguishable:


These names, however:


result in the more descriptive short names:



pcfs mount command

32-bit kernel module


See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables
for the current locale setting: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, and LC_COLLATE.


chgrp(1), chown(1), dos2unix(1), eject(1), fdformat(1), unix2dos(1),
volcheck(1), mount(1M), mount_pcfs(1M), umount(1M), ctime(3C), vfstab(4),
environ(5), pcmem(7D)


Do not physically eject a FAT floppy while the device is mounted as pcfs.
If Volume Management is managing a device, use the eject(1) command
before physically removing media.

When mounting pcfs on a hard disk, make sure the first block on that
device contains a valid fdisk partition table.

Because pcfs has no provision for handling owner-IDs or group-IDs on
files, chown(1) or chgrp(1) may generate various errors. This is a
limitation of pcfs, but it should not cause problems other than error


Only the following characters are allowed in pcfs short file names and

SunOS and FAT use different character sets and have different
requirements for the text file format. Use the dos2unix(1) and
unix2dos(1) commands to convert files between them.

pcfs offers a convenient transportation vehicle for files between Sun
workstations and PCs. Because the FAT disk format was designed for use
under DOS, it does not operate efficiently under the SunOS system and
should not be used as the format for a regular local storage. Instead,
use ufs for local storage within the SunOS system.

Although long file names can contain spaces (just as in UNIX file names),
some utilities may be confused by them.

This implementation of pcfs conforms to the behavior exhibited by Windows
95 version 4.00.950.

When pcfs encounters long file names with non-ASCII characters, it
converts such long file names in Unicode scalar values into UTF-8 encoded
filenames so that they are legible and usable with any of Solaris UTF-8
locales. In the same context, when new file names with non-ASCII
characters are created, pcfs expects that such file names are in UTF-8.
This feature increases the interoperability of pcfs on Solaris with other
operating systems.


pcfs should handle the disk change condition in the same way that DOS
does, so you do not need to unmount the file system to change floppies.

November 6, 2007 PCFS(7FS)