mtools - tools to access FAT file systems
mtools [-V] msdos_command [-msdos_options] arguments ...
Mtools is a collection of utilities to access MS-DOS (FAT) disks from
Unix without mounting them. It supports the long filenames of Windows NT
and Windows 95. It does not support NTFS disks.
Some versions of mtools for other operating systems provide separate
commands, such as mdir, mcopy, etc., to emulate similar MS-DOS and
Windows command line commands. The version ported to Minix takes the MS-
DOS command (dir, copy, etc.) as its first argument. Supported MS-DOS
commands are: attrib, badblocks, cat, cd, copy, del, deltree, dir,
doctorfat, du, format, info, label, md, mkdir, partition, rd, rmdir,
read, move, ren, showfat, type, write
The MS-DOS options are the same as for DOS commands, except they are
prefaced with "-" instead of "\".
Use 'mtools msdos_command -?' for help per command. (This tells you "-?"
is an illegal command, but, as with Unix systems, entering an illegal
command often is the easiest way to find out what are the legal
Note that a disk argument must be terminated by or separated from a path
by a colon (":"). If no disk argument is given mtools assumes you meant
"/dev/fd0:", the first floppy disk drive.
-V Show the mtools version and configuration
mtools dir # show directory of MS-DOS floppy in drive A:.
mtools copy /dev/c0d0p0:file.txt .
# copy file.txt from the MS-DOS root directory to the
current Minix directory.
dosdir(1). dosread(1). doswrite(1).
Mtools requires a lot of memory. The default on a Minix 3 installation
is over 10 MB. A default configured mtools would not run on a system
with only 16 MB RAM. You may be able to make do by using chmem to reduce
the memory allocation of mtools. On the 16 MB system mentioned mtools
still works with a reduction of the memory allocation to half the
original value. The amount of memory you need depends upon the size of
the MS-DOS or Windows file systems you want to access. Typically systems
with big disks also have large amounts of memory. If mtools won't work
for you, you may be able to fall back to the old dosdir, dosread, and
doswrite Minix utilities if the FAT file system you want to access is
small enough (the dos* utilities can access FAT16 partitions up to 256 MB
This man page does not attempt to be complete. A lot of information is
available on line. To use mtools well you also need to be familiar with
the options for the corresponding MS-DOS commands. For more information
see the mtools website, http://mtools.linux.lu/.
Mtools-3.9.10 was released on 1 March 2005. The Minix port is of the
earlier Mtools version 3.9.7, dated 1 June 2000.
The Minix port of mtools is configured with the following options:
disable-xdf disable-vold disable-new-vold disable-debug disable-raw-term
(read the source to understand what these mean).
Yes, bugs may exist, but as this man page is written we don't know of
any. Please report any you find.
As with any program that accesses a foreign file system, reading files
and directories is probably safe, but you may want to experiment
carefully before using these programs to write to a Windows system.
Mtools is maintained by David Niemi and Alain Knaff.
Ported to Minix 2.0.3 by Kees J. Bot <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This man page compiled by Al Woodhull <email@example.com>.
This man page is applicable to Minix 2 and Minix 3 releases through Minix
3.1.2a. This page was not part of the standard set of man pages for Minix
releases through Minix 3.1.2a.