MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

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MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:16 pm

Hello together,

today I dabbled once more with the NFS filesystem under Mint on my Falcon. While thinking about it, I remembered that it comes as a plugin file system driver.

Now I was wondering: would it be possible to write another file system driver like this one that will map .MSA or .ST files as a sort of RAM disk from Mint so users can extract files from those images? A sort of JayMSA but builtin into GEMDOS so it would be accessible from any desktop/shell without having to load a tool first?

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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby Zogging Hell » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:29 pm

I would second this request, it would be nice to have something like the Mac's disk image handling, whereby disk images can be accessed from the desk top and programs even run. :)
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby DarkLord » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:50 pm

I'm gonna have to agree with this for sure - great idea SSB! :cheers:
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby Cyprian » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:37 pm

simonsunnyboy cool idea,
on Draco's site you can find example code of eXtended Device Drivers for MiNT: http://www.obta.uw.edu.pl/~draco/atari/atari.html

Sometimes ago somewhere in the Internet I saw MSA source code (maybe in Winston or Pacifist's source code )

With some coding skills someone could mix those things into one driver for MiNT
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:52 pm

I was thinking of those XFS things, which probably is more like extended file system instead of extended device driver. But basically a useful find anyway! :)
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby wongck » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:09 am

Something like Dimfile I guess, it loads in Mint but seems to have some problems access RWIO stuff.
I thought I do not get the right setting for the sector size, number of sectors...
But I never try really hard to get it working.
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby mzry » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:16 am

I am bumping this thread as it is such a brilliant idea. There are many good programmers on this forum, could somebody make this happen?
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby mikro » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:40 am

Actually, it's more work than just a device driver. The main problem is that you don't have, uhm, a device. So you need to create a virtual one, which would somehow accept the MSA / ST / DIM files (perhaps during opening such device) which would in turn create something like /dev/device/<index or filename.msa or whatever> which would in turn map into A: (or something else). You would need to handle the mapping somehow -> yet another tool / API.

In Linux you can use the loop back device and mount, which we don't have.

Interesting task nevertheless.

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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby AdamK » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:39 am

This needs a block device layer, which is lacking in FreeMiNT. With block device/loop device it should work out-of-the-box, or with minimal changes.

While the idea is good, I'm against direct MSA support - its features (compression, empty sectors, etc) is out of the scope of the kernel IMO.
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby joska » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:08 pm

mikro wrote:Actually, it's more work than just a device driver. The main problem is that you don't have, uhm, a device. So you need to create a virtual one, which would somehow accept the MSA / ST / DIM files (perhaps during opening such device) which would in turn create something like /dev/device/<index or filename.msa or whatever> which would in turn map into A: (or something else). You would need to handle the mapping somehow -> yet another tool / API.


Doing it via the XDD interface is not possible I think. It can be done with an XFS, but I think it can be done much easier at the BIOS-level by creating a TOS-style RAM-disk. IIRC this is done by adding a BIOS-device which is then accessed by GEMDOS. With a separate tool you can load (and decompress) the disk image to this RAM-disk. This should work in both TOS and MiNT.

I believe ppera wrote something like this for TOS. I don't know if it works under MiNT.
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:41 pm

Necrobump, yay :)

Ppera's tool links itself and all its calls deep into TOS so it will not work with FreeMiNT.
Dimfile crashed for me a lot so a tool that will create a RAM disk from a disk image is ok for me too.

As long as it is possible to read such a disk sector and/or trackwise for 1:1 copies aswell as having access to any files.
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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby ThorstenOtto » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:57 pm

joska wrote:Doing it via the XDD interface is not possible I think. It can be done with an XFS


XFS implements filesystems. The *.st/*.msa do not define any filesystem, just a sector layout. Implementing a xfs would not make sense, as you already have the FAT filesystem (or whatever filesystem the disk contains) in the kernel, and a XFS that actually reads data from a block device needs an underlying device driver, anyway.

I think the difficulty here is not the device driver itself, but managing which files from the filesystem are assigned to it. Basically, you would have to implement both the driver itself and something similar to a loop device in linux.

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Re: MSA/ST image mounting file system for Mint?

Postby joska » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:01 pm

ThorstenOtto wrote:Implementing a xfs would not make sense,


I did not say it makes sense, I say it's probably the only way to implement it using the current FreeMiNT kernel interfaces. And yes, that would mean creating a FAT12 xfs which access a RAM image. Overkill.

So the easiest way to do it is to implement it as a TOS-style RAM-disk. In this case GEMDOS will access the disk image in RAM via a BIOS device, so no need to implement a filesystem driver.

There's a RAM-disk with sources here: https://www.sites.google.com/site/tedrossin/home/electronics/atarist
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