Iomega Parallel Zip Drive in Linux

Introduction

This note describes how to configure the parallel port ZIP drive on a Linux system.

Older parallel port ZIP drives used the ppa kernel module, but more recent versions of the drive (After April 1998) use imm. There are slight differences between using the two modules, which will be noted as they come up.

This was written for Slackware 10.0 and kernel 2.4.26. This should apply to other distros using 2.4.x kernels, but has not been tested on kernel 2.6.x.

Modules

For a newer ZIP drive, simply run modprobe imm as root. Done!

For the older models, you’ll first need to add a couple lines to /etc/modules.conf:

alias parport_lowlevel parport_pc

alias scsi_hostadapter ppa

Then load the module by running modprobe ppa as root.

Mounting/Unmounting

Once the module is installed, ZIP discs can be mounted as standard SCSI devices.

As well as the standard mount/umount/eject commands, Iomega offers a toolset for working with ZIP discs in Linux. This set provides mount/unmount commands, as well as password protection and formatting tools. The set is available from Iomega’s website.

4 thoughts on “Iomega Parallel Zip Drive in Linux”

  1. I have an Iomega Zip 100 parallel port drive (Model Z100P2). With Lubuntu 20.10 I didn’t need to add the two lines to /etc/modules.conf for the ppa module; all I needed to do was enter the command ‘sudo modprobe ppa’ to immediately load the ppa module. I then added ppa to the list of modules in /etc/modules-load.d/modules.conf (which is actually a symlink to the file /etc/modules) so that the ppa module is loaded automatically at boot.

  2. lol, finally the zip 100 parallel port is working on
    Ubuntu 16.04
    AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ × 2
    after several attempts with Puppy linux and Windows XP
    only needed
    Then load the module by running modprobe ppa as root

    1. You are brilliant!!! I had a bunch of old iOmega Zip 100 disks and an old parallel Zip drive that I wanted to copy all of the files off of. Your modprobe ppa did the trick perfectly on Manjaro with kernel 5.10.x. Thank you!!!

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