mkfs.fat [-a] [-A] [-b sector-of-backup] [-c] [-l filename] [-C] [-f
number-of-FATs] [-F FAT-size] [-h number-of-hidden-sectors] [-i volume-
id] [-I] [-m message-file] [-n volume-name] [-r root-dir-entries] [-R
number-of-reserved-sectors] [-s sectors-per-cluster] [-S logical-sec-
tor-size] [-D drive-number] [-M FAT-media-type] [-v] device [block-
mkfs.fat is used to create an MS-DOS filesystem under Linux on a device
(usually a disk partition). device is the special file corresponding to
the device (e.g /dev/sdXX). block-count is the number of blocks on the
device. If omitted, mkfs.fat automatically determines the filesystem
-a Normally, for any filesystem except very small ones, mkfs.fat will
align all the data structures to cluster size, to make sure that as
long as the partition is properly aligned, so will all the data
structures in the filesystem. This option disables alignment; this
may provide a handful of additional clusters of storage at the
expense of a significant performance degradation on RAIDs, flash
media or large-sector hard disks.
-A Use Atari variation of the MS-DOS filesystem. This is default if
mkfs.fat is run on an Atari, then this option turns off Atari for-
mat. There are some differences when using Atari format: If not
directed otherwise by the user, mkfs.fat will always use 2 sectors
per cluster, since GEMDOS doesn't like other values very much. It
will also obey the maximum number of sectors GEMDOS can handle.
Larger filesystems are managed by raising the logical sector size.
Under Atari format, an Atari-compatible serial number for the
filesystem is generated, and a 12 bit FAT is used only for filesys-
tems that have one of the usual floppy sizes (720k, 1.2M, 1.44M,
2.88M), a 16 bit FAT otherwise. This can be overridden with the -F
option. Some PC-specific boot sector fields aren't written, and a
boot message (option -m) is ignored.
Selects the location of the backup boot sector for FAT32. Default
depends on number of reserved sectors, but usually is sector 6. The
backup must be within the range of reserved sectors.
-c Check the device for bad blocks before creating the filesystem.
-C Create the file given as device on the command line, and write the
to-be-created filesystem to it. This can be used to create the new
filesystem in a file instead of on a real device, and to avoid
using dd in advance to create a file of appropriate size. With this
option, the block-count must be given, because otherwise the
Specify the number of file allocation tables in the filesystem. The
default is 2. Currently the Linux MS-DOS filesystem does not sup-
port more than 2 FATs.
Specifies the type of file allocation tables used (12, 16 or 32
bit). If nothing is specified, mkfs.fat will automatically select
between 12, 16 and 32 bit, whatever fits better for the filesystem
Select the number of hidden sectors in the volume. Apparently some
digital cameras get indigestion if you feed them a CF card without
such hidden sectors, this option allows you to satisfy them.
Sets the volume ID of the newly created filesystem; volume-id is a
32-bit hexadecimal number (for example, 2e24ec82). The default is a
number which depends on the filesystem creation time.
-I It is typical for fixed disk devices to be partitioned so, by
default, you are not permitted to create a filesystem across the
entire device. mkfs.fat will complain and tell you that it refuses
to work. This is different when using MO disks. One doesn't always
need partitions on MO disks. The filesystem can go directly to the
whole disk. Under other OSes this is known as the 'superfloppy'
format. This switch will force mkfs.fat to work properly.
Read the bad blocks list from filename.
Sets the message the user receives on attempts to boot this
filesystem without having properly installed an operating system.
The message file must not exceed 418 bytes once line feeds have
been converted to carriage return-line feed combinations, and tabs
have been expanded. If the filename is a hyphen (-), the text is
taken from standard input.
Specify the media type to be stored in the FAT boot sector. This
value is usually 0xF8 for hard disks and has a value from 0xF9 to
0xFF for floppies or partitions to be used for floppy emulation.
Sets the volume name (label) of the filesystem. The volume name can
be up to 11 characters long. The default is no label.
Select the number of entries available in the root directory. The
default is 112 or 224 for floppies and 512 for hard disks.
-v Verbose execution.
mkfs.fat can not create boot-able filesystems. This isn't as easy as
you might think at first glance for various reasons and has been dis-
cussed a lot already. mkfs.fat simply will not support it ;)
More information about fsck.fat and dosfstools can be found at
dosfstools were written by Werner Almesberger <werner.almes-
firstname.lastname@example.org>, Roman Hodek <Roman.Hodek@informatik.uni-erlan-
gen.de>, and others. The current maintainer is Daniel Baumann
3.0.26 2014-03-07 MKFS.FAT(8)
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