MKFS.FAT(8)                 System Manager's Manual                MKFS.FAT(8)

       mkfs.fat - create an MS-DOS filesystem under Linux

       mkfs.fat [OPTIONS] DEVICE [BLOCK-COUNT]

       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 filesys-
       tem size.

       -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
           intended size of the filesystem wouldn't be known.  The  file  cre-
           ated  is  a sparse file, which actually only contains the meta-data
           areas (boot sector, FATs, and root directory).  The  data  portions
           won't  be  stored  on the disk, but the file nevertheless will have
           the correct size.  The resulting file can  be  copied  later  to  a
           floppy disk or other device, or mounted through a loop device.

           Specify  the BIOS drive number to be stored in the FAT boot sector.
           This value is usually 0x80 for  hard  disks  and  0x00  for  floppy
           devices or partitions to be used for floppy emulation.

       -f NUMBER-OF-FATS
           Specify  the  number  of  file allocation tables in the filesystem.
           The default is 2.

       -F FAT-SIZE
           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.

       -i VOLUME-ID
           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  'super-
           floppy' format.  This switch will force mkfs.fat to work properly.

       -l FILENAME
           Read the bad blocks list from FILENAME.

       -m MESSAGE-FILE
           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 is 0xF0 or a value from
           0xF9 to 0xFF for floppies or partitions to be used for floppy  emu-

       -n VOLUME-NAME
           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.

           Select  the number of reserved sectors.  With FAT32 format at least
           2 reserved sectors are needed, the default is  32.   Otherwise  the
           default is 1 (only the boot sector).

           Specify the number of disk sectors per cluster.  Must be a power of
           2, i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, ... 128.

           Specify the number of bytes per logical sector.  Must be a power of
           2  and  greater  than  or equal to 512, i.e. 512, 1024, 2048, 4096,
           8192, 16384, or 32768.  Values larger than 4096 are not  conforming
           to the FAT file system specification and may not work everywhere.

       -v  Verbose execution.

           Use  constants  for  normally randomly generated or time based data
           such as volume ID and creation time.  Multiple runs of mkfs.fat  on
           the  same  device  create  identical results with this option.  Its
           main purpose is testing mkfs.fat.

           Display option summary and exit.

       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 ;)


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       dosfstools  were  written  by  Werner  Almesberger <werner.almesberger@>, Roman Hodek  <>,
       and others.  The current maintainer is Andreas Bombe <>.

dosfstools 4.1                    2016-01-25                       MKFS.FAT(8)
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