mkfs [options] [-t type fs-options] device [size]
mkfs is used to build a Linux filesystem on a device, usually a hard
disk partition. The device argument is either the device name (e.g.
/dev/hda1, /dev/sdb2), or a regular file that shall contain the
filesystem. The size argument is the number of blocks to be used for
The exit code returned by mkfs is 0 on success and 1 on failure.
In actuality, mkfs is simply a front-end for the various filesystem
builders (mkfs.fstype) available under Linux. The filesystem-specific
builder is searched for in a number of directories, like perhaps /sbin,
/sbin/fs, /sbin/fs.d, /etc/fs, /etc (the precise list is defined at
compile time but at least contains /sbin and /sbin/fs), and finally in
the directories listed in the PATH environment variable. Please see
the filesystem-specific builder manual pages for further details.
-t, --type type
Specify the type of filesystem to be built. If not specified,
the default filesystem type (currently ext2) is used.
Filesystem-specific options to be passed to the real filesystem
builder. Although not guaranteed, the following options are
supported by most filesystem builders.
Produce verbose output, including all filesystem-specific com-
mands that are executed. Specifying this option more than once
inhibits execution of any filesystem-specific commands. This is
really only useful for testing.
Display version information and exit. (Option -V will display
version information only when it is the only parameter, other-
wise it will work as --verbose.)
Display help and exit.
All generic options must precede and not be combined with filesystem-
specific options. Some filesystem-specific programs do not support the
-V (verbose) option, nor return meaningful exit codes. Also, some
filesystem-specific programs do not automatically detect the device
size and require the size parameter to be specified.
The mkfs command is part of the util-linux package and is available
util-linux June 2011 MKFS(8)
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