mkfs - build a Linux file system
mkfs [-V] [-t fstype] [fs-options] filesys [blocks]
mkfs is used to build a Linux file system on a device, usually a hard disk partition.
filesys is either the device name (e.g. /dev/hda1, /dev/sdb2), or a regular file that
shall contain the file system. blocks is the number of blocks to be used for the file
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 file system builders
(mkfs.fstype) available under Linux. The file system-specific builder is searched for in
a number of directories like perhaps /sbin, /sbin/fs, /sbin/fs.d, /etc/fs, /etc (the pre-
cise 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 file
system-specific builder manual pages for further details.
-V Produce verbose output, including all file system-specific commands that are exe-
cuted. Specifying this option more than once inhibits execution of any file sys-
tem-specific commands. This is really only useful for testing.
Specifies the type of file system to be built. If not specified, the default file
system type (currently ext2) is used.
File system-specific options to be passed to the real file system builder.
Although not guaranteed, the following options are supported by most file system
-c Check the device for bad blocks before building the file system.
Read the bad blocks list from filename
-v Produce verbose output.
All generic options must precede and not be combined with file system-specific options.
Some file system-specific programs do not support the -v (verbose) option, nor return
meaningful exit codes. Also, some file system-specific programs do not automatically
detect the device size and require the blocks parameter to be specified.
David Engel (email@example.com)
Fred N. van Kempen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Sommeling (email@example.com)
The manual page was shamelessly adapted from Remy Card's version for the ext2 file system.
fs(5), badblocks(8), fsck(8), mkdosfs(8), mke2fs(8), mkfs.bfs(8), mkfs.ext2(8),
mkfs.ext3(8), mkfs.ext4(8), mkfs.minix(8), mkfs.msdos(8), mkfs.vfat(8), mkfs.xfs(8),
The mkfs command is part of the util-linux package and is available from ftp://ftp.ker-
Version 1.9 Jun 1995 MKFS(8)