WIPEFS(8) System Administration WIPEFS(8)
wipefs - wipe a signature from a device
wipefs [options] device...
wipefs [--backup] -o offset device...
wipefs [--backup] -a device...
wipefs can erase filesystem, raid or partition-table signatures (magic strings) from the specified device to make the signatures invisible
for libblkid. wipefs does not erase the filesystem itself nor any other data from the device.
When used without any options, wipefs lists all visible filesystems and the offsets of their basic signatures. The default output is sub-
ject to change. So whenever possible, you should avoid using default outputs in your scripts. Always explicitly define expected columns
by using --output columns-list in environments where a stable output is required.
wipefs calls the BLKRRPART ioctl when it has erased a partition-table signature to inform the kernel about the change.
Note that some filesystems and some partition tables store more magic strings on the device (e.g. FAT, ZFS, GPT). The wipefs command
(since v2.31) lists all the offset where a magic strings have been detected.
When option -a is used, all magic strings that are visible for libblkid are erased. In this case the wipefs scans the device again after
each modification (erase) until no magic string is found.
Note that by default wipefs does not erase nested partition tables on non-whole disk devices. For this the option --force is required.
Erase all available signatures. The set of erased signatures can be restricted with the -t option.
Create a signature backup to the file $HOME/wipefs-<devname>-<offset>.bak. For more details see the EXAMPLES section.
Force erasure, even if the filesystem is mounted. This is required in order to erase a partition-table signature on a block device.
Display help text and exit.
Use JSON output format.
Do not print a header line.
-O, --output list
Specify which output columns to print. Use --help to get a list of all supported columns.
Causes everything to be done except for the write() call.
-o, --offset offset
Specify the location (in bytes) of the signature which should be erased from the device. The offset number may include a "0x" pre-
fix; then the number will be interpreted as a hex value. It is possible to specify multiple -o options.
The offset argument may be followed by the multiplicative suffixes KiB (=1024), MiB (=1024*1024), and so on for GiB, TiB, PiB, EiB,
ZiB and YiB (the "iB" is optional, e.g. "K" has the same meaning as "KiB"), or the suffixes KB (=1000), MB (=1000*1000), and so on
for GB, TB, PB, EB, ZB and YB.
Print out in parsable instead of printable format. Encode all potentially unsafe characters of a string to the corresponding hex
value prefixed by 'x'.
Suppress any messages after a successful signature wipe.
-t, --types list
Limit the set of printed or erased signatures. More than one type may be specified in a comma-separated list. The list or individ-
ual types can be prefixed with 'no' to specify the types on which no action should be taken. For more details see mount(8).
Display version information and exit.
Prints information about sda and all partitions on sda.
wipefs --all --backup /dev/sdb
Erases all signatures from the device /dev/sdb and creates a signature backup file ~/wipefs-sdb-<offset>.bak for each signature.
dd if=~/wipefs-sdb-0x00000438.bak of=/dev/sdb seek=$((0x00000438)) bs=1 conv=notrunc
Restores an ext2 signature from the backup file ~/wipefs-sdb-0x00000438.bak.
Karel Zak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
enables libblkid debug output.
The wipefs command is part of the util-linux package and is available from https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/.
util-linux December 2014 WIPEFS(8)