The data on a computer can be stored on different storage devices such as hard disk, USB drive, etc. This data need to be positioned in a systematic way so that whenever needed operating system can fetch it easily. So filesystem defines how data will be stored and retrieved on a storage device.
A storage device must be formatted with a file system before it can be mounted and accessed on a Linux system. The
mkfs command is used for making filesystem on a disk which is also known as disk formatting.
This article will guide you in formatting a disk using
mkfs command in Linux operating system.
Syntax of mkfs command
The basic syntax of the
mkfs command is –
mkfs -t fs_type device
fs_type – is the filesystem type i.e. ext2, ext4, NTFS, etc.
device – is the name of the partition or disk for example
List the supported filesystems
Enter the following command and then hit the Tab button twice to see the list of the filesystem in which a disk can be formatted using
mkfs command –
Now you can see the different filesystems here which include ext4, NTFS, fat, etc. The
mkfs command is separated from the filesystem using a dot in between them.
Formatting a disk example
You need to have root user privileges for formatting a disk. Here we will format a
/dev/sdb that has a size of 32 GB.
/dev/sdb in ext4 format use –
# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb
If you want to format the disk in FAT32 filesystem then use-
# mkfs.fat /dev/sdb
To format the disk in NTFS format use –
# mkfs.ntfs /dev/sdb
Create a mount point for the filesystem
Use the following command to create a mount point directory for the formatted disk-
# mkdir /mdisks
Mount the new filesystem
To mount the new filesystem to created mount point which is
/mdisks by using the given command –
# mount /dev/sdb /mdisks
Make changes permanent
If you want
/dev/sdb to mount at the mount point
/mdisks automatically when the system boots then you need to add the given line into
/etc/fstab file using a text editor and then add –
/dev/sdb /mdisks ext4 default 0 2
/dev/sdb – Filesystem, partition, or disk name
/mdisks – Mount point
ext4 – The filesystem in which disk is formatted
defaults – mount options
0– Indicates that filesystem doesn’t require dump
2– Means it is not a root file system, the root system is specified with a value 1
Now save the file and exit from the editor.
After reading this now you can format a disk or partition to a specific filesystem on Linux. Now if you want to say something on this topic then write us in the comments below.