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 the mount point (e.g. /, /usr, /home) for the file system. blocks is the number of blocks to be used for the file system.

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 /etc/fs first, then in /etc and finally in the directories listed in the PATH enviroment variable. Please see the file system-specific builder manual pages for further details.


Produce verbose output, including all file system-specific commands that are executed. Specifying this option more than once inhibits execution of any file system-specific commands. This is really only useful for testing.

-t fstype
Specifies the type of file system to be built. If not specified, the type is deduced by searching for filesys in /etc/fstab and using the corresponding entry. If the type can not be deduced, the default file system type (currently minix) 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 builders.

Check the device for bad blocks before building the file system.

-l filename
Read the bad blocks list from filename

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 ( Fred N. van Kempen ( Ron Sommeling ( The manual page was shamelessly adapted from Remy Card's version for the ext2 file system.


fsck (8), mkfs.minix (8), mkfs.ext (8), mkfs.ext2 (8), mkfs.xiafs (8).