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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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badblocks [options] device block-count

System administration command. Search device for bad blocks. You must specify the number of blocks on the device (block-count). e2fsck and mke2fs will invoke badblocks automatically when given the -c option.


-b blocksize

Expect blocksize-byte blocks.

-c blocksize

Test blocksize-byte blocks at a time. Default is 16.


Force a read/write or nondestructive write test on a mounted device. Use only when /etc/mtab incorrectly reports a device as mounted.

-i file

Skip test of known bad blocks listed in file.


Perform a nondestructive test by writing to each block and then reading back from it while preserving data.

-o file

Direct output to file.

-p number

Repeat search of device until no new bad blocks have been found in number passes. Default is 0.


Show block numbers as they are checked.

-t pattern

Test blocks by reading and writing the specified pattern. You may specify pattern as a positive integer or as the word random. If you specifiy multiple patterns, badblocks will test all blocks with one pattern, and then test all blocks again with the next pattern. Read-only mode will accept only one pattern. It will not accept random.


Verbose mode.


Test by writing to each block and then reading back from it.

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