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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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mkfs [options] [fs-options] filesys [blocks]

System administration command. Construct a filesystem on a device (such as a hard disk partition). filesys is either the name of the device or the mountpoint. mkfs is actually a frontend that invokes the appropriate version of mkfs according to a filesystem type specified by the -t option. For example, a Linux Second Extended Filesystem uses mkfs.ext2 (which is the same as mke2fs); MS-DOS filesystems use mkfs.msdos. fs-options are options specific to the filesystem type. blocks is the size of the filesystem in 1024-byte blocks.



Produce verbose output, including all commands executed to create the specific filesystem.

-t fs-type

Tells mkfs what type of filesystem to construct.

Filesystem-specific options

These options must follow generic options and cannot be combined with them. Most filesystem builders support these three options:


Check for bad blocks on the device before building the filesystem.

-l file

Read the file file for the list of bad blocks on the device.


Produce verbose ouput.

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