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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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mpartition [options] drive

Create the MS-DOS partition specified by drive; used mostly on proprietary Unix systems where fdisk is unavailable. See mtools for more information. When a partition is being created, the default is for the number of sectors and heads and the length to be automatically determined, but they can also be specified as options.



Activate the partition, making it the bootable partition.

-b offset

The starting offset of the partition to be created, in sectors. The default is the start of the disk (partition 1) or immediately after the end of the previous partition.

-B bootsector

Read the template master boot record from the file specified by bootsector. Can be specified with -I.


Create the partition.


Deactivate the partition, making it nonbootable.


Allow overriding of safeguards that perform consistency checking before any change is made to a partition. Can be specified with any operation that modifies the partition table.

-h heads

The number of heads for a partition being created.


Initialize the partition table and remove all partitions.

-l length

The size of the partition to be created, in sectors.


Print a command line to re-create the partition. With -v, print the current partition table.


Remove the partition.

-s sectors

The number of sectors per track of the partition to be created.

-t cylinders

The number of cylinders of the partition to be created.


With -p, print the current partition table; otherwise, for commands that modify the partition table, print it after it has been modified.


Print a hexadecimal dump of the partition table when reading and writing it.

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