Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to format a USB or removable hard drive on Ubuntu?

To format a file system on Ubuntu or any other distribution, we do not usually have a contextual menu button "Format ..." or something similar. However, we do have the necessary tools.


If you want you can use graphical interface gnome-format, A program of the Gnome project is already discontinued, but it does a good job. You can find it in your repository.


The tool of Unix-like systems for this work is mkfs. Let's see what we do from the console to format a removable device.

What device?

First you'll know what device it is. To do this with the command mount show a list of all devices that are mounted at the time. Look for our device, which will be of style /dev/sdb1 through the reference we have in the mount point: /media/usb.

New filesystem

We can only create the new file system. Depending on the file system, use any of the following commands (as long as super users):
FAT32 (recommended for USB if you also use it in Windows): mkfs.vfat /dev/sdX
ext3: mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdX
ex4: mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX
After a few seconds, the file system is created and we will have ready device.
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