mkfs man page on Archlinux

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MKFS(8)			     System Administration		       MKFS(8)

       mkfs - build a Linux filesystem

       mkfs [options] [-t type] [fs-options] device [size]

       mkfs  is	 used  to build a Linux filesystem on a device, usually a hard
       disk partition.	The device argument is either the  device  name	 (e.g.
       /dev/hda1,  /dev/sdb2),	or  a  regular	file  that  shall  contain the
       filesystem.  The size argument is the number of blocks to be  used  for
       the filesystem.

       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 filesystem
       builders (mkfs.fstype) available under Linux.  The  filesystem-specific
       builder is searched for in a number of directories, like perhaps /sbin,
       /sbin/fs, /sbin/fs.d, /etc/fs, /etc (the precise	 list  is  defined  at
       compile	time but at least contains /sbin and /sbin/fs), and finally in
       the directories listed in the PATH environment  variable.   Please  see
       the filesystem-specific builder manual pages for further details.

       -t, --type type
	      Specify  the  type of filesystem to be built.  If not specified,
	      the default filesystem type (currently ext2) is used.

	      Filesystem-specific options to be passed to the real  filesystem
	      builder.	 Although  not	guaranteed,  the following options are
	      supported by most filesystem builders.

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

       -V, --version
	      Display  version	information and exit.  (Option -V will display
	      version information only when it is the only  parameter,	other‐
	      wise it will work as --verbose.)

       -h, --help
	      Display help text and exit.

       All  generic  options must precede and not be combined with filesystem-
       specific options.  Some filesystem-specific programs do not support the
       -V  (verbose)  option,  nor  return  meaningful exit codes.  Also, some
       filesystem-specific programs do not  automatically  detect  the	device
       size and require the size 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 filesystem.

       fs(5),  badblocks(8),  fsck(8),	mkdosfs(8),  mke2fs(8),	  mkfs.bfs(8),
       mkfs.ext2(8), mkfs.ext3(8), mkfs.ext4(8), mkfs.minix(8), mkfs.msdos(8),
       mkfs.vfat(8), mkfs.xfs(8), mkfs.xiafs(8)

       The mkfs command is part of the util-linux  package  and	 is  available

util-linux			   June 2011			       MKFS(8)

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