mkfs.vfat man page on Archlinux

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MKFS.FAT(8)			  dosfstools			   MKFS.FAT(8)

       mkfs.fat - create an MS-DOS filesystem under Linux

       mkfs.fat	 [-a]  [-A]  [-b sector-of-backup] [-c] [-l filename] [-C] [-f
       number-of-FATs] [-F FAT-size] [-h number-of-hidden-sectors] [-i volume-
       id]  [-I]  [-m message-file] [-n volume-name] [-r root-dir-entries] [-R
       number-of-reserved-sectors] [-s sectors-per-cluster]  [-S  logical-sec‐
       tor-size]  [-D  drive-number]  [-M  FAT-media-type] [-v] device [block-

       mkfs.fat is used to create an MS-DOS filesystem under Linux on a device
       (usually a disk partition). device is the special file corresponding to
       the device (e.g /dev/sdXX). block-count is the number of blocks on  the
       device.	If  omitted,  mkfs.fat automatically determines the filesystem

       -a  Normally, for any filesystem except very small ones, mkfs.fat  will
	   align all the data structures to cluster size, to make sure that as
	   long as the partition is properly aligned, so  will	all  the  data
	   structures  in the filesystem. This option disables alignment; this
	   may provide a handful of additional	clusters  of  storage  at  the
	   expense  of	a  significant performance degradation on RAIDs, flash
	   media or large-sector hard disks.

	-A Use Atari variation of the MS-DOS filesystem. This  is  default  if
	   mkfs.fat  is run on an Atari, then this option turns off Atari for‐
	   mat. There are some differences when using  Atari  format:  If  not
	   directed  otherwise by the user, mkfs.fat will always use 2 sectors
	   per cluster, since GEMDOS doesn't like other values very  much.  It
	   will	 also  obey  the  maximum number of sectors GEMDOS can handle.
	   Larger filesystems are managed by raising the logical sector	 size.
	   Under  Atari	 format,  an  Atari-compatible	serial	number for the
	   filesystem is generated, and a 12 bit FAT is used only for filesys‐
	   tems	 that  have  one of the usual floppy sizes (720k, 1.2M, 1.44M,
	   2.88M), a 16 bit FAT otherwise. This can be overridden with the  -F
	   option.  Some  PC-specific boot sector fields aren't written, and a
	   boot message (option -m) is ignored.

       -b sector-of-backup
	   Selects the location of the backup boot sector for  FAT32.  Default
	   depends on number of reserved sectors, but usually is sector 6. The
	   backup must be within the range of reserved sectors.

       -c  Check the device for bad blocks before creating the filesystem.

       -C  Create the file given as device on the command line, and write  the
	   to-be-created  filesystem to it. This can be used to create the new
	   filesystem in a file instead of on a	 real  device,	and  to	 avoid
	   using dd in advance to create a file of appropriate size. With this
	   option, the	block-count  must  be  given,  because	otherwise  the
	   intended size of the filesystem wouldn't be known. The file created
	   is a sparse file, which actually only contains the meta-data	 areas
	   (boot sector, FATs, and root directory). The data portions won't be
	   stored on the disk, but the file nevertheless will have the correct
	   size.  The  resulting  file can be copied later to a floppy disk or
	   other device, or mounted through a loop device.

       -D drive-number
	   Specify the BIOS drive number to be stored in the FAT boot  sector.
	   This	 value	is  usually  0x80  for	hard disks and 0x00 for floppy
	   devices or partitions to be used for floppy emulation.

       -f number-of-FATs
	   Specify the number of file allocation tables in the filesystem. The
	   default  is	2. Currently the Linux MS-DOS filesystem does not sup‐
	   port more than 2 FATs.

       -F FAT-size
	   Specifies the type of file allocation tables used  (12,  16	or  32
	   bit).  If  nothing is specified, mkfs.fat will automatically select
	   between 12, 16 and 32 bit, whatever fits better for the  filesystem

       -h number-of-hidden-sectors
	   Select  the number of hidden sectors in the volume. Apparently some
	   digital cameras get indigestion if you feed them a CF card  without
	   such hidden sectors, this option allows you to satisfy them.

       -i volume-id
	   Sets	 the volume ID of the newly created filesystem; volume-id is a
	   32-bit hexadecimal number (for example, 2e24ec82). The default is a
	   number which depends on the filesystem creation time.

       -I  It  is  typical  for	 fixed	disk  devices to be partitioned so, by
	   default, you are not permitted to create a  filesystem  across  the
	   entire  device. mkfs.fat will complain and tell you that it refuses
	   to work. This is different when using MO disks. One doesn't	always
	   need	 partitions on MO disks. The filesystem can go directly to the
	   whole disk. Under other OSes this is	 known	as  the	 'superfloppy'
	   format. This switch will force mkfs.fat to work properly.

       -l filename
	   Read the bad blocks list from filename.

       -m message-file
	   Sets	 the  message  the  user  receives  on	attempts  to boot this
	   filesystem without having properly installed an  operating  system.
	   The	message	 file  must  not exceed 418 bytes once line feeds have
	   been converted to carriage return-line feed combinations, and  tabs
	   have	 been  expanded.  If the filename is a hyphen (-), the text is
	   taken from standard input.

       -M FAT-media-type
	   Specify the media type to be stored in the FAT  boot	 sector.  This
	   value  is  usually 0xF8 for hard disks and has a value from 0xF9 to
	   0xFF for floppies or partitions to be used for floppy emulation.

       -n volume-name
	   Sets the volume name (label) of the filesystem. The volume name can
	   be up to 11 characters long. The default is no label.

       -r root-dir-entries
	   Select  the	number of entries available in the root directory. The
	   default is 112 or 224 for floppies and 512 for hard disks.

       -R number-of-reserved-sectors
	   Select the number of reserved sectors. With FAT32 format at least 2
	   reserved  sectors  are  needed,  the	 default  is 32. Otherwise the
	   default is 1 (only the boot sector).

       -s sectors-per-cluster
	   Specify the number of disk sectors per cluster. Must be a power  of
	   2, i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, ... 128.

       -S logical-sector-size
	   Specify  the number of bytes per logical sector. Must be a power of
	   2 and greater than or equal to 512, i.e.  512,  1024,  2048,	 4096,
	   8192, 16384, or 32768.

       -v  Verbose execution.

       mkfs.fat	 can  not  create boot-able filesystems. This isn't as easy as
       you might think at first glance for various reasons and has  been  dis‐
       cussed a lot already. mkfs.fat simply will not support it ;)


       More  information  about	 fsck.fat  and	dosfstools  can	 be  found  at

       dosfstools  were	  written   by	 Werner	  Almesberger	<werner.almes‐>,	Roman Hodek <Roman.Hodek@informatik.uni-erlan‐>,	 and  others.  The  current  maintainer	 is   Daniel   Baumann

3.0.26				  2014-03-07			   MKFS.FAT(8)

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