mkfs(8) build a Linux filesystem


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


This mkfs frontend is deprecated in favour of filesystem specific mkfs.<type> utils.

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 via your PATH environment setting only. 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.
-V, --verbose
Produce verbose output, including all filesystem-specific commands 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, otherwise 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 automatically detect the device size and require the size parameter to be specified.


David Engel ([email protected])
Fred N. van Kempen ([email protected])
Ron Sommeling ([email protected])
The manual page was shamelessly adapted from Remy Card's version for the ext2 filesystem.


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