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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.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.



mformat

mformat [options] drive

Format a blank disk in MS-DOS format. See mtools for more information about how to handle MS-DOS filesystems. After using mformat to format a disk, you should use mbadblocks to check for bad blocks.

Options

The mformat command accepts many of the same options as the MS-DOS FORMAT command.

-1

Format a single side. Equivalent to -h 1.

-4

Format a 360K double-sided disk. Equivalent to -f 360.

-8

Format with eight sectors per track.

-v [label]

Choose a label for this volume. Maximum length is 11 characters.

-f n

If you are using a floppy disk, use this flag and note the size of the disk in kilobytes as 160, 180, 320, 360, 720, 1200, 1440, or 2280. For most relatively recent systems, only the last two are relevant. If you are not using a floppy, you must use the -h, -t, or -n flags.

-t n

The number of tracks on the disk.

-h n

The number of heads, or sides, on the disk (either 1 or 2).

-n n

The number of sectors per track.

You can also use a number of option flags that are not included in the MS-DOS version of FORMAT, including:

-F

Format as a FAT32 partition.

-S n

Size code. You are defining a sector that is the (n+7)th power of two.

-X

Format as an XDF (OS/2) disk.

-0 rate

Data transfer rate on track 0.

-2

Use a 2m format.

-3

Don't use a 2m format, even if the disk looks like a 2m disk.

-A rate

Data transfer rate on all tracks other than track 0.

-B file

Use the boot sector stored in the specified file.

-c n

Set the cluster size to n sectors.

-C

Create a disk image file. Useful only for virtual disks.

-H n

Set the number of hidden sectors.

-k

Keep the existing boot sector as much as possible.

-L n

Set the length of the File Allocation Table (FAT).

-M n

Set the software sector size to n. The default is the physical sector size. Possible values of n are 512, 1024, 2048, or 4096.

-N serialno

Choose a serial number. Use -a for an Atari-style serial number, stored in the OEM label.

-r n

Set the root directory size to n sectors for 12- and 16-bit FAT formats.