Format a device
This is an HOWTO about device formatting.
Before starting, you need to know which name Linux gave to your device. All device nodes are placed in
/dev by udev. Hard drives and USB sticks show up as
/dev/sdX, where "X" is a lowercase letter, while partitions show up as
/dev/sdxY, where "Y" is a number.
If the device you want to format is mounted, it will show up in the MOUNTPOINT column from:
If your device is not mounted:
# mount /dev/sdxY /some/folder
And to unmount it, you can use umount:
# umount /dev/sdxY
Step 1: delete the previous partitions
For that you can use
# fdisk /dev/<your_device>
mfor the help
Step 2: create the new file system
To create a file system you just have to use
# mkfs -t vfat /dev/<your_device>
mkfs is just a unified front-end for the different mkfs scripts you need to install the packages providing these scripts.
provides FAT16 and FAT32 support:
Step 3: check
Now you can check the new file system with
# fsck /dev/<your_device>
There are several GUI tools for partition management: