Sam Chapman .Dev | Personal Development Blog

Mounting, Configuring and Formatting Drives

This will show you how to mount configure and format drives in Linux. This will mostly be a command based tutorial with descriptions on which command do what.

Format a Drive

  1. To list all available drives:
fdisk -l
  1. To open the fdisk console on a drive (The console is used for formatting and partitioning drives):
fdisk /dev/<drive_name>
  • Controls once you've opened the console (There are a number of other commands available):
    • d - Deletes a partition
    • n - Creates a new partition
    • w - Writes changes to the drive and exits the console

Once formatted and partitioned you will need to add the filesystem:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/<partition_name> -L <partition_label>
  • mkfs.ext4 - This creates a ext4 filesystem. There are other options, see here.
  • /dev/<partition_name> - This is the partition you are creating the filesystem on.
  • -L <partition_label> - This is where you can give it a label that you will recognise when you look at the drive again.

Own a Drive

Now that you have created a drive you may want to change the ownership to your user; this will be dependant on the intended use for the drive of course. To do this use either of the below commands:

chown sam:<usergroup> /run/media/<current_user>/<partition_label>
chown sam: /run/media/<current_user>/<partition_label>

N.B. The second is only appropriate where you want the default user group of the user to own the drive

Write Zero's to a Drive

To write 0s to a drive you'll need the dd command. After you have that use the following command:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb1 status=progress