Create, Format, Mount Filesystems in Linux

Linux Filesystem

A filesystem is an organization of data and metadata on storage device. You can also say it as organizing data in systematic manner. Linux filesystem interface is implemented as a layer architecture. Today unix-like operating system contains only files. If you want to access any files in unix-like OS, filesystem has to be mounted where file resides. The term mounting means associating a filesystem to a storage device in linux. There are two ways to mount the filesystem and they are manual using mount command and boot time mounting.

Step 1. Create a Partition

Before creating make sure that you should have free cylinders. You can check by using following command.

[root@localhost ~]# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 10.7 GB, 10737418240 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1305 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 1020 8193118+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 1021 1147 1020127+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
Here you can see 1305 cylinders are present on /dev/sda disk and used up to 1147 cylinders. Hence, we can create new partition using fdisk.

Fdisk tool can be used to create new partition

[root@localhost ~]# fdisk /dev/sda
Press n
Press p
Press “Enter” for default starting cylinder”
Enter 100MB+
Now Change the partition type to 83 and finally reboot the system.

Step 2. Create filesystem

In linux you can create filesystem using mkfs, mkfs.ext2 and mkfs.ext3.

[root@localhost ~]# mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda3
mke2fs 1.39 (29-May-2006)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=1024 (log=0)
Fragment size=1024 (log=0)
26208 inodes, 104420 blocks
5221 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=1
Maximum filesystem blocks=67371008
13 block groups
8192 blocks per group, 8192 fragments per group
2016 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
8193, 24577, 40961, 57345, 73729
Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (4096 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

Step 3. Mounting Filesystem

Most commonly used method for mounting filesystem is either manually using mount command or by adding entries in /etd/fstab, so that filesystem mount during boot time.

Mount [option]


[root@localhost ~]# mount /dev/sda3 /dat

In above example, we have mounted /dev/sda3 partion to /dat directory. You can verify by executing following command.

[root@localhost ~]# mount | grep -i sda3
/dev/sda3 on /dat type ext3 (rw)

Also you can unmount /dev/sda3 using umount command.


[root@localhost ~]# umount /dat

Whenever Linux system reboots /dat filesystem unusable. If you want use filesystem again, you have mount it manually. To avoid this repeated mounting after Linux boot, we have to add entries in /etc/fstab. Fstab (filesystem table) file is filesystem configuration file.

Here we will brief about /etc/fstab configuration file.

[root@localhost ~]# cat /etc/fstab
#device name mountpoint Type of fs options dump fsck
LABEL=/ / ext3 defaults 1 1
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs defaults 0 0
LABEL=SWAP-sda2 swap swap defaults 0 0

-device name

Name of the device/partion or source path (What to mount) /dev/sda3

-mount point

Where data is attached to the filesystem (Where to mount) /dat

-type of the FS

Type of the filesystem are ext2, ext3, nfs, proc, etc..


In this option, you can apply security policy to the particular filesytem. For example, when you mount, you can either set no execution of the binaries or you can set read only filesystem. By default filesystem is having rw, suid, rw, exec, auto, nouser and async.


This is used for filesystem backup. If value zero is set, backup is ignored. If 1 is set, filesystem is backed up.


This option is to determine on which order the filesystems should be checked.

About Bobbin Zachariah

Founder of LinOxide, passionate lover of Linux and technology writer. Started his career in Linux / Opensource from 2000. Love traveling, blogging and listening music. Reach Bobbin Zachariah about me page and google plus page.

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