fsck.minix — check consistency of Minix filesystem


fsck.minix [options] device


fsck.minix performs a consistency check for the Linux MINIX filesystem.

The program assumes the filesystem is quiescent. fsck.minix should not be used on a mounted device unless you can be sure nobody is writing to it.  Remember that the kernel can write to device when it searches for files.

The device name will usually have the following form:

/dev/hda[1–63] IDE disk 1
/dev/hdb[1–63] IDE disk 2
/dev/sda[1–15] SCSI disk 1
/dev/sdb[1–15] SCSI disk 2

If the filesystem was changed, i.e., repaired, then fsck.minix will print "FILE SYSTEM HAS CHANGED" and will sync(2) three times before exiting.  There is no need to reboot after check.


fsck.minix should not be used on a mounted filesystem.  Using fsck.minix on a mounted filesystem is very dangerous, due to the possibility that deleted files are still in use, and can seriously damage a perfectly good filesystem!  If you absolutely have to run fsck.minix on a mounted filesystem, such as the root filesystem, make sure nothing is writing to the disk, and that no files are "zombies" waiting for deletion.


-l, --list

List all filenames.

-r, --repair

Perform interactive repairs.

-a, --auto

Perform automatic repairs.  This option implies --repair and serves to answer all of the questions asked with the default.  Note that this can be extremely dangerous in the case of extensive filesystem damage.

-v, --verbose

Be verbose.

-s, --super

Output super-block information.

-m, --uncleared

Activate MINIX-like "mode not cleared" warnings.

-f, --force

Force a filesystem check even if the filesystem was marked as valid. Marking is done by the kernel when the filesystem is unmounted.

-V, --version

Display version information and exit.

-h, --help

Display help text and exit.


There are numerous diagnostic messages.  The ones mentioned here are the most commonly seen in normal usage.

If the device does not exist, fsck.minix will print "unable to read super block".  If the device exists, but is not a MINIX filesystem, fsck.minix will print "bad magic number in super-block".

Exit Codes

The exit code returned by fsck.minix is the sum of the following:


No errors


Filesystem errors corrected, system should be rebooted if filesystem was mounted


Filesystem errors left uncorrected


Combination of exit codes 3 and 4


Operational error


Usage or syntax error


Linus Torvalds
Error code values by Rik Faith
Added support for filesystem valid flag: Dr. Wettstein.
Check to prevent fsck of mounted filesystem added by Daniel Quinlan.
Minix v2 fs support by Andreas Schwab, updated by Nicolai Langfeldt.
Portability patch by Russell King.

See Also

fsck(8), fsck.ext2(8), mkfs(8), mkfs.ext2(8), mkfs.minix(8), reboot(8)


The fsck.minix command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel Archive.

Referenced By

fsck(8), lde(8), systemd-fsck@.service(8).

June 2015 util-linux System Administration