mkfs.minix — make a Minix filesystem

Examples (TL;DR)


mkfs.minix [options] device [size-in-blocks]


mkfs.minix creates a Linux MINIX filesystem on a device (usually a disk partition).

The device is usually of the following form:

    /dev/hda[1–8] (IDE disk 1)
    /dev/hdb[1–8] (IDE disk 2)
    /dev/sda[1–8] (SCSI disk 1)
    /dev/sdb[1–8] (SCSI disk 2)

The device may be a block device or an image file of one, but this is not enforced.  Expect not much fun on a character device :-).

The size-in-blocks parameter is the desired size of the file system, in blocks. It is present only for backwards compatibility. If omitted the size will be determined automatically. Only block counts strictly greater than 10 and strictly less than 65536 are allowed.


-c, --check

Check the device for bad blocks before creating the filesystem.  If any are found, the count is printed.

-n, --namelength length

Specify the maximum length of filenames.  Currently, the only allowable values are 14 and 30 for file system versions 1 and 2.  Version 3 allows only value 60.  The default is 30.

-i, --inodes number

Specify the number of inodes for the filesystem.

-l, --badblocks filename

Read the list of bad blocks from filename. The file has one bad-block number per line.  The count of bad blocks read is printed.


Make a Minix version 1 filesystem.  This is the default.

-2, -v

Make a Minix version 2 filesystem.


Make a Minix version 3 filesystem.

-V, --version

Display version information and exit.  The long option cannot be combined with other options.

-h, --help

Display help text and exit.

Exit Codes

The exit code returned by mkfs.minix is one of the following:


No errors


Operational error


Usage or syntax error

See Also

fsck(8), mkfs(8), reboot(8)


The mkfs.minix command is part of the util-linux package and is available from

Referenced By

fsck.minix(8), mkfs(8), systemd-makefs@.service(8).

June 2015 util-linux System Administration