mkfs.minix [-c|-l filename] [-n namelength] [-i inodecount] [-v] 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 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.



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

-n namelength

Specify the maximum length of filenames. Currently, the only allowable values are 14 and 30. The default is 30. Note that kernels older than 0.99p7 only accept namelength 14.

-i inodecount

Specify the number of inodes for the filesystem.

-l 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.

-2, -v

Make a Minix version 2 filesystem.


Make a Minix version 3 filesystem.


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


No errors


Operational error


Usage or syntax error

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