question on formating USB Drive in Kubuntu

Daniel Pittman daniel at
Fri Jan 5 05:40:02 GMT 2007

"Jonathan Jesse" <jjesse at> writes:

> Ok I am slowly moving completely over to Linux on my laptop for work
> and need to run a bunch of Virtual Machines so I have an 120 gig USB
> 2.0 drive that is currently formatted in NTFS.  How do delete
> everything that is on it and format it to ext3 or a better filesystem
> for running such a large USB drive on?

Well, pretty easily:

  sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdXXX  # replace XXX with your device node

You might also want to use VFAT for compatibility with other platforms,
even if it is slightly less useful on the same machine.  Do be warned
that most real Unix file systems are not that usefully portable to other
Unix machines -- no translation of UID values happens, so unless your
users are identical they can be difficult to use.

Anyway, if you choose VFAT the solution is:

  sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdXXX

That solution also works for other file systems, using the obvious
convention to locate the appropriate formatting tool.

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