How To Format Disk In Linux

If you are using a Linux-based system, you may occasionally need to format your disk for various reasons. In this tutorial, we will guide you on how to do this effectively. As always with Linux, there are a few different ways to accomplish this task, but this blog will focus on the command line method, specifically using the fdisk, mkfs and parted utilities.


Be aware that formatting a drive will erase all data on it. Make sure to back up any important data before proceeding.

1. List All Partitions

Firstly, we need to identify the disk we want to format. To list all the disks and partitions, you can use the fdisk command:

    sudo fdisk -l

This will display all the disks and partitions on your system. Identify the disk you want to format (e.g., /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.)

2. Unmount the Disk

Before formatting, ensure that the disk is not mounted. Unmount the disk using the umount command:

    sudo umount /dev/sdX

3. Format the Disk

Now that we have identified and unmounted the disk, we can proceed to format it. We will use the mkfs command to format the disk. For example, to format it to ext4, use the following command:

    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX

Replace ‘X’ with the letter of your drive. This action will format the partition as ext4.

4. Verify the Disk Format

After the formatting process completes, you can verify the disk’s file system using the fdisk command:

    sudo fdisk -l

This command will list out all the drives along with their file system. Your newly formatted drive should show up as ext4 (or whatever format you chose).


We hope this tutorial has been helpful in guiding you through the process of formatting a disk in Linux. Remember to always backup important data before undertaking such tasks.