All you never wanted to know

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:new: 2009-01-08 :wavy_dash: :up: 2009-07-17




mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1 -L my_external

You might want to enable additional features using tune2fs.

tune2fs -O +feature /dev/sdb1

feature may be one of the following:

feature Description
large_file If you have files > 2GiB, this flag should be automatically set by the kernel.
dir_index Uses hashed b-trees to speed up lookups in large directories.
sparse_super Limits the number of backup superblocks to save space on large filesystems.

There are some more, but these are the most interesting. On external drives you might want to set the reserved space for the root-user to 0% instead of the default 5%:

tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdb1

You can show all information about the superblock using:

tune2fs -l /dev/sdb1


To rename a partition (e.g. an USB drive), there are different tools for different filesystems. There’s a nice overview at

ext2 / ext3

You need the package e2fsprogs.

sudo e2label /dev/sdb1
sudo e2label /dev/sdb1 my_external

FAT16 / FAT32

You need the package mtools.

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::
sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 ::my_external


You need the package jfsutils.

sudo jfs_tune /dev/sdb1
sudo jfs_tune -L my_external /dev/sdb1


You need the package ntfsprogs.

sudo ntfslabel /dev/sdb1
sudo ntfslabel /dev/sdb1 my_external

ReiserFS (v3)

You need the package reiserfsprogs.

sudo reiserfstune -l my_external /dev/sdb1


You need the package xfsprogs.

xfs_admin -l /dev/sdb1
xfs_admin -l my_external /dev/sdb1
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