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NEWFS_MSDOS(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual NEWFS_MSDOS(1)
newfs_msdos - create an MS-DOS (FAT) file system
newfs_msdos [-s kilobytes] [-L vollabel] device
newfs_msdos establishes a file system structure on device that is under-
stood by mount_msdos and some ancient program loader. Device will typi-
cally be the character device node for a floppy disk drive, (e. g.
/dev/rfd0), although any existing writable file or device is acceptable.
In case of a regular file it is treated as a dumped image of an MS-DOS
file system; only the file system structure will be written to it, and it
won't be truncated.
The options are as follows:
Use defaults for a typical file system with capacity
kilobytes. Currently, the values 360, 720, 1200, and
1440 are recognized.
If this option is not specified, newfs_msdos attempts
to determine the size of the device. This is not reli-
ably possible in all cases, but is believed to work for
the more common situations.
Use vollabel to describe the file system, instead of
the default `4.4BSD'.
The file system structure consists of three major areas:
This is the very first (512-byte) sector. It contains
executable code that normally would bootstrap an oper-
ating system when loaded. Since it's beyond the scope
of newfs_msdos to install an operating system on the
medium, this boot code will only print a message that
the disk does not contain a bootable system. Inside
the bootsector is the BIOS parameter block (BPB), where
several statistical parameters of the file system are
The file allocation table(s) (FAT)
Sectors next to the bootsector hold the FAT, which is
used to register file system allocation, as well as
keeping pointer chains for the chunks constituting one
file. There are usually two identical copies of the
The root directory
The final structure is the root directory for this
medium. It is merely a space reservation, padded with
0's, and unfortunately fixed in its size. newfs_msdos
initializes it to empty, and enters a volume label
record into the very first directory slot.
An exit status of 0 is returned upon successful operation. Exit status 1
is returned on any errors during file system creation, and an exit status
of 2 reflects invalid arguments given to the program (along with an ap-
propriate information written to diagnostic output).
fdformat(1), mount_msdos(8), newfs(8).
There is currently no way to specify obscure file system parameters.
Thus, only media with one of the supported capacity values can be format-
ted. For the same reason, it's not possible to handle hard disk parti-
tions. More options should be added to allow this. More entries should
be added to the table of known formats, too.
No attempt is made to handle media defects. However, this is beyond the
scope of newfs_msdos and should better be handled by the (nonexistent)
newfs_msdos appeared in FreeBSD 2.2.
The program has been contributed by Joerg Wunsch, Dresden.
OpenBSD 2.3 November 5, 1995 2
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
FreeBSD Sources for newfs_msdos(8)
OpenBSD sources for newfs_msdos(8)
Up to: File System Operations - Operations for entire file-systems (quotas, configuration, consistency, mount, unmount, et al)
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