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How to Format a USB Flash Drive in Ubuntu

Author : weterm Date : 11/28/2013 5:02:03 AM

How to Format a USB Flash Drive in Ubuntu
USB flash drives are rewritable storage devices designed to be portable and easy to use. Flash drives are typically formatted by default with Windows file formats like FAT16 or FAT32. Since Ubuntu Linux users tend to prefer native Linux file formats like RiserFS or Ext 2 or Ext 3, formatting the drive before storing data on it is a good idea.


Plug your flash drive into an empty USB port and back up any data on the drive. Open the main menu, move your cursor over "Accessories" and then click on "Terminal." At the terminal prompt, type "sudo apt-get install gparted" (without quotes) and press "Enter."  led light

Enter your Ubuntu administrator password when prompted and press "Enter." This will download and install GParted, which is an open-source drive partitioning program.

3.Go to the Ubuntu main menu after the installation is complete, move your cursor over "System," select "Administration" and click "Partition Editor." Enter your administrator password when prompted and click "OK."

Click on "GParted" in the toolbar. Hover over "Devices" and select your USB flash drive from the list (dev/sdb1, for example). Right-click on the device in the main GParted window and click "Unmount." It may take a few minutes for the device to be unmounted.

Right-click on the device again after it is unmounted and hover over "Format to." Select the desired file system type -- RiserFS, linux-swap, Ext 2, Ext 3, FAT16 or Fat32, for example -- and click "Apply" in the toolbar. Depending on the size of the flash drive, it will take three to four minutes for GParted to complete the process.

Close GParted after the flash drive is formatted. To mount your USB flash drive, unplug it and then plug it back in. The drive is now ready to store data in the file format you selected.

 Tips & Warnings
Linux file formats will not work in Windows, but Windows FAT16 and FAT32 formats work in all versions of Linux, including Ubuntu. If you plan to use your flash drive in a computer running both Windows and Ubuntu, format the drive to FAT16 or FAT32 instead.

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