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2.3. Creating a File System on the Partition

Now that a blank partition has been set up, the file system can be created. The most widely-used system in the Linux world is the second extended file system (ext2), but with newer high-capacity hard disks, journaling file systems are becoming increasingly popular. The third extended filesystem (ext3) is a widely used enhancement to ext2, which adds journaling capabilities and is compatible with the E2fsprogs utilities. We will create an ext3 file system. Instructions for creating other file systems can be found at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/postlfs/filesystems.html.

To create an ext3 file system on the LFS partition, run the following:

mke2fs -jv /dev/<xxx>

Replace <xxx> with the name of the LFS partition (hda5 in our previous example).



Some host distributions use custom features in their filesystem creation tools (E2fsprogs). This can cause problems when booting into your new LFS in Chapter 9, as those features will not be supported by the LFS-installed E2fsprogs; you will get an error similar to “unsupported filesystem features, upgrade your e2fsprogs”. To check if your host system uses custom enhancements, run the following command:

debugfs -R feature /dev/<xxx>

If the output contains features other than has_journal, ext_attr, resize_inode, dir_index, filetype, sparse_super, large_file or needs_recovery, then your host system may have custom enhancements. In that case, to avoid later problems, you should compile the stock E2fsprogs package and use the resulting binaries to re-create the filesystem on your LFS partition:

cd /tmp
tar -xzvf /path/to/sources/e2fsprogs-1.41.12.tar.gz
cd e2fsprogs-1.41.12
mkdir -v build
cd build
make #note that we intentionally don't 'make install' here!
./misc/mke2fs -jv /dev/<xxx>
cd /tmp
rm -rfv e2fsprogs-1.41.12

If you are using an existing swap partition, there is no need to format it. If a new swap partition was created, it will need to be initialized with this command:

mkswap /dev/<yyy>

Replace <yyy> with the name of the swap partition.