How to Partition and Format a Drive on Linux


On most computer systems, Linux or otherwise, when you plug a USB thumb drive in, you’re alerted that the drive exists. If the drive is already partitioned and formatted to your liking, you just need your computer to list the drive somewhere in your file manager window or on your desktop. It’s a simple requirement and one that the computer generally fulfills.

Sometimes, however, a drive isn’t set up the way you want. For those times, you need to know how to find and prepare a storage device connected to your machine.

What are block devices?

A hard drive is generically referred to as a “block device” because hard drives read and write data in fixed-size blocks. This differentiates a hard drive from anything else you might plug into your computer, like a printer, gamepad, microphone, or camera. The easy way to list the block devices attached to your Linux system is to use the lsblk (list block devices) command: