2.4. 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. We will create an ext2 file system. Instructions for other file systems can be found at http://cblfs.cross-lfs.org/index.php?section=6#File_System.

To create an ext2 file system on the CLFS partition, run the following as root:

mke2fs /dev/[xxx]

Replace [xxx] with the name of the CLFS partition (sda5 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 CLFS system, as those features will not be supported by the CLFS-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: dir_index; filetype; large_file; resize_inode or sparse_super 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 CLFS partition. To do this, run the following commands as root:

cd /tmp
tar xjf /path/to/sources/e2fsprogs-1.42.9.tar.bz2
cd e2fsprogs-1.42.9
mkdir build
cd build
make #note that we intentionally don't 'make install' here!
./misc/mke2fs /dev/[xxx]
cd /tmp
rm -rf e2fsprogs-1.42.9

If you created a swap partition, you will need to initialize it for use by issuing the command below as root:

mkswap /dev/[yyy]

Replace [yyy] with the name of the swap partition. If you are using an existing swap partition, there is no need to format it.