Our Logo Image

Fernhill Linux Project

A non-profit organisation who promote and encourage the use of Linux based operating systems & open source
software by providing free IT solutions, software, support, guides and advice.

About Us
About Linux
Services & Support
Guides & How To's
Linux Distros
Contact Us

Format Removable Drives

Format External Drives, Devices and Media

On Ubuntu 12.04 you can right click the device or drives icon on the unity launcher and select format.

Mostly you cannot right click on drives and devices and format them as you may be used to.
Ubuntu comes with "disk utility" installed by default and this is your primary means of formating drives.
You can find it in accessories or by typing disk utility in the dash.
Drives are displayed at the left of the screen, internal HDD first, then DVD's and removable media at the bottom.
Simply click on the device or drive you want to work on and unmount it.

Select Format, choose your preferred file system, name the disk and click format.

Which filesystem should you use?

There are many filesystems to choose from but if you are not sure, here is a simple guide.
If you intend to connect the device to non Linux systems such as your xbox, ps3, tv or winodws then use FAT32.
If it is a back up drive or such to be used only on Linux systems then use EXT4 and take ownership of the filesystem.
If you are formating a memory card for a device (camera, psp, phone) then it is best to use the device to format it.

Fernhill Linux Project would like to thank BPWebSolutions for their help and support. By using this link BPWebSolutions will also donate a small percentage of any purchases to Fernhill Linux Project.