Note of warning
See Also
Viewing the texi doc


mpartition - partition an MSDOS hard disk

Note of warning

This manpage has been automatically generated from mtools’s texinfo documentation, and may not be entirely accurate or complete. See the end of this man page for details.


The mpartition command is used to create MS-DOS file systems as partitions. This is intended to be used on non-Linux systems, i.e. systems where fdisk and easy access to SCSI devices are not available. This command only works on drives whose partition variable is set.

mpartition -p drive
mpartition -r
mpartition -I
[-B bootSector] drive
mpartition -a
mpartition -d
mpartition -c
[-s sectors] [-h heads]
[-t cylinders] [-v [-T type] [-b
] [-l length] [-f]

Mpartition supports the following operations:

Prints a command line to recreate the partition for the drive. Nothing is printed if the partition for the drive is not defined, or an inconsistency has been detected. If verbose (-v) is also set, prints the current partition table.

Removes the partition described by drive.

Initializes the partition table, and removes all partitions.

Creates the partition described by drive.

"Activates" the partition, i.e. makes it bootable. Only one partition can be bootable at a time.

"Deactivates" the partition, i.e. makes it unbootable.

If no operation is given, the current settings are printed.

For partition creations, the following options are available:

The number of sectors per track of the partition (which is also the number of sectors per track for the whole drive).


The number of heads of the partition (which is also the number of heads for the whole drive). By default, the geometry information (number of sectors and heads) is figured out from neighboring partition table entries, or guessed from the size.


The number of cylinders of the partition (not the number of cylinders of the whole drive.


The starting offset of the partition, expressed in sectors. If begin is not given, mpartition lets the partition begin at the start of the disk (partition number 1), or immediately after the end of the previous partition.


The size (length) of the partition, expressed in sectors. If end is not given, mpartition figures out the size from the number of sectors, heads and cylinders. If these are not given either, it gives the partition the biggest possible size, considering disk size and start of the next partition.

The following option is available for all operation which modify the partition table:

Usually, before writing back any changes to the partition, mpartition performs certain consistency checks, such as checking for overlaps and proper alignment of the partitions. If any of these checks fails, the partition table is not changes. The -f allows you to override these safeguards.

The following options are available for all operations:

Together with -p prints the partition table as it is now (no change operation), or as it is after it is modified.


If the verbosity flag is given twice, mpartition will print out a hexdump of the partition table when reading it from and writing it to the device.

The following option is available for partition table initialization:

Reads the template master boot record from file bootSector.

See Also

Mtools’ texinfo doc

Viewing the texi doc

This manpage has been automatically generated from mtools’s texinfo documentation. However, this process is only approximative, and some items, such as crossreferences, footnotes and indices are lost in this translation process. Indeed, these items have no appropriate representation in the manpage format. Moreover, not all information has been translated into the manpage version. Thus I strongly advise you to use the original texinfo doc. See the end of this manpage for instructions how to view the texinfo doc.


To generate a printable copy from the texinfo doc, run the following commands:

./configure; make dvi; dvips mtools.dvi


To generate a html copy, run:

./configure; make html

A premade html can be found at ‘’


To generate an info copy (browsable using emacs’ info mode), run:

./configure; make info

The texinfo doc looks most pretty when printed or as html. Indeed, in the info version certain examples are difficult to read due to the quoting conventions used in info.


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