La commande format est une des commandes exclusives à Solaris. Très utile elle permet de manager les disques physiques de manière intuitive et puissante. La commande format permet d’ouvrir un shell interne à l’application un peu comme avec la comme fdisk mais la gestion des formatages et des partitions est beaucoup plus intuitive et ergonomique.

Véritablement indispensable pour les administrateurs systèmes il faut utiliser cette commande lorsque l’on connait bien ce que l’on veut faire car l’erreur arrive assez vite et ne pardonne pas (expérience personnelle…)


axel@solaris:~$ format
Searching for disks...done
 0. c7t0d0 <ATA    -VBOX HARDDISK  -1.0  cyl 4093 alt 2 hd 128 sec 32>
Specify disk (enter its number): 0
selecting c7t0d0
[disk formatted]
/dev/dsk/c7t0d0s0 is part of active ZFS pool rpool. Please see zpool(1M).
/dev/dsk/c7t0d0s2 is part of active ZFS pool rpool. Please see zpool(1M).

 disk       - select a disk
 type       - select (define) a disk type
 partition  - select (define) a partition table
 current    - describe the current disk
 format     - format and analyze the disk
 fdisk      - run the fdisk program
 repair     - repair a defective sector
 label      - write label to the disk
 analyze    - surface analysis
 defect     - defect list management
 backup     - search for backup labels
 verify     - read and display labels
 save       - save new disk/partition definitions
 inquiry    - show vendor, product and revision
 volname    - set 8-character volume name
 !<cmd>     - execute <cmd>, then return
format> p

 0      - change `0' partition
 1      - change `1' partition
 2      - change `2' partition
 3      - change `3' partition
 4      - change `4' partition
 5      - change `5' partition
 6      - change `6' partition
 7      - change `7' partition
 select - select a predefined table
 modify - modify a predefined partition table
 name   - name the current table
 print  - display the current table
 label  - write partition map and label to the disk
 !<cmd> - execute <cmd>, then return
partition> p
Current partition table (original):
Total disk cylinders available: 4093 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders        Size            Blocks
 0       root    wm       1 - 4092        7.99GB    (4092/0/0) 16760832
 1 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 2     backup    wu       0 - 4092        7.99GB    (4093/0/0) 16764928
 3 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 4 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 5 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 6 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 7 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0
 8       boot    wu       0 -    0        2.00MB    (1/0/0)        4096
 9 unassigned    wm       0               0         (0/0/0)           0

Man Solaris de la commande format

System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 format - disk partitioning and maintenance utility

 format [-f command-file] [-l log-file] [-x data-file]
 [-d disk-name] [-t disk-type] [-p partition-name]
 [-s] [-m] [-M] [-e] [disk-list]

 format enables you to format,  label,  repair,  and  analyze
 disks  on your system. Unlike previous disk maintenance pro-
 grams, format runs under SunOS. Because  there  are  limita-
 tions  to what can be done to the system disk while the sys-
 tem is running, format is also supported within the  memory-
 resident system environment. For most applications, however,
 running format under SunOS is the more convenient approach.

 format first uses the disk list defined in data-file if  the
 -x  option  is  used. format then checks for the FORMAT_PATH
 environment variable, a colon-separated  list  of  filenames
 and/or  directories.  In  the  case  of  a directory, format
 searches for a file named format.dat in  that  directory;  a
 filename should be an absolute pathname, and is used without
 change. format adds all disk and  partition  definitions  in
 each  specified  file to the working set. Multiple identical
 definitions are silently ignored. If FORMAT_PATH is not set,
 the path defaults to /etc/format.dat.

 disk-list  is  a  list  of  disks  in  the  form  c?t?d?  or
 /dev/rdsk/c?t?d?s?.  With  the  latter  form, shell wildcard
 specifications  are  supported.  For   example,   specifying
 /dev/rdsk/c2*  causes format to work on all drives connected
 to controller c2 only. If no disk-list is specified,  format
 lists all the disks present in the system that can be admin-
 istered by format.

 Removable media devices are listed only when  users  execute
 format  in expert mode (option -e). This feature is provided
 for backward compatibility. Use rmformat(1)  for  rewritable
 removable media devices.

The following options are supported:

 -d disk-name         Specify  which  disk  should  be   made
 current  upon  entry  into the program.
 The disk is specified  by  its  logical
 name  (for  instance,  -d c0t1d0). This

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 can also be accomplished by  specifying
 a single disk in the disk list.

 -e                   Enable  SCSI  expert  menu.  Note  this
 option  is  not  recommended for casual

 -f command-file      Take command  input  from  command-file
 rather  than  the  standard  input. The
 file must contain commands that  appear
 just  as  they  would  if they had been
 entered from the  keyboard.  With  this
 option, format does not issue continue?
 prompts; there is no  need  to  specify
 y(es)  or  n(o) answers in the command-
 file. In non-interactive  mode,  format
 does  not initially expect the input of
 a disk selection number. The user  must
 specify  the  current working disk with
 the -d disk-name option when format  is
 invoked,  or  specify disk and the disk
 selection number in the command-file.

 -l log-file          Log a transcript of the format  session
 to  the  indicated  log-file, including
 the standard input, the standard output
 and the standard error.

 -m                   Enable extended messages. Provides more
 detailed information in the event of an

 -M                   Enable  extended  and  diagnostic  mes-
 sages.  Provides  extensive information
on the state of a  SCSI  device's  mode
 pages, during formatting.

 -p partition-name    Specify the  partition  table  for  the
 disk  which  is current upon entry into
 the program. The table is specified  by
 its  name  as defined in the data file.
 This option can be used only if a  disk
 is  being made current, and its type is
 either specified or available from  the
 disk label.

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 -s                   Silent. Suppress all  of  the  standard
 output.   Error   messages   are  still
 displayed. This is  generally  used  in
 conjunction with the -f option.

 -t disk-type         Specify  the  type  of  disk  which  is
 current  upon entry into the program. A
 disk's type is specified by name in the
 data file. This option can only be used
 if a disk  is  being  made  current  as
 described above.

 -x data-file         Use the  list  of  disks  contained  in

 When you invoke format with no options or with the  -e,  -l,
 -m,  -M, or -s options, the program displays a numbered list
 of available disks and prompts you to specify a disk by list
 number.  If  the machine has more than 10 disks, press SPACE
 to see the next screenful of disks.

 You can specify a disk by list number even if  the  disk  is
 not  displayed in the current screenful. For example, if the
 current screen shows  disks  11-20,  you  can  enter  25  to
 specify  the  twenty-fifth  disk on the list. If you enter a
 number for a disk that is not  currently  displayed,  format
 prompts  you to verify your selection. If you enter a number
 from the displayed list, format silently accepts your selec-

 After you specify a disk, format  displays  its  main  menu.
 This menu enables you to perform the following tasks:

 analyze      Run read, write, compare tests, and data purge.
 The data purge function implements the National
 Computer Security Center Guide to Understanding
 Data Remnance (NCSC-TG-025 version 2) Overwrit-
 ing Algorithm. See NOTES.

 backup       Search for backup labels.

 cache        Enable, disable, and query  the  state  of  the
 write cache and read cache. This menu item only
 appears when format  is  invoked  with  the  -e

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 option, and is only supported on SCSI devices..

 current      Display the device name, the disk geometry, and
 the pathname to the disk device.

 defect       Retrieve and print defect lists. This option is
 supported  only on SCSI devices. IDE disks per-
 form automatic defect  management.  Upon  using
 the  defect  option on an IDE disk, you receive
 the message:

 Controller does not support defect management
 or disk supports automatic defect management.

 disk         Choose the disk that will be used in subsequent
 operations (known as the current disk.)

 fdisk        Run the fdisk(1M) program  to  create  a  fdisk
 partition  for Solaris software (x86 based sys-
 tems only).

 format       Format and verify the current disk. This option
 is  supported  only  on SCSI devices. IDE disks
 are pre-formatted  by  the  manufacturer.  Upon
using  the  format  option  on an IDE disk, you
 receive the message:

 Cannot format this drive. Please use your
 manufacturer-supplied formatting utility.

 inquiry      Display the vendor, product name, and  revision
 level of the current drive.

 label        Write a new label to the current disk.

 partition    Create and modify slices.

 quit         Exit the format menu.

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 repair       Repair a specific block on the disk.

 save         Save new disk and slice information.

 type         Select (define) a disk type.

 verify       Read and display labels. Print information such
 as   the   number   of   cylinders,   alternate
 cylinders, heads, sectors,  and  the  partition

 volname      Label the  disk  with  a  new  eight  character
 volume name.

 FORMAT_PATH    a colon-separated list  of  filenames  and/or
 directories  of  disk  and  partition defini-
 tions. If a directory  is  specified,  format
 searches  for  the  file  format.dat  in that

 /etc/format.dat    default data file

 See attributes(5) for descriptions of the  following  attri-

 |       ATTRIBUTE TYPE        |       ATTRIBUTE VALUE       |
 | Availability                | SUNWcs                      |

 fmthard(1M), prtvtoc(1M), rmformat(1), format.dat(4), attri-
 butes(5),  sd(7D)

 x86 Only

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 When the format function is selected to  format  the  Maxtor
 207MB disk, the following message displays:

 Mode sense page(4) reports rpm value as 0, adjusting it to 3600

 This is a drive bug that may also  occur  with  older  third
 party  drives.  The above message is not an error; the drive
 will still function correctly.

 Cylinder 0 contains the partition table (disk label),  which
 can  be overwritten if used in a raw disk partition by third
 party software.

 format supports writing EFI-compliant disk labels  in  order
 to  support  disks  or LUNs with capacities greater than one
 terabyte. However,  care  should  be  exercised  since  many
 software   components,   such   as  filesystems  and  volume
 managers, are still restricted to capacities of one terabyte
 or less. See the System Administration Guide: Basic Adminis-
 tration for additional information.

 By default, on an unlabeled disk, EFI labels will be written
 on  disks  larger than 2 TB. When format is invoked with the
 -e option, on writing the  label,  the  label  type  can  be
 chosen. Booting is not currently supported on a disk with an
EFI label.

 format provides a help facility you can use whenever  format
 is expecting input. You can request help about what informa-
 tion is expected by simply entering a question mark (?)  and
 format  prints  a brief description of what type of input is
 needed. If you enter a ? at  the  menu  prompt,  a  list  of
 available commands is displayed.

 For SCSI disks, formatting is done  with  both  Primary  and
 Grown defects list by default. However, if only Primary list
 is extracted in defect menu  before  formatting,  formatting
 will be done with Primary list only.

 Changing the state of the caches is only supported  on  SCSI
 devices, and not all SCSI devices support changing or saving
 the state of the caches.

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System Administration Commands                         format(1M)

 The NCSC-TG-025 algorithm  for  overwriting  meets  the  DoD
 5200.28-M (ADP Security Manual) Eraser Procedures specifica-
 tion. The NIST Guidelines for Media  Sanitization  (NIST  SP
 800-88) also reference this algorithm.

SunOS 5.11          Last change: 25 Sep 2008                    7

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