How to format or format an SD card in Ubuntu from the terminal

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Philippe Gloaguen
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The world every day is developing more and more in technology. L' modernization of desktops, tables, smartphones, household appliances develops in us the desire to obtain them.

These computers allow us to do our jobs effectively and also store a large amount of information. For this reason it is necessary from time to time to format either the hard drive of our computer or the SD card of our phone, for its correct functioning, in case you format it externally it is important that you learn to put or connect an SD card to your mobile phone.



Formatting is an action that allows us to delete information. It also helps that the storage drive is USB, SD, hard drive can be prepared to enter information regardless of OS.

You can format in two ways, low-level and high-level format. The format of low level runs to the software in physical form on disk or card, where it is again as at the beginning of the factory. But it is also possible to format a micro SD memory card without losing my files

In other words, from the head of the card or disk to its sectors that divide them, they remain empty with no data, this process is slow and rigorous, while the high-level process is the one normally used by users since it is partial and fast and the files are modified and deleted

What is an SD card?

The term SD is short for Secure Digital which is a card or device with a removable flash memory format that allows the ROM memory to have a larger storage space where you can save programs, files or information in digital format, available for mobile devices such as: smartphone phones, cameras, or digital recorders, game consoles, etc. If you still don't take full advantage of them, you can learn how to move photos and videos from internal memory to SD card



The SD card is based on the standard made in 1999 by Panasonic, Toshiba and SanDisk, this entry with changes in its structure in MMC cards.

To this day this standard is supported by the SD Card Association. These cards can be found in different original standard sizes, miniSD, microSD.

As well as being available in those sizes, you can also get them in various sizes in standard English capacity “Standard Capacity” (SDSC), high capacity “High Capacity” (SDHC), extended capacity (SDXC) and input / output ”Input / Output“ (SDIO).

These cards can be formatted by a terminal or console any device integrated into the hardware of a computer, the purpose of which is for you to be able to view, enter, transform information or data within your computer or mobile device.

We can find devices whose ability is to process information directly, or the terminal can completely depend on the computer or use an emulator in so that the terminal performs its functions on a virtual level.

How to format or format an SD card in Ubuntu?

If you want to format your SD card with Ubuntu from your computer's terminal, follow the steps to perform them quickly and efficiently. It should be noted that from the terminal it is possible to perform many actions such as installing packages or programs in Ubuntu

Step 1

Insert the SD card into the computer card reader, in this way Ubuntu will do its job, recognizing and adapting it to the operating system.


Step 2

At the top you will see the option "Applications", in it in the "Accessories" screen and also "Terminal" click to launch the command lines.

3 pass

Now proceed to write the words "df" and the word "Intro", then you will see the list on your computer of the storage devices available in it, then search for the name of your SD card which will appear as "/ dev / sdb1" .


4 pass

After that  "/ dev / sdb1" appears, write “umount”, for which the command would look like “/ dev / sdb1”; After typing, press the option "Enter".


5 pass

Now type "mkdosfs" -F 32 -v and hit "Enter" again, the command would look like this "mkdosfs -F 32 -v / dev / sdb1"

6 pass

Finally, remove the card from your computer and reinsert it once the whole process is complete.

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