I can't format a USB drive, it says "read only filesystem". I tried mkfs.vfat, wipefs -a, using gparted but nothing worked, always returns "Read-only filesystem". The problem seems to be caused by an HFS+ partition. It seems like even root is not allowed to write on the drive: I tried every terminal command with root privileges an it keeps returning "failed to open for writing: Read-only file system". I'm running Ubuntu 18.10. Anyone can help? Thanks


This is a nice tutorial walk through of how to format a USB drive:


In short:

  1. sudo apt-get install gparted
  2. sudo gparted
  3. Select your usb drive in the top right of gparted
  4. Make sure to unmount the drive (this is key), right click on the drive and select unmount
  5. Now to can format it, right click on the drive and pick your file system :)
  • Will gparted work equally well for the SSD/Hard drive in a machine, or is it only applicable to removable media? I would think it is, but realize/appreciate that Linux has a complex file/directory/volume etc. permissions structure. – witenitenz Sep 4 at 23:05

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