How do I create a file of size 10M, format it with ext3 filesystem and then mount it in /media/fuse?

I tried with

mkfs -t ext3 file

then to mount it

mount -t ext3 file /media/fuse

It didn't work because it said that file wasn't a block device. Can anybody help me?


Your procedure is correct, but when mounting a file image as a filesystem you have to add the -o loop option to the mount command:

mount -t ext3 -o loop file /media/fuse

Also, the -t ext3 option is not strictly required, because mount can automatically determine the filesystem type.

  • 5
    he is right but forgot to add the way to create a file dd if=/dev/zero of=file bs=1024 count=10240 this is the way to create a 10Mb file... then you can format it with mkfs.ext3
    – maniat1k13
    Feb 28 '12 at 19:20
  • 8
    Now mount does not need the -o loop option anymore, it can understand by itself we it need it.
    – enzotib
    Oct 3 '13 at 12:33

I tried to apply the steps and comments from the previous answer. It still took some work to figure it out, so I've added another answer for people after me.

The following procedure creates a local file named file and mounts it on a local directory named mounted_file.

  1. Create a fixed size file with e.g.
    dd if=/dev/zero of=file bs=1000 count=100
    which creates a file of 100 times 1000 bytes (100 kB) filled with zeroes.
  2. Format it with the desired file system, create a directory, mount it, and get permission to use it (owner is root):
    mkfs.ext3 file
    mkdir mounted_file/
    sudo mount -o loop file mounted_file/
    sudo chmod -R 777 mounted_file/
    The -o loop parameter is optional nowadays.
  3. To clean up afterwards:
    sudo umount mounted_file/
    rmdir mounted_file/
    rm file

Use mkfs.ext3 -n file to see the details of the file system that will created. If desired e.g. the block size (-b block-size) and number of inodes (-N number-of-inodes) can be changed.

Note that we can also run out of inodes (total number of files and directories) instead of diskspace, which is usually not clearly communicated.

  • i get an error Not enough space to build proposed filesystem while setting up superblock on mkfs.ext3 file, i've created the file with dd, adding more in size doesn't do anything
    – mekb
    Jul 12 at 7:16
  • nevermind, the file didn't end in .fs
    – mekb
    Jul 12 at 7:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.