I'm trying to put a linux distro .iso on my usb and the instructions suggests using the following command to make a fat32 filesystem:
mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sdc1
Is there a reason this command is to be used instead of mkfs?
mkfs is a command to make a file system, and is a front end for the more specific mkfs.file_type (mkfs.vfat , mkfs.ext4, etc)
In actuality, mkfs is simply a front-end for the various file system builders (mkfs.fstype) available under Linux. The file system-specific builder is searched for in a number of directories like perhaps /sbin, /sbin/fs, /sbin/fs.d, /etc/fs, /etc (the precise list is defined at compile time but at least contains /sbin and /sbin/fs), and finally in the directories listed in the PATH environment variable. Please see the file system-specific builder manual pages for further details.
mkfs.vfat is a symbolilc link to mkdosfs
They are the same
ls -l /sbin/mkfs.vfat lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 7 2011-10-29 23:13 /sbin/mkfs.vfat -> mkdosfs
For additional information see