Format a USB flash drive using gpart

Warren Block wblock at
Sun Jul 8 12:10:14 UTC 2012

On Sun, 8 Jul 2012, Carmel wrote:

>> Yes, gpart will work with pretty much any storage device.
>> If you want the drive to be bootable, it needs boot blocks.  This is
>> easier with GPT than MBR.  For an 8G drive:
>> # gpart create -s gpt da0
>> # gpart add -t freebsd-boot -s 512k da0
>> # gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 1 da0
>> # gpart add -t freebsd-ufs -b 1M -s 7G da0
>> # gpart add -t freebsd-swap da0
>> # newfs -U /dev/da0p2
> Thanks Warren, you win the prize for the most detailed answer.
> Polytropon gave me the easiest answer if I just want to use the drive
> as a simple storage device; however, if at some point I actually want
> to go beyond that your answer is what I would require.
> Interestingly enough, I searched through the man pages and FreeBSD help
> but never came across anything that specifically addressed flash drive.
> Perhaps I was just not looking hard enough.

FreeBSD sees no significant difference between a flash drive and a disk 
drive.  They are treated the same.

> Perhaps, and I know that this will offend some purists, but a nice GUI
> that would do what your instructions detail above would be helpful.
> There is no way that I am going to remember all of those instructions in
> six months time. Just my 2¢.

bsdinstall(8) has a curses partition editor.  There is probably a trick 
needed to use that outside of an install context.  I find gpart easier.

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