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Kwaku Duah
Kwaku Duah

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Formatting External Drives On Linux Using Gparted.

Formatting a pendrive or external hard drive can sometimes be a real pain. There are a variety of tools that can be used to format a drive. Commandline tools, third party premium software and open source tools like gparted.
Gparted is a free partition tool that is used for disk management.It allows for creating, moving and deleting a partition on a drive.

GUI of Gparted

Table Of Content

  • Installation of gparted on linux
  • Formatting a drive with gparted
  • Labelling a drive after formatting

Installation of gparted on linux

Gparted can be installed in several forms. However, the method I will discuss here is with the use of the Command Line Interface(CLI).
Firstly, update the repositories on the linux installation with the command:

CLI on linux

After a successful update of all the programs, the next command to run is:

gparted installed successfully

You can then run the command gparted in the terminal to open the application.

Formatting the drive in gparted

From the top right corner of the display, select from the partitions dropdown the partition or device you want to work on.

Exercise caution by double checking that you have selected the right device.Right-click on the device and a popup will appear like this:

Unmount the device/partition you selected.
From the popup, click on 'format to' to have all the possible formats you can format the drive to displayed.

last popup

Select from the dropdown list the format you want the drive to be formatted to among NTFS(New Technology File System), FAT 16, FAT 32 and a whole lot.
Depending on the size of the drive, the operation may be done quickly or it will take some time.

Labelling the filesystem

Furthermore, once the formatting is completed, right-click on the device and from the popup choose 'label filesytem'.


The device will show as the name defined above when mounted in any computer.
Gparted is an advanced software that can be used to make a bootable to use on live partitions without data loss.
That is a beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Ta-da, you have successfully learned how to use gparted.

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