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     format - disk partitioning and maintenance utility

     format [-f command-file] [-l log-file] [-x data-file]

          [-d disk-name] [-t disk-type] [-p partition-name]

          [-s] [-m] [-M] [-e] [disk-list]

     format -L label-type -d disk-name

     format enables you to format,  label,  repair,  and  analyze
     disks  on your system. Unlike previous disk maintenance pro-
     grams, format runs under SunOS. Because  there  are  limita-
     tions  to what can be done to the system disk while the sys-
     tem is running, format is also supported within the  memory-
     resident system environment. For most applications, however,
     running format under SunOS is the more convenient approach.

     format first uses the disk list defined in data-file if  the
     -x  option  is  used. format then checks for the FORMAT_PATH
     environment variable, a colon-separated  list  of  filenames
     and/or  directories.  In  the  case  of  a directory, format
     searches for a file named format.dat in  that  directory;  a
     filename should be an absolute pathname, and is used without
     change. format adds all disk and  partition  definitions  in
     each  specified  file to the working set. Multiple identical
     definitions are silently ignored. If FORMAT_PATH is not set,
     the path defaults to /etc/format.dat.

     disk-list is  a  list  of  disks  in  the  form  c?t?d?,  or
     /dev/rdsk/c?t?d?s?,  /dev/chassis/?/disk.  With the last two
     forms, shell  wildcard  specifications  are  supported.  For
     example,  specifying  /dev/rdsk/c2* causes format to work on
     all drives connected to controller c2 only. If no  disk-list
     is specified, format lists all the disks present in the sys-
     tem that can be administered by format.

     Removable media devices are listed only when  users  execute
     format  in expert mode (option -e). This feature is provided
     for backward compatibility. Use rmformat(1)  for  rewritable
     removable media devices.


     The following options are supported:

     -d disk-name
                          Specify  which  disk  should  be   made
                          current  upon  entry  into the program.
                          The disk is specified  by  its  logical
                          name   (for   instance,  -d  c0t1d0  or
                          /dev/chassis/SYS/HD0/disk).  This   can
                          also  be  accomplished  by specifying a
                          single disk in the disk list.

                          Enable  SCSI  expert  menu.  Note  this
                          option  is  not  recommended for casual

     -f command-file
                          Take command  input  from  command-file
                          rather  than  the  standard  input. The
                          file must contain commands that  appear
                          just  as  they  would  if they had been
                          entered from the  keyboard.  With  this
                          option, format does not issue continue?
                          prompts; there is no  need  to  specify
                          y(es)  or  n(o) answers in the command-
                          file. In non-interactive  mode,  format
                          does  not initially expect the input of
                          a disk selection number. The user  must
                          specify  the  current working disk with
                          the -d disk-name option when format  is
                          invoked,  or  specify disk and the disk
                          selection number in the command-file.

     -l log-file
                          Log a transcript of the format  session
                          to  the  indicated  log-file, including
                          the standard input, the standard output
                          and the standard error.

     -L label-type
                          Immediately,   and   non-interactively,
                          write  a  default  label of type label-
                          type, to the disk  specified  with  -d.
                          label-type  must be either efi or vtoc.
                          Existing  label,  if   any,   will   be
                          overwritten  with label-type. On an x86
                          machine, the whole disk will default to
                          one   Solaris  partition  labeled  with
                          label-type; all fdisk  partitions  will
                          be lost.

                          Enable extended messages. Provides more
                          detailed information in the event of an

                          Enable  extended  and  diagnostic  mes-
                          sages.  Provides  extensive information
                          on the state of a  SCSI  device's  mode
                          pages, during formatting.

     -p partition-name
                          Specify the  partition  table  for  the
                          disk  which  is current upon entry into
                          the program. The table is specified  by
                          its  name  as defined in the data file.
                          This option can be used only if a  disk
                          is  being made current, and its type is
                          either specified or available from  the
                          disk label.

                          Silent. Suppress all  of  the  standard
                          output.   Error   messages   are  still
                          displayed. This is  generally  used  in
                          conjunction with the -f option.

     -t disk-type
                          Specify  the  type  of  disk  which  is
                          current  upon entry into the program. A
                          disk's type is specified by name in the
                          data file. This option can only be used
                          if a disk  is  being  made  current  as
                          described above.

     -x data-file
                          Use the  list  of  disks  contained  in

     When you invoke format with no options or with the  -e,  -l,
     -m,  -M, or -s options, the program displays a numbered list
     of available disks and prompts you to specify a disk by list
     number.  If  the machine has more than a screenful of disks,
     press SPACE to see the next screenful of disks.

     You can specify a disk by list number even if  the  disk  is
     not  displayed in the current screenful. For example, if the
     current screen shows  disks  11-20,  you  can  enter  25  to
     specify  the  twenty-fifth  disk on the list. If you enter a
     number for a disk that is not  currently  displayed,  format
     prompts  you to verify your selection. If you enter a number
     from the displayed list, format silently accepts your selec-

     After you specify a disk, format  displays  its  main  menu.
     This menu enables you to perform the following tasks:

                  Run read, write, compare tests, and data purge.
                  The data purge function implements the National
                  Computer Security Center Guide to Understanding
                  Data Remnance (NCSC-TG-025 version 2) Overwrit-
                  ing Algorithm. See NOTES.

                  Search for backup labels.

                  Enable, disable, and query  the  state  of  the
                  write cache and read cache. This menu item only
                  appears when format  is  invoked  with  the  -e
                  option, and is only supported on SCSI devices..

                  Display the device name, the disk geometry, and
                  the pathname to the disk device.

                  Retrieve and print defect lists. This option is
                  supported  only on SCSI devices. IDE disks per-
                  form automatic defect  management.  Upon  using
                  the  defect  option on an IDE disk, you receive
                  the message:

                    Controller does not support defect management

                    or disk supports automatic defect management.

                  Choose the disk that will be used in subsequent
                  operations (known as the current disk.)

                  Run the fdisk(1M) program  to  create  a  fdisk
                  partition  for Solaris software (x86 based sys-
                  tems only).

                  Format and verify the current disk. This option
                  is  supported  only  on SCSI devices. IDE disks
                  are pre-formatted  by  the  manufacturer.  Upon
                  using  the  format  option  on an IDE disk, you
                  receive the message:

                    Cannot format this drive. Please use your

                    manufacturer-supplied formatting utility.

                  Display the vendor, product name, and  revision
                  level of the current drive.

                  Write a new label to the current disk.

                  Create and modify slices.

                  Exit the format menu.

                  Repair a specific block on the disk.

                  Save new disk and slice information.

                  Select (define) a disk type.

                  Read and display labels. Print information such
                  as   the   number   of   cylinders,   alternate
                  cylinders, heads, sectors,  and  the  partition

                  Label the  disk  with  a  new  eight  character
                  volume name.

Environment Variables
                    a colon-separated list  of  filenames  and/or
                    directories  of  disk  and  partition defini-
                    tions. If a directory  is  specified,  format
                    searches  for  the  file  format.dat  in that

                        default data file

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the  following  attri-

     tab() box; cw(2.75i) |cw(2.75i) lw(2.75i) |lw(2.75i)  ATTRI-
     BUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE _ Availabilitysystem/core-os

See Also
     fmthard(1M), prtvtoc(1M), rmformat(1), format.dat(4), attributes(5),

     Managing Devices in Oracle Solaris 11.2

  x86 Only

     When the format function is selected to  format  the  Maxtor
     207MB disk, the following message displays:

       Mode sense page(4) reports rpm value as 0, adjusting it to 3600

     This is a drive bug that may also  occur  with  older  third
     party  drives.  The above message is not an error; the drive
     will still function correctly.

     Cylinder 0 contains the partition table (disk label),  which
     can  be overwritten if used in a raw disk partition by third
     party software. On x86-based systems, this usage could cause
     the  cylinder information to be off by one, and some differ-
     ence in the capacity as a consequence, depending on  whether
     the  disk is labled and whether the whole disk is designated
     as a single Solaris partition.

     Please  also  note  that  the   CHS   (Cylinder/Head/Sector)
     geometry might be logical only to maintain backward compati-
     bility, which has no physical bearing to actual disk device.
     format supports writing EFI-compliant disk labels  in  order
     to  support  disks  or LUNs with capacities greater than one
     terabyte. However,  care  should  be  exercised  since  many
     software   components,   such   as  filesystems  and  volume
     managers, are still restricted to capacities of one terabyte
     or less. See the Managing Devices in Oracle Solaris 11.2 for
     additional information.

     By default, on an unlabeled disk, EFI labels will be written
     on  disks  larger than 2 TB. When format is invoked with the
     -e option, on writing the  label,  the  label  type  can  be
     chosen.  GPT  (EFI)  enabled  SPARC  firmware  and  UEFI x86
     firmware are required to boot these EFI-labeled drives.

     format provides a help facility you can use whenever  format
     is expecting input. You can request help about what informa-
     tion is expected by simply entering a question mark (?)  and
     format  prints  a brief description of what type of input is
     needed. If you enter a ? at  the  menu  prompt,  a  list  of
     available commands is displayed.

     For SCSI disks, formatting is done  with  both  Primary  and
     Grown defects list by default. However, if only Primary list
     is extracted in defect menu  before  formatting,  formatting
     will be done with Primary list only.

     Changing the state of the caches is only supported  on  SCSI
     devices, and not all SCSI devices support changing or saving
     the state of the caches.

     The NCSC-TG-025 algorithm  for  overwriting  meets  the  DoD
     5200.28-M (ADP Security Manual) Eraser Procedures specifica-
     tion. The NIST Guidelines for Media  Sanitization  (NIST  SP
     800-88) also reference this algorithm.
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