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Creating and Mounting a Reiser Filesystem

Paul Agin 09/26/01

Note: These instructions apply to Red Hat 7.1 with a stock kernel. Visit for complete information about the Reiser filesystem.

Formatted for with permission 2001-10-02.

0. Before a Reiser filesystem can be created, the reiserfs-utils RPM needs to be installed. The RPM contains reiserfsck, mkreiserfs, debugreiserfs, and other utilities.

# rpm -Uvh reiserfs-utils*.rpm

1. Find the device name of the new drive.

# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hdc: 16 heads, 63 sectors, 2097 cylinders

Here is another way to find the device name:

# dmesg | grep hd

hdc: Conner Peripherals 1080MB - CFS1081A, ATA DISK drive

In this case the new drive is /dev/hdc, IDE secondary master.

2. Create a partition for the new drive.

# fdisk /dev/hdc

(The "cfdisk" utility could be used in place of "fdisk". Although cfdisk may be easier to use, the use of fdisk is easier to describe. That is why I chose to use fdisk in this case. Also, I had trouble running cfdisk in a terminal window.)

Show the command menu. "?" or "m"
Command action
   a   toggle a bootable flag
   b   edit bsd disklabel
   c   toggle the dos compatibility flag
   d   delete a partition
   l   list known partition types
   m   print this menu
   n   add a new partition
   o   create a new empty DOS partition table
   p   print the partition table
   q   quit without saving changes
   s   create a new empty Sun disklabel
   t   change a partition's system id
   u   change display/entry units
   v   verify the partition table
   w   write table to disk and exit
   x   extra functionality (experts only)

Show the partition table. "p"
Device  Boot    Start   End     Blocks  Id      System

This shows that there are no partitions currently defined for /dev/hdc. The following assumes that you want to make one partition that uses the entire drive. If not, you can enter a partition size when prompted. For example, "+500M" for a 500 megabyte partition.

Add a new, primary Linux (type 83) partition. "n, p, 1, enter, enter"

This is how the new partition table should look.
Device          Boot    Start   End     Blocks          Id      System
/dev/hdc1               1       2097    1056856+        83      Linux

Notice the "1" added to /dev/hdc. That is the new partition. Also, the drive is not flagged for booting.

Write the partition table to disk and exit. "w"

Reboot the system. (This may not be necessary, but it seemed to help.)

3. Create the Reiser filesystem.

# mkreiserfs /dev/hdc1

(If the "mkreiserfs" command is not found, see step 0.)

4. Create a mount point and mount the new filesystem.

# mkdir /newdir (for example)

# mount -t reiserfs /dev/hdc1 /newdir

Notice that when a Reiser filesystem is mounted, the reiserfs module is loaded.

# lsmod
reiserfs        203792   1  (autoclean)

5. Make sure the mount command worked.

# mount
/dev/hdc1 on /newdir type reiserfs (rw)

# df -h
Filesystem      Size    Used  Avail  Use%  Mounted on
/dev/hdc1       1.0G    33M   999M     4%  /newdir

6. Optional. Have the new filesystem automatically mount at boot.

# pico -w /etc/fstab

Add a line similar to the following to the end of the /etc/fstab file.

/dev/hdc1      /newdir reiserfs defaults       1 2

Checking the ReiserFS

# umount /dev/hdc1

# reiserfsck /dev/hdc1 (You must type "Yes" to continue the check.)

# mount -t reiserfs /dev/hdc1 /newdir

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