Ubuntu 12.04: How to Format a USB Flash Drive CodeUnit 22 JUN 2012

If you are a Microsoft Windows user then no doubt you’ll be quite familiar with the concept of right-clicking on a USB flash drive icon under My Computer, selecting the context menu option ‘Format’, and then formatting your flash drive so that it is nice and sparkly empty. Unfortunately for us though, that tried and tested method isn’t quite supported under Ubuntu Desktop.

Using Ubuntu 12.04, this is one of the ways in which you can however format your USB flash drive. First, plug your USB stick in and wait for it to mount. Then open the Ubuntu Unity dashboard and type in “Disk Utility”.

Launch the resulting application and select your USB flash drive which should be listed in the left hand side device list. Scroll down the resulting page until the ‘Format Volume’ button becomes visible.

Click on this button, select the file system you want to use (9 out of 10 times, stick with FAT as this is supported by the widest range of devices) and hit the Format button.

Finally, marvel at how the application merrily discards all data currently on your USB flash drive before returning control of it to you, all sparkly empty.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.