fsck.minix — check consistency of Minix filesystem


fsck.minix [−larvsmf] device


fsck.minix performs a consistency check for the Linux MINIX filesystem. The current version supports the 14 character and 30 character filename options.

The program assumes the filesystem is quiescent. fsck.minix should not be used on a mounted device unless you can be sure nobody is writing to it (and remember that the kernel can write to it when it searches for files).

The device name will usually have the following form:

        /dev/hda[1-63] (IDE disk 1)
        /dev/hdb[1-63] (IDE disk 2)
        /dev/sda[1-15] (SCSI disk 1)
        /dev/sdb[1-15] (SCSI disk 2)

If the filesystem was changed (i.e., repaired), then fsck.minix will print "FILE SYSTEM HAS CHANGED" and will sync(2) three times before exiting. Since Linux does not currently have raw devices, there is no need to reboot at this time.


fsck.minix should not be used on a mounted filesystem. Using fsck.minix on a mounted filesystem is very dangerous, due to the possibility that deleted files are still in use, and can seriously damage a perfectly good filesystem! If you absolutely have to run fsck.minix on a mounted filesystem (i.e., the root filesystem), make sure nothing is writing to the disk, and that no files are "zombies" waiting for deletion.



List all filenames.


Perform interactive repairs.


Perform automatic repairs. (This option implies −r and serves to answer all of the questions asked with the default.) Note that this can be extremely dangerous in the case of extensive filesystem damage.


Be verbose.


Output super-block information.


Activate MINIX-like "mode not cleared" warnings.


Force a filesystem check even if the filesystem was marked as valid (this marking is done by the kernel when the filesystem is unmounted).


fsck(8), fsck.ext2(8), mkfs(8), mkfs.minix(8), mkfs.ext2(8), reboot(8)


There are numerous diagnostic messages. The ones mentioned here are the most commonly seen in normal usage.

If the device does not exist, fsck.minix will print "unable to read super block". If the device exists, but is not a MINIX filesystem, fsck.minix will print "bad magic number in super-block".


The exit code returned by fsck.minix is the sum of the following:


No errors


Filesystem errors corrected, system should be rebooted if filesystem was mounted


Filesystem errors left uncorrected


Combination of exit codes 3 and 4


Operational error


Usage or syntax error

In point of fact, only 0, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 16 can ever be returned.


Linus Torvalds (

Error code values by Rik Faith (

Added support for filesystem valid flag: Dr. Wettstein (

Check to prevent fsck of mounted filesystem added by Daniel Quinlan (

Minix v2 fs support by Andreas Schwab (, updated by Nicolai Langfeldt (

Portability patch by Russell King (


The fsck.minix command is part of the util-linux package and is available from

  Copyright 1992, 1993, 1994 Rickard E. Faith (
May be freely distributed.
" for hilit19