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Version 0.84.5
05 Aug 2006


unix-way toolset for recovering and converting filesystems


build_e2fs - build e2fs filesystem proceeding from information from external inode table file.


build_e2fs [ -c|-l filename ] [-b blocksize]
        [-f ] [-g blocks-per-group]
        [-i ] [-j] [-J journal-options]
        [-N ] [-n] [-m reserved-blocks-percentage]
        [-o ] [-O feature[,...]] [-q]
        [-r ] [-R raid-options] [-v] [-F]
        [-L ] [-M last-mounted-directory] [-S]
        [-T ] [-V] inode_table device [blocks-count]


build_e2fs proceeds from external inode table information for building ext2fs filesystems on device.
Filesystem building consist of several steps:
1) at first in separate bits map marks all blocks in which will be kept filesystem system information.
2) then it frees this blocks from user information.
WARNING. If device has small free space, at this stage possible not shortage space for new filesystem, so not only old filesystem will be destroyed, but new filesystem would not be built. Nevertheless changed inode table will be saved if it’s possible. But it will better to avoid so situation by running utility with -n option at first.
3) At last it builds filesystem, writes filesystem system information.
At this stage also may be errors, nevertheless after second stage new inode table already saved and it should not to lead to irrevocable data loss.


build_e2fs utility based on mke2fs from E2fsprogs package version 1.35. The most options keeps its original meaning and here will not be explained. Here describes only some important options, new options and options with changing meaning.
-b blocksize
Filesystem blocksize given in inode table. Trying to point using this option blocksize different with pointed in inode table leads to error message and advice to use reblock(8) for changing filesystem blocksize.
-c If this option was specified twice, mke2fs used destructive, read-write test for searching of bad blocks, this was changed to NONdestructive read-write test.
-n causes build_e2fs to not actually build a filesystem, nevertheless so you may to know if there are not enough space for locating new filesystem on device.
-q Don’t print any messages.
-v you may to point this option to 3 times, with each time more increase quantity of output messages.
-V Print the version number and exit.
external inode table, from which it will read information about locating user data files of current filesystem, its access permissions and directory structure.
device device for building new filesystem.


Check for enough free space on device:
$ build_e2fs -n inode.table /dev/hda1
Build ext2fs:
$ build_e2fs inode.table /dev/hda1
Check for enough free space on device for ext3fs:
$ build_e2fs -nj inode.table /dev/hda1
Build ext3fs filesystem:
$ build_e2fs -j inode.table /dev/hda1


Nikolaj Krivchenkov aka unDEFER <>


Messages about any problem with using anyfs-tools package send to
You may append to problem description also the inode table (compressed with gzip or bzip2 it must has not so more size) and device/image size.
Block device size in 512 byte blocks you can get with command ‘/sbin/blockdev --getsize <device>‘


You can obtain the last version of package at
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