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       losetup - set up and control loop devices


       Get info:

       losetup [loopdev]

       losetup -l [-a]

       losetup -j file [-o offset]

       Detach a loop device:

       losetup -d loopdev ...

       Detach all associated loop devices:

       losetup -D

       Set up a loop device:

       losetup [-o offset] [--sizelimit size] [--sector-size size] [-Pr] [--show] -f|loopdev file

       Resize a loop device:

       losetup -c loopdev


       losetup is used to associate loop devices with regular files or block devices, to detach
       loop devices, and to query the status of a loop device. If only the loopdev argument is
       given, the status of the corresponding loop device is shown. If no option is given, all
       loop devices are shown.

       Note that the old output format (i.e., losetup -a) with comma-delimited strings is
       deprecated in favour of the --list output format.

       It’s possible to create more independent loop devices for the same backing file. This
       setup may be dangerous, can cause data loss, corruption and overwrites. Use --nooverlap
       with --find during setup to avoid this problem.

       The loop device setup is not an atomic operation when used with --find, and losetup does
       not protect this operation by any lock. The number of attempts is internally restricted to
       a maximum of 16. It is recommended to use for example flock(1) to avoid a collision in
       heavily parallel use cases.


       The size and offset arguments may be followed by the multiplicative suffixes KiB (=1024),
       MiB (=1024*1024), and so on for GiB, TiB, PiB, EiB, ZiB and YiB (the "iB" is optional,
       e.g., "K" has the same meaning as "KiB") or the suffixes KB (=1000), MB (=1000*1000), and
       so on for GB, TB, PB, EB, ZB and YB.

       -a, --all
           Show the status of all loop devices. Note that not all information is accessible for
           non-root users. See also --list. The old output format (as printed without --list) is

       -d, --detach loopdev...
           Detach the file or device associated with the specified loop device(s). Note that
           since Linux v3.7 kernel uses "lazy device destruction". The detach operation does not
           return EBUSY error anymore if device is actively used by system, but it is marked by
           autoclear flag and destroyed later.

       -D, --detach-all
           Detach all associated loop devices.

       -f, --find [file]
           Find the first unused loop device. If a file argument is present, use the found device
           as loop device. Otherwise, just print its name.

           Display the name of the assigned loop device if the -f option and a file argument are

       -L, --nooverlap
           Check for conflicts between loop devices to avoid situation when the same backing file
           is shared between more loop devices. If the file is already used by another device
           then re-use the device rather than a new one. The option makes sense only with --find.

       -j, --associated file [-o offset]
           Show the status of all loop devices associated with the given file.

       -o, --offset offset
           The data start is moved offset bytes into the specified file or device. The offset may
           be followed by the multiplicative suffixes; see above.

       --sizelimit size
           The data end is set to no more than size bytes after the data start. The size may be
           followed by the multiplicative suffixes; see above.

       -b, --sector-size size
           Set the logical sector size of the loop device in bytes (since Linux 4.14). The option
           may be used when create a new loop device as well as stand-alone command to modify
           sector size of the already existing loop device.

       -c, --set-capacity loopdev
           Force the loop driver to reread the size of the file associated with the specified
           loop device.

       -P, --partscan
           Force the kernel to scan the partition table on a newly created loop device. Note that
           the partition table parsing depends on sector sizes. The default is sector size is 512
           bytes, otherwise you need to use the option --sector-size together with --partscan.

       -r, --read-only
           Set up a read-only loop device.

           Enable or disable direct I/O for the backing file. The optional argument can be either
           on or off. If the optional argument is omitted, it defaults to on.

       -v, --verbose
           Verbose mode.

       -l, --list
           If a loop device or the -a option is specified, print the default columns for either
           the specified loop device or all loop devices; the default is to print info about all
           devices. See also --output, --noheadings, --raw, and --json.

       -O, --output column[,column]...
           Specify the columns that are to be printed for the --list output. Use --help to get a
           list of all supported columns.

           Output all available columns.

       -n, --noheadings
           Don’t print headings for --list output format.

           Use the raw --list output format.

       -J, --json
           Use JSON format for --list output.


       Cryptoloop is no longer supported in favor of dm-crypt. For more details see


       losetup returns 0 on success, nonzero on failure. When losetup displays the status of a
       loop device, it returns 1 if the device is not configured and 2 if an error occurred which
       prevented determining the status of the device.


       Since version 2.37 losetup uses LOOP_CONFIGURE ioctl to setup a new loop device by one
       ioctl call. The old versions use LOOP_SET_FD and LOOP_SET_STATUS64 ioctls to do the same.


           enables debug output.


           loop block devices

           loop control device


       The following commands can be used as an example of using the loop device.

           # dd if=/dev/zero of=~/file.img bs=1024k count=10
           # losetup --find --show ~/file.img
           # mkfs -t ext2 /dev/loop0
           # mount /dev/loop0 /mnt
           # umount /dev/loop0
           # losetup --detach /dev/loop0


       Karel Zak <>, based on the original version from Theodore Ts’o


       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at


       The losetup command is part of the util-linux package which can be downloaded from Linux
       Kernel Archive <>.