Provided by: util-linux_2.38.1-4ubuntu1_amd64 bug


       mkswap - set up a Linux swap area


       mkswap [options] device [size]


       mkswap sets up a Linux swap area on a device or in a file.

       The device argument will usually be a disk partition (something like /dev/sdb7) but can
       also be a file. The Linux kernel does not look at partition IDs, but many installation
       scripts will assume that partitions of hex type 82 (LINUX_SWAP) are meant to be swap
       partitions. (Warning: Solaris also uses this type. Be careful not to kill your Solaris

       The size parameter is superfluous but retained for backwards compatibility. (It specifies
       the desired size of the swap area in 1024-byte blocks. mkswap will use the entire
       partition or file if it is omitted. Specifying it is unwise - a typo may destroy your

       After creating the swap area, you need the swapon(8) command to start using it. Usually
       swap areas are listed in /etc/fstab so that they can be taken into use at boot time by a
       swapon -a command in some boot script.


       The swap header does not touch the first block. A boot loader or disk label can be there,
       but it is not a recommended setup. The recommended setup is to use a separate partition
       for a Linux swap area.

       mkswap, like many others mkfs-like utils, erases the first partition block to make any
       previous filesystem invisible.

       However, mkswap refuses to erase the first block on a device with a disk label (SUN, BSD,


       -c, --check
           Check the device (if it is a block device) for bad blocks before creating the swap
           area. If any bad blocks are found, the count is printed.

       -f, --force
           Go ahead even if the command is stupid. This allows the creation of a swap area larger
           than the file or partition it resides on.

           Also, without this option, mkswap will refuse to erase the first block on a device
           with a partition table.

       -q, --quiet
           Suppress output and warning messages.

       -L, --label label
           Specify a label for the device, to allow swapon(8) by label.

           Use exclusive BSD lock for device or file it operates. The optional argument mode can
           be yes, no (or 1 and 0) or nonblock. If the mode argument is omitted, it defaults to
           yes. This option overwrites environment variable $LOCK_BLOCK_DEVICE. The default is
           not to use any lock at all, but it’s recommended to avoid collisions with
           systemd-udevd(8) or other tools.

       -p, --pagesize size
           Specify the page size (in bytes) to use. This option is usually unnecessary; mkswap
           reads the size from the kernel.

       -U, --uuid UUID
           Specify the UUID to use. The default is to generate a UUID. The format of the UUID is
           a series of hex digits separated by hyphens, like this:
           "c1b9d5a2-f162-11cf-9ece-0020afc76f16". The UUID parameter may also be one of the

               clear the filesystem UUID

               generate a new randomly-generated UUID

               generate a new time-based UUID

       -v, --swapversion 1
           Specify the swap-space version. (This option is currently pointless, as the old -v 0
           option has become obsolete and now only -v 1 is supported. The kernel has not
           supported v0 swap-space format since 2.5.22 (June 2002). The new version v1 is
           supported since 2.1.117 (August 1998).)

           Verbose execution. With this option mkswap will output more details about detected
           problems during swap area set up.

       -h, --help
           Display help text and exit.

       -V, --version
           Print version and exit.


           enables libblkid debug output.

           use exclusive BSD lock. The mode is "1" or "0". See --lock for more details.


       The maximum useful size of a swap area depends on the architecture and the kernel version.

       The maximum number of the pages that is possible to address by swap area header is
       4294967295 (32-bit unsigned int). The remaining space on the swap device is ignored.

       Presently, Linux allows 32 swap areas. The areas in use can be seen in the file

       mkswap refuses areas smaller than 10 pages.

       If you don’t know the page size that your machine uses, you can look it up with getconf

       To set up a swap file, it is necessary to create that file before initializing it with
       mkswap, e.g. using a command like

           # dd if=/dev/zero of=swapfile bs=1MiB count=$((8*1024))

       to create 8GiB swapfile.

       Please read notes from swapon(8) about the swap file use restrictions (holes,
       preallocation and copy-on-write issues).


       fdisk(8), swapon(8)


       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at


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