How to Create HFS in Linux

By Kristen Waters

The HFS (Hierarchical File System) file system is designed for the Mac OS operating system. The Linux operating system supports creating HFS file systems and mounting existing HFS devices. You must have the "hfsplus" and "hfsutils" packages installed on the Linux computer that you are using to create the file system. The "mkfs" and "hformat" commands can be used to create an HFS partition at the command line. If you prefer a graphical interface, the Gnome Partition Editor (GParted) program has HFS support.

Gnome Partition Editor

Step 1

Download and install the GParted software program using your distribution's package manager, if it is not already installed.

Step 2

Choose the device you want to format from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

Step 3

Right-click on the partition that you want to format in the lower portion of the screen and click on the "Unmount" option.

Step 4

Right-click on the partition a second time and highlight the "Format To" option.

Step 5

Click on the "HFS" or "HFS+" option.

Step 6

Click on the "Apply All Options" button in the toolbar at the top of the screen to format the partition.

mkfs.hfsplus Command

Step 1

Open a terminal or Konsole window to access a command prompt.

Step 2

Type the command "su -" to switch to the root user. If using the Ubuntu or Linux Mint distribution, skip this step and type "sudo" before the command in the following step.

Step 3

Type the command "mkfs.hfsplus -v Volume /dev/sdb" to create an HFS+ partion. Replace "Volume" with the name you want to give the volume. Replace "/dev/sdb" with the device name for the drive or partition you want to format.

hformat Command

Step 1

Open a terminal or Konsole window to access a command prompt.

Step 2

Type the command "su -" to switch to the root user. If using the Ubuntu or Linux Mint distribution, skip this step and type "sudo" before the command in the following step.

Step 3

Type the command "hformat -f /dev/sdb 0" to reformat the device as a single HFS volume. Replace "/dev/sdb" with the device name for the drive or partition you want to format.