How to Format an SD Card in Ubuntu

By Steve McDonnell

The Disks utility in Ubuntu enables you to quickly and easily format an SD card. Insert the card into your reader, launch Disks and choose Format.

To format an SD card in Ubuntu you can use either an external or built-in SD card reader. Additionally, download and install Disk Utility for Ubuntu. Insert the SD card into the reader and connect it to your computer if it's an external device.

Step 1

Click the Applications icon in Unity to bring up the search box.

Step 2

Type disks in the search box and then choose Disks in the Applications section of the search results.

Unity Search box

Step 3

Locate the SD drive in the list of devices and click it to highlight it.

Ubuntu Disks Utility

Step 4

Select the Gear icon and choose Format.


Step 5

First, select an erase method. For a quick format, choose Don't Overwrite Existing Data (Quick), or you can select Overwrite Existing Data With Zeroes (Slow) to shred the files on the drive.

Then, select a partitioning method. Choose Compatible With All Systems and Devices (MBR/DOS) to format for maximum compatibility. If your USB drive is greater than 2TB, choose Compatible With Modern Systems and Hard Disks > 2TB (GPT).

To format without a partition, select No Partitioning (Empty).

Choose Format to continue.

Ubuntu Disks Utility

Step 6

Choose Format to confirm that you want to destroy all the data on the SD card and format it.