System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Rules for Input to format Commands

When using the format utility, you need to provide various kinds of information. This section describes the rules for this information. See "Using format Help" for information on using format's help facility when inputting data.

Inputting Numbers to format Commands

Several places in format require an integer as input. You must either specify the data or select one from a list of choices. In either case, the help facility causes format to print the upper and lower limits of the integer expected. Simply enter the number desired. The number is assumed to be in decimal format unless a base is explicitly specified as part of the number (for example, 0x for hexadecimal).

The following are examples of integer input:

Enter number of passes [2]: 34 
Enter number of passes [34] Oxf 

Specifying Block Numbers to format Commands

Whenever you are required to specify a disk block number, there are two ways to input the information:

You can specify the information as an integer representing the logical block number. You can specify the integer in any base, but the default is decimal. The maximum operator (a dollar sign, $) can also be used here to let format select the appropriate value. Logical block format is used by the SunOS disk drivers in error messages.

The other way to specify a block number is by the cylinder/head/sector designation. In this method, you must specify explicitly the three logical components of the block number: the cylinder, head, and sector values. These values are still logical, but they allow you to define regions of the disk related to the layout of the media.

If any of the cylinder/head/sector numbers are not specified, the appropriate value is assumed to be zero. You can also use the maximum operator in place of any of the numbers and let format select the appropriate value. Below are some examples of cylinder, head, and sector entries:

Enter defective block number: 34/2/3
Enter defective block number: 23/1/
Enter defective block number: 457//
Enter defective block number: 12345
Enter defective block number: Oxabcd
Enter defective block number: 334/$/2
Enter defective block number: 892//$

The format utility always prints block numbers, in both of the above formats. Also, the help facility shows you the upper and lower bounds of the block number expected, in both formats.

Specifying format Command Names

Command names are needed as input whenever format is displaying a menu prompt. You can abbreviate the command names, as long as what you enter is sufficient to uniquely identify the command desired.

For example, use p to enter the partition menu from the format menu. Then enter p to display the current slice table.

format> p
        0      - change `0' partition
        1      - change `1' partition
        2      - change `2' partition
        3      - change `3' partition
        4      - change `4' partition
        5      - change `5' partition
        6      - change `6' partition
        7      - change `7' partition
        select - select a predefined table
        modify - modify a predefined partition table
        name   - name the current table
        print  - display the current table
        label  - write partition map and label to the disk
partition> p

Specifying Disk Names to format Commands

There are certain times in format when you must name something. In these cases, you are free to specify any string you want for the name. If the name has white space in it, the entire name must be enclosed in double quotes ("). Otherwise, only the first word of the name is used.

Using format Help

The format utility provides a help facility you can use whenever format is expecting input. You can request help about what information is expected by entering a question mark (?). The format utility displays a brief description of what type of input is needed.

If you enter a ? at a menu prompt, a list of available commands is displayed.