FORMAT.DAT(5) File Formats and Configurations FORMAT.DAT(5)


format.dat - disk drive configuration for the format command


format.dat enables you to use your specific disk drives with format(8).
On Solaris 2.3 and compatible systems, format will automatically
configure and label SCSI drives, so that they need not be defined in
format.dat. Three things can be defined in the data file:

o search paths

o disk types

o partition tables.


The following syntax rules apply to the data file:

o The pound # sign is the comment character. Any text on a line
after a pound sign is not interpreted by format.

o Each definition in the format.dat file appears on a single
logical line. If the definition is more than one line long,
all but the last line of the definition must end with a
backslash (\).

o A definition consists of a series of assignments that have an
identifier on the left side and one or more values on the
right side. The assignment operator is the equal sign (=).
Assignments within a definition must be separated by a colon

o White space is ignored by format(8). If you want an assigned
value to contain white space, enclose the entire value in
double quotes ("). This will cause the white space within
quotes to be preserved as part of the assignment value.

o Some assignments can have multiple values on the right hand
side. Separate values by a comma (,).


The data file contains disk definitions that are read in by format(8)
when it starts up. Each definition starts with one of the following
keywords: search_path, disk_type, and partition.

4.x: Tells format which disks it should search for when it
starts up. The list in the default data file contains all
the disks in the GENERIC configuration file. If your
system has disks that are not in the GENERIC configuration
file, add them to the search_path definition in your data
file. The data file can contain only one search_path
definition. However, this single definition lets you
specify all the disks you have in your system.

5.x: By default, format(8) understands all the logical
devices that are of the form /dev/rdsk/cntndnsn; hence
search_path is not normally defined on a 5.x system.

Defines the controller and disk model. Each disk_type
definition contains information concerning the physical
geometry of the disk. The default data file contains
definitions for the controllers and disks that the Solaris
operating environment supports. You need to add a new
disk_type only if you have an unsupported disk. You can
add as many disk_type definitions to the data file as you

The following controller types are supported by format(8):

Xylogics 450 controller (SMD)

Xylogics 7053 controller (SMD)

True SCSI (CCS or SCSI-2)

IPI panther controller

The keyword itself is assigned the name of the disk type.
This name appears in the disk's label and is used to
identify the disk type whenever format(8) is run. Enclose
the name in double quotes to preserve any white space in
the name.

Below are lists of identifiers for supported controllers.
Note that an asterisk ('*') indicates the identifier is
mandatory for that controller -- it is not part of the
keyword name.

The following identifiers are assigned values in all
disk_type definitions:

alternate cylinders

alternate sectors per track

alternate tracks

formatting time per cylinder

number of logical cylinders

number of logical heads

number of logical sectors per track

number of physical cylinders

number of physical heads

number of physical sectors per track

drive RPM

These identifiers are for SCSI and MD-21 Controllers

page 1 byte 3 (read retries)

page 1 byte 8 (write retries)

page 3 bytes 18-19 (cylinder skew)

page 3 bytes 16-17 (track skew)

page 3 bytes 2-3 (tracks per zone)

page 38 byte 2 (cache parameter)

page 38 byte 3 (prefetch parameter)

page 38 byte 4 (minimum prefetch)

page 38 byte 6 (maximum prefetch)

Note: The Page 38 values are device-specific. Refer the
user to the particular disk's manual for these values.

For SCSI disks, the following geometry specifiers may
cause a mode select on the byte(s) indicated:

page 3 bytes 4-5 (alternate sectors per zone)

page 3 bytes 8-9 (alt. tracks per logical unit)

page 4 byte 5 (number of heads)

page 3 bytes 10-11 (sectors per track)

And these identifiers are for SMD Controllers Only

bytes per sector (SMD)

bytes per track (SMD)

Note: under SunOS 5.x, bpt is only required for SMD disks.
Under SunOS 4.x, bpt was required for all disk types, even
though it was only used for SMD disks.

And this identifier is for XY450 SMD Controllers Only

drive type (SMD) (just call this "xy450
drive type")

Defines a partition table for a specific disk type. The
partition table contains the partitioning information,
plus a name that lets you refer to it in format(8). The
default data file contains default partition definitions
for several kinds of disk drives. Add a partition
definition if you repartitioned any of the disks on your
system. Add as many partition definitions to the data file
as you need.

Partition naming conventions differ in SunOS 4.x and in
SunOS 5.x.

4.x: the partitions are named as a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h.

5.x: the partitions are referred to by numbers 0, 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6, 7.


Example 1: A sample disk_type and partition.

Following is a sample disk_type and partition definition in format.dat
file for SUN0535 disk device.

disk_type = "SUN0535" \
: ctlr = SCSI : fmt_time = 4 \
: ncyl = 1866 : acyl = 2 : pcyl = 2500 : nhead = 7 : nsect = 80 \
: rpm = 5400
partition = "SUN0535" \
: disk = "SUN0535" : ctlr = SCSI \
: 0 = 0, 64400 : 1 = 115, 103600 : 2 = 0, 1044960 : 6 = 300, 876960


default data file if format -x is not specified, nor
is there a format.dat file in the current directory.



System Administration Guide: Basic Administration

illumos April 19, 2001 FORMAT.DAT(5)