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mksquashfs - Create or modify a Squash file system


mksquashfs [-version]
mksquashfs source... dest [options] [-e list of exclude dirs/files] [-ef exclude_file]


A squashfs is a compressed read-only file system. Use the mksquashfs program to create a new squashed file system, and to append new data to an existing squashed file system.
If a single source directory is specified (i.e. mksquashfs source output_fs), the squashfs filesystem will consist of that directory, with the top-level root directory corresponding to the source directory.
If multiple source directories or files are specified, mksquashfs will merge the specified sources into a single filesystem, with the root directory containing each of the source files/directories. The name of each directory entry will be the basename of the source path. If more than one source entry maps to the same name, the conflicts are named xxx_1, xxx_2, etc. where xxx is the original name.
The dest argument can either be a conventional file or a block device. If the file doesn't exist it will be created, if it does exist and a squashfs filesystem exists on it, mksquashfs will append. The -noappend option will write a new filesystem irrespective of whether an existing filesystem is present.
There are a large number of options that can be used to control the compression in mksquashfs. By and large the defaults are the most optimum settings and should only be changed in exceptional circumstances !
The -noI, -noD and -noF options (also -noInodeCompression, -noDataCompression and -noFragmentCompression) can be used to force mksquashfs to not compress inodes/directories, data and fragments respectively. Giving all options generates an uncompressed filesystem.
By default files in the generated filesystem inherit the UID and GID ownership of the original file. However, mksquashfs provides a number of options which can be used to override the ownership:
\h'-04'\h'+03'The options -all-root and -root-owned (both do exactly the same thing) force all file uids/gids in the generated Squashfs filesystem to be root. This allows root owned filesystems to be built without root access on the host machine.
\h'-04'\h'+03'The -force-uid uid option forces all files in the generated Squashfs filesystem to be owned by the specified uid. The uid can be specified either by name (i.e. root) or by number.
\h'-04'\h'+03'The -force-gid gid option forces all files in the generated Squashfs filesystem to be group owned by the specified gid. The gid can be specified either by name (i.e. root) or by number.
The -e and -ef options allow files/directories to be specified which are excluded from the output filesystem. The -e option takes the exclude files/directories from the command line, the -ef option takes the exlude files/directories from the specified exclude file, one file/directory per line. If an exclude file/directory is absolute (i.e. prefixed with /, ../, or ./) the entry is treated as absolute, however, if an exclude file/directory is relative, it is treated as being relative to each of the sources in turn, i.e. mksquashfs /tmp/source1 source2 output_fs -e ex1 /tmp/source1/ex2 out/ex3 Will generate exclude files /tmp/source1/ex2, /tmp/source1/ex1, source2/ex1, /tmp/source1/out/ex3 and source2/out/ex3.
The -e and -ef exclude options are usefully used in archiving the entire filesystem, where it is wished to avoid archiving /proc, and the filesystem being generated, i.e. mksquashfs / /tmp/root.sqsh -e proc /tmp/root.sqsh
Multiple -ef options can be specified on the command line, and the -ef option can be used in conjuction with the -e option.
The -info option displays the files/directories as they are compressed and added to the filesystem. The original uncompressed size of each file is printed, along with DUPLICATE if the file is a duplicate of a file in the filesystem.
The -le and -be options can be used to force mksquashfs to generate a little endian or big endian filesystem. Normally mksquashfs will generate a filesystem in the host byte order. Squashfs, for portability, will mount different ordered filesystems (i.e. it can mount big endian filesystems running on a little endian machine), but these options can be used for greater optimisation.


print version, licence and copyright message.
print files written to filesystem
-b block_size
set data block to block_size. This can be either 4096, 8192, 16384, 32768 or 65536 bytes. Default is 65536 bytes
create a 2.0 filesystem
-noI or -noInodeCompression
do not compress inode table
-noDor -noDataCompression
do not compress data blocks
-noF or -noFragmentCompression
do not compress fragment blocks
do not use fragments: tells mksquashfs to not generate fragment blocks, and rather generate a filesystem similar to a Squashfs 1.x filesystem. It will of course still be a Squashfs 2.0 filesystem but without fragments, and so it won't be mountable on a Squashfs 1.x system.
use fragment blocks for files larger than block size: tells mksquashfs to always generate fragments for files irrespective of the file length. By default only small files less than the block size are packed into fragment blocks. The ends of files which do not fit fully into a block, are NOT by default packed into fragments. To illustrate this, a 100K file has an initial 64K block and a 36K remainder. This 36K remainder is not packed into a fragment by default. This is because to do so leads to a 10 - 20% drop in sequential I/O performance, as a disk head seek is needed to seek to the initial file data and another disk seek is need to seek to the fragment block. Specify this option if you want file remainders to be packed into fragment blocks. Doing so may increase the compression obtained BUT at the expense of I/O speed.
do not perform duplicate checking: tells mksquashfs to not check the files being added to the filesystem for duplicates. This can result in quicker filesystem generation and appending although obviously compression will suffer badly if there is a lot of duplicate files.
do not append to existing filesystem
if one source directory is specified, create a root directory containing that directory, rather than the contents of the directory
-root-becomes name
when appending source files/directories, make the original root become a subdirectory in the new root called name, rather than adding the new source items to the original root
-all-root or -root-owned
make all files owned by root
-force-uid uid
set all file uids to uid
-force-gid gid
set all file gids to gid
create a little endian filesystem
create a big endian filesystem
do not pad filesystem to a multiple of 4Ko. This is performed by default to enable the output filesystem file to be mounted by loopback, which requires files to be a 4K multiple. If the filesystem is being written to a block device, or is to be stored in a bootimage, the extra pad bytes are not needed.
add checkdata for greater filesystem checks
-sort sort_file
sort files according to priorities in sort_file. One file or dir with priority per line. Priority -32768 to 32767, default priority 0
-e list of exclude dirs/files
inline list of files / directories to exclude
-ef exclude_file
file containing a list of files / directories to exclude, one per line


For following examples, take two example directories:
\h'-04'\h'+03'Source directory /home/phillip/test contains file1, file2 and dir1.
\h'-04'\h'+03'Source directory goodies contains goodies1, goodies2 and goodies3. Exemple 1. 
mksquashfs /home/phillip/test output_fs
This will generate a squashfs filesystem with root entries file1, file2 and dir1. Exemple 2. 
mksquashfs /home/phillip/test goodies output_fs
This will create a squashfs filesystem with the root containing entries test and goodies corresponding to the source directories /home/phillip/test and goodies. Exemple 3. 
mksquashfs /home/phillip/test goodies test output_fs
This is the same as the previous example, except a third source directory test has been specified. This conflicts with the first directory named test and will be renamed test_1.
Multiple sources allow filesystems to be generated without needing to copy all source files into a common directory. This simplifies creating filesystems. Exemple 4. 
mksquashfs /home/phillip/test output_fs -keep-as-directory
This is the same as the first example, except for -keep-as-directory. This will generate a root directory containing directory test, rather than the test directory contents file1, file2 and dir1.


Squashfs was written by Phillip Lougher <plougher@users.sourceforge.net>, in Chepstow, Wales, UK. If you like the program, or have any problems, then please email me, as it's nice to get feedback !
This manual page was written by Frédéric Boiteux <fboiteux@calistel.com> for the Debian(TM) system (but may be used by others) using the SquashFS HOWTO from Artemiy I. Pavlov and squashfs's README file. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2 any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.


Copyright 2005 Frédéric Boiteux