Provision Partition with Ext4

First, delete the existing partition and create a new Linux partition using fdisk:

fdisk /dev/sdb

Assuming /dev/sdb is the external hard disk. Use d to delete the partition and use n to create a new partition. 83 is the ID of the native Linux partition.

Then, format the partition with ext4 using mkfs which is just a unified front-end for the different mkfs.fstype tools:

mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sdb1

Finally, use tune2fs to adjust some parameters:

tune2fs -m 0 /dev/sdb1
tune2fs -L bakap01 /dev/sdb1

The -m option is for adjusting the percentage of reserved blocks. The reserved blocks are used by privileged processes which is by default 5% of the hard disk size. Since I'm using the external hard disk solely as a storage, I set this to 0 so I can also use those 5% for storage. The -L option is for labeling the filesystem.