I have a program which creates partitions and filesystems on a disk. To test it, I have created an image file:

dd if=/dev/zero of=disk.img bs=1M count=100

and mounted:

sudo losetup /dev/loop0 disk.img

The partitioning process seemingly works, I get an error from mkfs:

mkfs.vfat: unable to open /dev/loop0p2: No such file or directory

I can see the partitions with fdisk -l:

sudo fdisk -l /dev/loop0
Disk /dev/loop0: 1000 MiB, 1048576000 bytes, 2048000 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: B2CB131D-0091-4102-89E1-1D94EC49484A

Device         Start     End Sectors  Size Type
/dev/loop0p1    2048   10239    8192    4M BIOS boot
/dev/loop0p2   10240  272383  262144  128M EFI System
/dev/loop0p3  272384 1320959 1048576  512M Linux swap
/dev/loop0p4 1320960 2047966  727007  355M Linux filesystem

but not with lsblk:

sudo lsblk
loop0    7:0    0  1000M  0 loop 
sda      8:0    0 465,8G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2   8:2    0 457,3G  0 part /
└─sda3   8:3    0     8G  0 part [SWAP]

What am I doing wrong?

  • 2
    Any luck with losetup --partscan? kernel / distro version? Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 10:25
  • I have noticed that losetup --partscan fails when I specify a 4k block size to losetup. I have to run "partscan" by itself after for the partitions to show up. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Try using partprobe(which is part of parted package) or kpartx so kernel will get info about partitions.

Mounting / partitioning loopback devices not always causes kernel to re-read partition table.

It is common situation when you've got info:

Re-reading the partition table failed.: Device or resource busy.
The kernel still uses old table [...]

You can also force kernel to re-read partition table of loopback device by using: losetup -P command

As stated in manual:

   -P, --partscan
          Force the kernel to scan the partition table on a newly created loop device.
  • 1
    "losetup -P" no longer works on an already-connected loopback device. The -P option must be supplied at the time the loopback device is connected. Commented Feb 23, 2023 at 19:53

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