e2label – Set the Volume Label for the Second Extended File System

The e2label command is used to set or change the volume label for the second extended file system (ext2, ext3, and ext4) on a Linux system. The volume label is a name assigned to a file system that can be used to easily identify it. It is useful when mounting file systems, especially when there are multiple file systems present on a system.


The syntax for the e2label command is as follows:

e2label device [new-label]

Where device is the block device representing the file system (e.g., /dev/sda1) and new-label is the new label to be assigned to the file system.

To set a volume label for a file system, you must have root privileges. For example, to set a label for the file system on /dev/sda1, you would run the following command:

sudo e2label /dev/sda1 mylabel

This command assigns the label “mylabel” to the file system on /dev/sda1. If you omit the new-label argument, the current label is displayed.

It is also possible to change the label of an existing file system by running the e2label command with the new label as the second argument:

sudo e2label /dev/sda1 newlabel


The following table lists the available options for the e2label command:

Option Description
-h Display help information and exit.
-V Display version information and exit.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If you receive an error message stating that the file system is in use, unmount it first before running the e2label command.
  • If you are unable to set the label, make sure that the file system is formatted as ext2, ext3, or ext4.


  • The maximum length of a volume label is 16 characters.
  • The e2label command only works with the second extended file system (ext2, ext3, and ext4). It cannot be used with other file systems such as NTFS or FAT32.