should /dev/sdb or /dev/sdb1 be formatted at vfat?

possibly a dumb question but, for the sake of validation, the
instructions suggest turning the entire SD/MMC card into a vfat

  does that mean formatting as vfat /dev/sdb or /dev/sdb1? as in, if
my linux system associates the card to be formatted as /dev/sdb, does
it make a difference if the vfat partition is the first partition
(/dev/sdb1), or if it's the entire device itself (/dev/sdb)?

  i know /dev/sdb1 being the only partition on the card will work.
will the other way work as well? just curious.


I can't say for sure, but I believe that there needs to be a partition table on the SD card, and it needs to be in MBR format, not GPT.
Once you've got the partition table on the block device, then the FAT partition will have to be /dev/sdb1


i suspected as much, i just wondered how forgiving the mount
operation was. i've seen people format the entire device as a
filesystem -- heck, i've even done that myself on other storage
devices on occasion.