10 Commands to Check Disk Partitions and Disk Space on Linux

By | August 13, 2020

In this post we are taking a look at some commands that can be used to check up the partitions on your system.

The commands would check what partitions there are on each disk and other details like the total size, used up space and file system etc.

Commands like fdisk, sfdisk and cfdisk are general partitioning tools that can not only display the partition information, but also modify them.

1. fdisk

Fdisk is the most commonly used command to check the partitions on a disk. The fdisk command can display the partitions and details like file system type. However it does not report the size of each partitions.

$ sudo fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 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
Disk identifier: 0x30093008
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *          63   146801969    73400953+   7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2       146802031   976771071   414984520+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5       146802033   351614654   102406311    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda6       351614718   556427339   102406311   83  Linux
/dev/sda7       556429312   560427007     1998848   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda8       560429056   976771071   208171008   83  Linux
Disk /dev/sdb: 4048 MB, 4048551936 bytes
54 heads, 9 sectors/track, 16270 cylinders, total 7907328 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
Disk identifier: 0x0001135d
   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        2048     7907327     3952640    b  W95 FAT32

Each device is reported separately with details about size, seconds, id and individual partitions.

2. sfdisk

Sfdisk is another utility with a purpose similar to fdisk, but with more features. It can display the size of each partition in MB.

$ sudo sfdisk -l -uM
Disk /dev/sda: 60801 cylinders, 255 heads, 63 sectors/track
Warning: extended partition does not start at a cylinder boundary.
DOS and Linux will interpret the contents differently.
Units = mebibytes of 1048576 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0
   Device Boot Start   End    MiB    #blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *     0+ 71680- 71681-  73400953+   7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2     71680+ 476938  405259- 414984520+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda3         0      -      0          0    0  Empty
/dev/sda4         0      -      0          0    0  Empty
/dev/sda5     71680+ 171686- 100007- 102406311    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda6     171686+ 271693- 100007- 102406311   83  Linux
/dev/sda7     271694  273645   1952    1998848   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda8     273647  476938  203292  208171008   83  Linux
Disk /dev/sdb: 1020 cylinders, 125 heads, 62 sectors/track
Warning: The partition table looks like it was made
  for C/H/S=*/54/9 (instead of 1020/125/62).
For this listing I'll assume that geometry.
Units = mebibytes of 1048576 bytes, blocks of 1024 bytes, counting from 0
   Device Boot Start   End    MiB    #blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *     1   3860   3860    3952640    b  W95 FAT32
                start: (c,h,s) expected (4,11,6) found (0,32,33)
                end: (c,h,s) expected (1023,53,9) found (492,53,9)
/dev/sdb2         0      -      0          0    0  Empty
/dev/sdb3         0      -      0          0    0  Empty
/dev/sdb4         0      -      0          0    0  Empty

3. cfdisk

Cfdisk is a linux partition editor with an interactive user interface based on ncurses. It can be used to list out the existing partitions as well as create or modify them.

Here is an example of how to use cfdisk to list the partitions.

linux cfdisk disk partitions

Cfdisk works with one partition at a time. So if you need to see the details of a particular disk, then pass the device name to cfdisk.

$ sudo cfdisk /dev/sdb

4. parted

Parted is yet another command line utility to list out partitions and modify them if needed.
Here is an example that lists out the partition details.

$ sudo parted -l
Model: ATA ST3500418AS (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      32.3kB  75.2GB  75.2GB  primary   ntfs            boot
 2      75.2GB  500GB   425GB   extended                  lba
 5      75.2GB  180GB   105GB   logical   ntfs
 6      180GB   285GB   105GB   logical   ext4
 7      285GB   287GB   2047MB  logical   linux-swap(v1)
 8      287GB   500GB   213GB   logical   ext4
Model: Sony Storage Media (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 4049MB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  4049MB  4048MB  primary  fat32        boot

5. df

Df is not a partitioning utility, but prints out details about only mounted file systems. The list generated by df even includes file systems that are not real disk partitions.

Here is a simple example

$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda6        97G   43G   49G  48% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev            3.9G  8.0K  3.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs           799M  1.7M  797M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            3.9G   12M  3.9G   1% /run/shm
none            100M   20K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sda8       196G  154G   33G  83% /media/13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1
/dev/sda5        98G   37G   62G  38% /media/4668484A68483B47

Only the file systems that start with a /dev are actual devices or partitions.
Use grep to filter out real hard disk partitions/file systems.

$ df -h | grep ^/dev
/dev/sda6        97G   43G   49G  48% /
/dev/sda8       196G  154G   33G  83% /media/13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1
/dev/sda5        98G   37G   62G  38% /media/4668484A68483B47

To display only real disk partitions along with partition type, use df like this

$ df -h --output=source,fstype,size,used,avail,pcent,target -x tmpfs -x devtmpfs
Filesystem     Type     Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda6      ext4      97G   43G   49G  48% /
/dev/sda8      ext4     196G  154G   33G  83% /media/13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1
/dev/sda5      fuseblk   98G   37G   62G  38% /media/4668484A68483B47

Note that df shows only the mounted file systems or partitions and not all.

6. pydf

Improved version of df, written in python. Prints out all the hard disk partitions in a easy to read manner.

$ pydf
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use%             Mounted on
/dev/sda6   96G  43G   48G 44.7 [####.....] /
/dev/sda8  195G 153G   32G 78.4 [#######..] /media/13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1
/dev/sda5   98G  36G   61G 37.1 [###......] /media/4668484A68483B47

Again, pydf is limited to showing only the mounted file systems.

7. lsblk

Lists out all the storage blocks, which includes disk partitions and optical drives. Details include the total size of the partition/block and the mount point if any.
Does not report the used/free disk space on the partitions.

$ lsblk
sda      8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0    70G  0 part
├─sda2   8:2    0     1K  0 part
├─sda5   8:5    0  97.7G  0 part /media/4668484A68483B47
├─sda6   8:6    0  97.7G  0 part /
├─sda7   8:7    0   1.9G  0 part [SWAP]
└─sda8   8:8    0 198.5G  0 part /media/13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1
sdb      8:16   1   3.8G  0 disk
└─sdb1   8:17   1   3.8G  0 part
sr0     11:0    1  1024M  0 rom

If there is no MOUNTPOINT, then it means that the file system is not yet mounted. For cd/dvd this means that there is no disk.

Lsblk is capbale of displaying more information about each device like the label and model. Check out the man page for more information

Display UUID and Model of device

The "-o" option can be used to specify the columns to display. The following example shows the UUID and model name column along with other columns.

PATH         SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT                   UUID                                 MODEL
/dev/loop0  96.5M  1 loop /snap/core/9436
/dev/loop1 229.6M  1 loop /snap/atom/257
/dev/loop2    55M  1 loop /snap/core18/1880
/dev/loop3  54.8M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1502
/dev/loop4 156.2M  1 loop /snap/chromium/1213
/dev/loop5    55M  1 loop /snap/core18/1754
/dev/loop6  62.1M  1 loop /snap/gtk-common-themes/1506
/dev/loop7 230.6M  1 loop /snap/atom/258
/dev/loop8 158.4M  1 loop /snap/chromium/1229
/dev/loop9    97M  1 loop /snap/core/9665
/dev/sda   465.8G  0 disk                                                                   Samsung_Portable_SSD_T5
/dev/sda1    420G  0 part                              757dcceb-3e17-4ca8-9ba1-b0cf68fb0134
/dev/sdb   111.8G  0 disk                                                                   Samsung_SSD_840_EVO_120GB
/dev/sdb1   95.4G  0 part /                            19d84ceb-8046-4f8d-a85a-cda49515d92c
/dev/sdc   111.8G  0 disk                                                                   Samsung_SSD_850_EVO_120GB
/dev/sdc1   95.8G  0 part                              f41b21a7-e8be-48ac-b10d-cad641bf709b

The above output has all the necessary information about all the storage devices present on the system or connected via usb. You can see the device name, size, mount point, uuid, model name etc.

This is the best command to see all information about storage devices together in one place.

8. blkid

Prints the block device (partitions and storage media) attributes like uuid and file system type. Does not report the space on the partitions.

$ sudo blkid
/dev/sda1: UUID="5E38BE8B38BE6227" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda5: UUID="4668484A68483B47" TYPE="ntfs"
/dev/sda6: UUID="6fa5a72a-ba26-4588-a103-74bb6b33a763" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda7: UUID="94443023-34a1-4428-8f65-2fb02e571dae" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sda8: UUID="13f35f59-f023-4d98-b06f-9dfaebefd6c1" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sdb1: UUID="08D1-8024" TYPE="vfat"

9. hwinfo

The hwinfo is a general purpose hardware information tool and can be used to print out the disk and partition list.

The output however does not print details about each partition like the above commands.

$ hwinfo --block --short
  /dev/sda             ST3500418AS
  /dev/sdb             Sony Storage Media
  /dev/sda1            Partition
  /dev/sda2            Partition
  /dev/sda5            Partition
  /dev/sda6            Partition
  /dev/sda7            Partition
  /dev/sda8            Partition
  /dev/sdb1            Partition
  /dev/sr0             SONY DVD RW DRU-190A

To learn more about the Hwinfo command check this post:
Check hardware information on Linux with hwinfo command

10. Inxi

Inxi is a very useful command line program that can display information about various hardware components present on the system. To display information about the disk drives and storage devices use the "-D" option with inxi.

$ inxi -D -xx
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 689.34 GiB used: 106.73 GiB (15.5%)
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: SSD 840 EVO 120GB size: 111.79 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: S1D5NSCF471738E
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Samsung model: SSD 850 EVO 120GB size: 111.79 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: S21SNXAGC12532L
           ID-3: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Samsung model: Portable SSD T5 size: 465.76 GiB serial: S50PNV0M605705E

The "-x" option prints extra available information.
The output from inxi does not contains details like UUID and mount directory.

To learn more about the inxi command check out this post:
Inxi is an amazing tool to check hardware information on Linux


The output of parted is concise and complete to get an overview of different partitions, file system on them and the total space. Pydf and df are limited to showing only mounted file systems and the same on them.

Fdisk and Sfdisk show a whole lot of information that can take sometime to interpret whereas, Cfdisk is an interactive partitioning tool that display a single device at a time.

So try them out, and do not forget to comment below.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

46 thoughts on “10 Commands to Check Disk Partitions and Disk Space on Linux

    1. Silver Moon Post author

      Hardinfo is a GUI tool that shows hardware information including disk drives and partitions..
      On ubuntu it can be installed with the following command

      sudo apt-get install hardinfo

      Another tool is gparted.
      It is a partition management tool, but can also be used to list the disk drives and partitions

  1. Spencer

    Spent over an hour reading websites trying to figure out 1 of the many commands you have here….. THANK YOU!!!!!

  2. Jan

    Very good. Lot of useful commands together.
    Here my two cents.
    Mostly you also want to know how your system boots.

    cat /proc/cmdline

    cat /etc/fstab

    If system refuse to boot one can use a live system as ‘Parted magic’ Got a lot of tools to get info about your disks
    If UUID is not correct for some reason.
    Try to mount the boot disk and to edit the files required for boot

  3. Abdely

    Hi there!
    Up to know, this is the most concise and pinpointing article about Linux commands I’ve ever read up to know. Thank you for this invaluable “piece of art”. Even-though, the “pydf” as well as the “hwinfo” commands didn’t work on my centOS7, I’m pretty satisfied about the outcome of your article and I will sleep tonight less ignorant about partitioning /dev.
    P.S. Could you explain to me why the aforementioned commands didn’t work?

  4. Jay

    Excellent and useful article. I think “lsblk” is useful in understading setup and also “parted -l |grep -i disk” I found handy! :)
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Doodloo

      You could go with “df -h”, the -h flag standing for a “human readable” switch. The df program shows both the /dev entry and it’s mount point.

  5. Rob

    Example of what I mean:
    -a parted with available space column (like pydf or df) or
    -a pydf (or a df) that gives you information about unmounted partitions, too

    Thanks for your time and sharing your knowledge.

  6. Rob

    Really nice. It touchs a lot of possibilities.
    I’m relatively new to Gnu/Linux, but I’m wondering for a while… why there isn’t out there a single command, util or whatever you want, that gives you all the info in a compact way?
    I’m a very newbie and amateur programmer (not a real programmer) and I don’t have the skills to try to do it by myself. But (perhaps because that) I can’t understand why somebody hasn’t done it yet.
    It’s a pity.

  7. Edzell

    Very useful, but, going a bit off-topic (sorry) …..
    My system won’t boot (“No such device” etc.) I suspect some UUID conflict in fstab. How can I use the live DVD to see/edit fstab – the suspect one on my Mint partition, not the one the DVD uses?

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