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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT 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
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"
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 disk: /dev/sda ST3500418AS /dev/sdb Sony Storage Media partition: /dev/sda1 Partition /dev/sda2 Partition /dev/sda5 Partition /dev/sda6 Partition /dev/sda7 Partition /dev/sda8 Partition /dev/sdb1 Partition cdrom: /dev/sr0 SONY DVD RW DRU-190A
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.