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Check HDD Health on Linux

HDD is (currently, used to be) one of the most crucial parts of a computer. It works as the BULK data storage. With the help of a number of magnetic disks, motors, and sensors, your HDD is always keeping your system and ultimately, yourself happy while tolerating all the TORTURES you’re putting on your system.

Jokes aside, HDD health is a really big concern. It’s because HDDs don’t die in just an instant. They continue to wear out gradually over time and one day, you may have just lost some of your oldest photos or your favorite movie collection or even worse, your important office document!

Before that happens, continue to keep checking your HDD status. If you’re on Linux, it’s time to get these tools right now!

Checking HDD health

For checking your HDD health, consider these tools in your arsenal. They will easily give you all the necessary info about your HDD.

  • Smartmontools

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All the modern storage devices have an “S.M.A.R.T.” feature. It reports a lot of info to the operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS etc.). These info helps to verify the integrity and health of the HDD.

For installing Smartmontools, run the following command(s) according to your Linux distro.

  • Ubuntu
sudo apt install smartmontools

  • Debian
sudo apt-get install smartmontools
  • Fedora
sudo dnf install smartmontools
  • OpenSUSE
sudo zypper install smartmontools
  • Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S smartmontools
  • Generic Linux instruction

Download the latest source code of Smartmontools.

After the download is complete, run the following commands –

tar -xvzf smartmontools-6.6.tar.gz

cd smartmontools-6.6/



sudo make install

Using Smartmontools

Fire up a terminal and run the following command –




Find out your target HDD and take a note of it.

Now, run the following command –

# “X” represents your HDD’s label name

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sdX

Here’s the part you need to keep your eye on.

You can also export the report using the following command line –

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sdX >> ~/Desktop/drive-report.txt
  • GNOME Disks

This is also another handy tool to keep at your hand. It’s a part of the GNOME Software family with a clean, nice and fluid interface. It’s the best choice for those preferring GUI more than the CLI.

Installing GNOME Disks

Run the following command(s) according to your Linux distro –

  • Ubuntu
sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility

  • Debian
sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility
  • Fedora
sudo dnf install gnome-disk-utility
  • OpenSUSE
sudo zypper install gnome-disk-utility
  • Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S gnome-disk-utility

Using GNOME Disks for HDD health

Start GNOME Disks.

From the left panel, select your connected HDD. Then, press “Ctrl + S”.

Here, you’ll have all the S.M.A.R.T. information of the HDD.

You can find out all the explanations of all the S.M.A.R.T. info here.


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