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smartctl is a command line tool for controlling the SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) features of hard disks and SSDs, and a component of Smartmontools. The objective of SMART[1] is to monitor the reliability of hard disks and SSDs, as well as to give the ability to run certain drive tests. The Smartmontools[2] include the command line tool smartctl and the smartd Daemon. The Smartmontools are available in a wide selection of our most popular operating systems (Darwin (Mac OS X), Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OS/2, Cygwin, QNX, eComStation, Windows). The article, however, refers to the Linux version.


Smartmontools is available in the repositories of many Linux distributions. For Ubuntu, install the package with the following command:

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

Now smartctl is ready for use.


Before using smartctl, check to see if the hard disk in use supports S.M.A.R.T.:

sudo smartctl -i /dev/sdc

The following data should be present in the output:

SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

In case SMART support is available, but for some reason is not activated, try using

sudo smartctl -s on /dev/sdc

to assist with activation.

Viewing the SMART Attributes

To display the SMART attributes of the hard disk, perform the following command:

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sdc

Example output:

smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.5.0-39-generic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen,

Model Family:     Western Digital RE4 Serial ATA
Device Model:     WDC WD5003ABYX-01WERA1
Serial Number:    WD-WMAYP5453158
LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 00385d526
Firmware Version: 01.01S02
User Capacity:    500,107,862,016 bytes [500 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Tue Sep  3 09:05:27 2013 CEST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82)	Offline data collection activity
					was completed without error.
					Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0)	The previous self-test routine completed
					without error or no self-test has ever 
					been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection: 		( 8160) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: 			 (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
					Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
					Suspend Offline collection upon new
					Offline surface scan supported.
					Self-test supported.
					Conveyance Self-test supported.
					Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003)	Saves SMART data before entering
					power-saving mode.
					Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01)	Error logging supported.
					General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time: 	 (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: 	 (  83) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time: 	 (   5) minutes.
SCT capabilities: 	       (0x303f)	SCT Status supported.
					SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
					SCT Feature Control supported.
					SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   144   143   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       3775
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       28
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   098   098   000    Old_age   Always       -       2090
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       27
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       24
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       3
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   117   103   000    Old_age   Always       -       26
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%      2089         -
# 2  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%      2087         -
# 3  Short offline       Completed without error       00%      2084         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

Important SMART Attributes

The following parameters may provide information concerning an impending hard drive failure.

  • Reallocated Sectors Count: Number of sectors that have been reallocated due to read errors (remaped).
  • Spin Retry Count: Number of attempts that have been required ot bring the spindel to operating speed.
  • Reallocation Event Count: Number of remaps that have been carried out both (successful and unsuccessful).
  • Current Pending Sector Count: Number of sectors waiting for remapping.
  • Offline_Uncorrectable: Number of uncorrectable errors when accessing (read/write) to sectors.

Performing of Tests

For information regarding performing SMART tests, see the following article: SMART tests with smartctl.


  1. S.M.A.R.T. (
  2. Smartmontools (

Related articles

Analyzing a Faulty Hard Disk using Smartctl
SMART tests with smartctl
Smartmontools with MegaRAID Controller