How to List Disks in Linux Command Line

List Disks in Linux Command Line

When working with Linux systems, it is often necessary to list the available disks and drives. This can be very helpful in order to identify disks for partitioning, formatting, or mounting purposes. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to list disks in the Linux command line.

One common method is to use the fdisk command. By running the command with the -l option, you can list all the available disks and their partitions. This command will output disk information for all devices that are currently recognized by the system, including their sizes, sector counts, and IDs.

Another useful command for listing disks in Linux is lsblk. This command provides a more succinct list of available drives, including all storage devices like disks and USB drives. By default, lsblk will output information like the disk name, size, and the filesystem type.

Overall, there are many different ways to list disks in a Linux command line interface. Whether you prefer to use fdisk, lsblk, or another method entirely, knowing how to quickly access this information is essential for a variety of system administration tasks.

Check Available Disks

As we begin to explore the Linux command-line interface, it’s important to know how to check for available disks. Whether you need to mount a new device, or simply want to check the available storage options, listing the drives on your Linux system is a crucial first step.

There are a few methods to list disks in Linux. One of the most common methods is to use the “fdisk” utility which can display the number of disks and partitions on your Linux system. To generate a list of disks, simply run the following command:

$ sudo fdisk -l

This command will generate a list of disks available on your system along with their associated partition information. Note that this command requires root privileges, hence the use of “sudo” before the command.

Another way to list disks in Linux is by using the “lsblk” command. The “lsblk” command lists all the available block devices in the system in a tree-like structure. By default, the command lists information about all available block devices, including disks and partitions. To list all the disks attached to your system, enter the following command:


This command will display the disk name, file system type, size, mount point, and label for all disks attached to your system.

Using either approach, you should now be able to see a list of disks available on your Linux system. By documenting this information, you can effectively manage your storage and devices when working within the Linux command-line interface.

In conclusion, there are several ways to list disks in Linux, such as using the “fdisk” utility or the “lsblk” command. By running these commands, you can quickly access the information you need to manage your storage devices effectively.

List Mounted Disks

When using the Linux command line, it’s important to know how to list the mounted disks. This can be helpful when you’re troubleshooting or when you’re trying to check on the status of your disks. Here’s how you can list your mounted disks in Linux:

  1. The most common command used to list mounted disks in Linux is the df command. The df command displays information about the filesystems mounted on the system. By default, it shows the disk space used and available on all currently mounted filesystems. Simply open a terminal window and type df to list the currently mounted disks.
  2. Another useful command is the mount command. The mount command shows all mounted filesystems and their parameters. You can use the -l option with the mount command to list all the mounted disks in a nice and easy-to-read format.
  3. If you want to see more detailed information about the mounted disks, you can use the lsblk command. The lsblk command lists information about all available or specified block devices. This includes information about all mounted disks, their partitions, and their sizes.

It’s important to note that the above commands may require root or superuser privileges to run. You can either run them as root or use the sudo command in front of them to run them with superuser privileges.

Display Disk Usage

When working with Linux, it’s essential to keep track of disk usage. Fortunately, Linux provides several commands for listing and displaying disk usage. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most commonly used commands for displaying disk usage in Linux.

df Command

The df command is one of the most basic commands for listing disk usage in Linux. It stands for “disk free” and provides information about the file system disk space usage. When you run the df command without any arguments, it will display the disk usage of all mounted file systems.

$ df

The output will look something like this:

Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1 104857600 53287936 51572064 51% /
/dev/sdb1 209715200 6658464 196411736 4% /media/usb1

The df command provides information about the file system’s block size and the number of blocks used and available. It also provides the mounted file system’s directory name and usage percentage.

du Command

Another useful command for displaying disk usage is the du command, which stands for “disk usage.” The du command displays the disk usage of files and directories in a specified location.

$ du /home/user

The output of the du command will provide a list of directories with their usage information:

4    /home/user/Documents
7596 /home/user/Downloads
52   /home/user/Music

Show Disk Partition Information

When working with disks on Linux, it’s important to know how to show disk partition information. There are a few commands that can be used to accomplish this: fdisk, parted, and lsblk.

1. fdisk Command

The fdisk command is a powerful tool for managing disk partitions. By default, it lists all detected disks and their partitions. To view the partition table for a specific device, simply specify the device name as an argument. For example, to display information for /dev/sda, run:

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

This will output a detailed table showing the disk partitions, their size, type, and other details.

2. parted Command

Like fdisk, the parted command is used to create, delete, resize, and manage partition tables on disks. It can be used to display the partitions on a disk as well. To do this, simply specify the device name as an argument. For instance, the following command can be utilized to display the partitions information for /dev/sda:

sudo parted /dev/sda print

3. lsblk Command

The lsblk command displays information about the available block devices on the system including their mount points. By default, it displays the output in a tree-like format. To display the device and partition information, run:


This will generate a table showing the device name, file system type, partition size, mount point, and partition label.

List Filesystem Type for Each Disk

After listing the disks and drives in Linux using the command line, the next step is to identify the filesystem type for each disk. Knowing the filesystem type is essential for managing the disks and making informed decisions about how to use them effectively.

To list the filesystem type for each disk in Linux, use the lsblk command in the terminal. This command displays information about all the available block devices, including disks, partitions, and their filesystem types.

$ lsblk -f

This command provides the filesystem information in the FSTYPE column alongside other details such as device size and mount points. The FSTYPE column shows the file system type for each device, such as ext4, xfs, or ntfs.

In addition to the filesystem type, it’s essential to determine the disk usage, health status, and other metrics for optimal disk management. Luckily, the lsblk command returns all the necessary information about available disks, including their filesystems.

By identifying the filesystem type for each disk in Linux, you can determine the appropriate commands to use for managing the disks, such as formatting, mounting, and unmounting. This knowledge also helps in troubleshooting problems related to disk accessibility or usage.

Display Disk Space Information

When managing a Linux system, it is important to know the amount of space available on the various disks. The good news is that listing the disk space information is a straightforward process in the command line.

To begin with, we need to use the df command. It stands for “disk filesystem” and is the most commonly used command to display disk space utilization information in Linux. To display all available disks and their usage information, we can simply type df in the terminal and press Enter. This will show the usage information for all the partitions including the hard disk, USB drives, CD/DVD ROM, etc.

If the output is too long and we only want to view specific information, we can use the -h option, which shows disk space information in a more human-readable format. For example, to display disk space information for just the root partition in a clear and concise manner, we can use the following command:

df -h /dev/sda1

We can also use the --output option to display disk space information in a more structured format. For instance, to display disk space information for the /dev/sda1 partition in a table format, we can use the following command:

df --output=source,size,used,avail /dev/sda1

This will display the following table:

Source Size Used Avail
/dev/sda1 20G 8G 11G

Another useful command to display disk usage and information is the lsblk (list block devices) command. It lists all available storage devices including hard drives, CD/DVD drives, and USB devices. With this command, we can easily identify the device names of the different available disks.


This will show the information for all hard drives and USB devices, along with their mount points.

View Disk I/O Statistics

After listing the disks in the Linux command-line interface, the next step is to view their I/O statistics. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to check how much traffic passes between our disks and the rest of the system in Linux.

One way to do this is to use the iostat command which is part of the sysstat package in most Linux distributions. The iostat command displays the input/output statistics for devices and partitions. We can use the following command to view the disk I/O statistics:

iostat -d -k /dev/sda

This command specifies the -d option to display device utilization statistics and the -k option to display the results in kilobytes. /dev/sda is the device file for the disk we want to check.

Once we run the command, we’ll see a detailed table displaying the following columns:

  • Device: The device or partition name which we specified in the command.
  • tps: The number of transfers per second that were issued to the device. One transfer represents one I/O operation.
  • kB_read/s: The amount of data read from the device in kilobytes per second.
  • kB_wrtn/s: The amount of data written to the device in kilobytes per second.
  • kB_read: The total amount of data read from the device.
  • kB_wrtn: The total amount of data written to the device.

Note that the iostat command can also be used to view CPU statistics and network statistics, among other things.

Another useful command to view disk I/O statistics is iotop. The iotop command displays the I/O usage of processes in real time. We can use the following command to install and run iotop:

sudo apt install iotop -y
sudo iotop

Once we run the command, we’ll see a list of processes ordered by I/O usage, with the biggest I/O users at the top of the list. This can be helpful in identifying which processes are putting the most strain on our disks. To exit iotop, simply press q.

Check Disk Health

Ensuring the health of your Linux disks (or drives) is crucial for stable and efficient system performance. Linux provides a range of tools to help check your disk’s health, including SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), a monitoring system that provides disk status information and predicts potential failures.

Here are some commands you can use to check the health of your disks:

  • smartctl: Use this command to get detailed information about your disk’s health, including the disk’s temperature, number of reallocated sectors, and total hours of operation. To use smartctl, you need to install it first using the package manager of your Linux distribution. For example, use sudo apt-get install smartmontools on Ubuntu or Debian to install it.
  • fsck: Use this command to check for and fix file system errors on your disk. It’s recommended to use the -f option with this command to force a check even if the file system seems clean. For example, use sudo fsck -f /dev/<disk> to check the file system of a specific disk.
  • badblocks: Use this command to search for and mark bad blocks on your disk. Bad blocks are physical errors on your disk that can lead to data loss. For example, use sudo badblocks -v /dev/<disk> to run a non-destructive read-write test on the disk and print verbose output.
  • iostat: Use this command to monitor your disk’s input/output statistics. It provides information about the number of reads and writes per second, the amount of data transferred, and the percentage of CPU time the disk is using. For example, use iostat -xz 1 to refresh the statistics every second and display them in an extended format.

By using these commands, you can ensure the health of your disks and get ahead of potential issues before they cause serious problems. It’s important to note that these commands can also be used regularly as part of a maintenance routine in order to keep disks running smoothly.

Manage Multipath Disks

If you have a multipath configuration, the multipath command can be used to list disks in Linux. Multipath disks provide redundancy by connecting to the same storage device through multiple paths. So if one path fails, the data can still be accessed through another path. To manage multipath disks in Linux, follow these steps:

  1. List the available multipath disks using the following command:
    multipath -ll

    This will give you a list of all the devices that are part of the multipath configuration.

  2. To display detailed information on a specific device listed, use the following command:
    multipath -ll /dev/mpathX

    Replace mpathX with the device, you want to check.

  3. To remove a device from the multipath configuration, use the following command:
    multipath -f /dev/mpathX

    This will remove the device from the multipath configuration and its paths will be disconnected.

  4. To add a device to the multipath configuration, use the following command:
    multipath -a /dev/sdX

    Replace sdX with the disk you want to add.

In summary, the multipath command is an easy way to manage multipath disks in Linux. With it, you can view detailed information, add or remove devices, and ensure redundancy in your system. With these steps, it becomes even easier to list disks in Linux, whether you call them disks or drives.


In conclusion, the ability to list disks in the Linux command line is an essential skill for any Linux user. Being able to quickly and easily identify the available drives on your system can be incredibly useful, whether you’re troubleshooting issues or simply trying to manage your storage.

The three main commands for listing disks in Linux are lsblk, fdisk -l, and blkid. Each of these commands offers a slightly different way of viewing and interacting with your system’s drives, but they all achieve the same goal of providing an overview of your storage setup.

With the lsblk command, you can view the block devices (including disks) currently attached to the system, from a more high-level perspective. The fdisk -l command, on the other hand, provides more detailed information about the disks on your system, including partition tables and sizes. Finally, the blkid command retrieves information about block devices in the system, including their file system type and unique identifier.

Overall, mastering the art of listing disks in the Linux command line will greatly improve your ability to manage and troubleshoot your system’s storage. Whether you prefer the simplicity¬† lsblk or the detailed output of fdisk -l, there is a command that will work for you. So go ahead, try out each of these disk listing commands, and find the one that best suits your needs.

Marshall Anthony is a professional Linux DevOps writer with a passion for technology and innovation. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, he has become a go-to expert for anyone looking to learn more about Linux.

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