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Smartmontools Documentation

Table of Contents

  1. Manpages
  2. Tutorials
  3. SMART Testing
  4. SMART Attributes
    1. Our Collection On Vendor Specific Issues
    2. External Information Resources

In this section we provide documentation upon basic and general understanding of smartmontools. Have a look on the FAQ Page too, where you find information concerning more specific issues.


If you are having trouble understanding the output of smartctl or smartd, please first read the manual pages installed on your system:

  man 8 smartctl
  man 8 smartd
  man 5 smartd.conf

Here are on-line versions of the smartmontools man pages:

smartctl manual page
smartd manual page
smartd.conf manual page

Note that these are the manual pages for the current version of smartmontools in the developers SVN repository; they might not correspond to the (possibly older) version of smartmontools installed on your system. So the manual pages installed on your system should be regarded as definitive for your installation.


Monitoring Hard Drive Health on Linux with smartmontools ("Random Bits", Jan 2009)
Step by step for beginners. Clear instruction with very nice layout :-)

Monitoring Hard Disks with SMART (Linux Journal, Jan 2004)

Soyez Smart (Francais) from GNU Linux Magazine France n°68

Vorbeugen statt Crash (Deutsch) from LinuxUser 2004/10

Crash Prevention (English version of above) from Linux Magazine Dec 2004

SMART Testing

- Types of tests

Offline test (Data collection)
Short Selftest
Long Selftest
Conveyance Selftest (ATA only)
Selective Selftest (ATA only)

- Handling and configuration

Automate selftests with smartd
Special options for powermanagement

SMART Attributes

Different vendors, different interpretation.. The raw SMART attributes (temperature, power-on lifetime, and so on) are stored in vendor-specific structures. Sometime these are strange. Hitachi disks (at least some of them) store power-on lifetime in minutes, rather than hours. IBM disks (at least some of them) have three temperatures stored in the raw structure, not just one. And so on.
If you find strange output, or unknown attributes, please look in the below listed pages with vendor specific info.
When you don't find an answer to your question there, send an email to smartmontools-support and we'll help you try and figure it out.

Our Collection On Vendor Specific Issues

IBM (Hitachi)
Western Digital

External Information Resources

SMART Attribute Annex], Jim Hatfield (Seagate Technology) to T13 Technical Committee on September 30, 2005.

Wikipedia about SMART attributes

Wikipedia articles about SMART::


If you'd like to know more about SMART, the following references may be helpful.

All content in this wiki is published under GNU GPL.

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