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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monitor and Inspect your Hard-Disk easily with GSmartControl

smartctl is a tool that comes with smartmontools package and enables one to control and monitor storage systems using the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (SMART) built into most modern ATA and SCSI hard-disks. This allows one to access the state of hard disk , it's level of degradation and monitor other parameters of hard disk, in addition to this it allows one to perform test to acertain this information. GSmartControl is a GUI frontend of this tool and allows one to find this information in a simplified way.

Since GSmartControl is only a front end to smartctl , we need to install first the smartmontools package, which can be easily done by issuing the following command in the terminal window(Application -> Accessories -> Terminal ):

sudo apt-get install smartmontools

To check whether smartmontools and inparticular smartctl has been installed properly , issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo smartctl -i /dev/sda1

Note : Replace sda1 with your hard disk device file

This should show detailed information about your hard disk, for example in my case I got the following output:
Output of smartctl on my system.

Once smartmontools is installed and functioning we can proceed with installing GSmartControl. GSmartControl is presently not in official Ubuntu repositories so we would need to download appropriate debian package and install them manually.

To download and install GSmartControl issue the following command in the terminal window :

Or, if you want you can download package from this location. Now, to install GSmartControl issue the following command:
dpkg -i gsmartcontrol_0.8.3-0~getdeb1_i386.deb
To run GSmartControl issue the following command in terminal window:
sudo gsmartcontrol
You will get a window like this , click on the hard disk you want to find information about.

Now, GSmartControl has a number of different tabs where by you can know about your Hard-Disk , and even run tests on your Hard Disk. If you feel lost out hold you cursor over tab,information anything and GSmartControl is smart enough to show you detailed information in form of popup explaining you what that option,attribute etc means.

smartctl is an extremely powerful tool, allowing one to perform diagnosis of SMART enabled hard disk , allowing one to know state of hard disk and take appropriate action if it is about to fail. GSmartControl simplifies this task by putting all this together in an easy to use , simple interface allowing even newbies to use this tool.

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Linux on Desktop Blog ,
(C) 2009 , Ambuj Varshney


Nikesh Jauhari said...

Good one, Detail for OpenSuse here -

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