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We all know that SSDs have a limited predetermined life span. So the question for me is how do I check in (Ubuntu) Linux what the current health status of my SSD is? And maybe an estimation how long it will take?

Graphical tool is preferred, but command line tool would also be fine.

I'm using Xubuntu 12.04 LTS

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normally you should not worry about health of an SSD. It is said that an SSD lives twice longer than an EIDE - or SATA - disk. –  dschinn1001 Jul 27 '13 at 13:34
Can you add the output of smartctl -i /dev/sda to your question? –  Mitch Jul 27 '13 at 13:43
@dschinn1001 Not exactly, that only applies to recent SSDs. First and Second generation SSD are known to have limited lifespan according to the amount of write operations to the disk. –  João André Jul 27 '13 at 15:05
Coming from old school spinning drives, I used tools for testing HD that wrote and read all the disk a few times, which took a few hours. It seems that none of the tools mentioned use such an approach? Does such an approach not make sense for SSD? Well, then it seems that the SSD logs it's own experiences, and can then tell if it is ailing. Have I understood this correctly? –  Mads Skjern May 27 at 10:12

6 Answers 6

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Install Gnome Disk Utility and check SMART Data and Tests for wear-leveling-count or similar. The higher that number (%, from 1 to 100), the more "used up" your SSD is, which means you are more likely to have problems. But if you have a recent SSD, you need not worry about it.

Installed via

 sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

start it via

either menu->Settings->Disk utility

or via command line

sudo palimpsest
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Do you mean "Gnome Disk Utility" ? –  dschinn1001 Jul 27 '13 at 20:41
Yes, I wasn't sure about the name because they changed it in 12.10 –  João André Jul 29 '13 at 0:51
palimpsest is not recognized by Ubuntu 14.04, although gnome-disk-utility is installed. I also don't see a disk utility in settings (gear icon). palimpsest is an awful name, does the name vary with user language (e.g. english vs. something else). –  Paul May 9 at 17:59
@Paul "Palimpsest" is an English word referring to a page of text that has been scraped or wiped clean and written over. So it's an appropriate name, although a bit obscure. –  augurar Aug 25 at 23:18
@augurar Thank you. I was not aware of it. –  Paul Aug 25 at 23:20

to check the health of a SSD

For Ubuntu, Mint, or Debian based distributions

# apt-get install smartmontools

The Media_Wearout_Indicator is what you are looking for. For 100 means your ssd has 100% life, the lower number means less life left.

# smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep Media_Wearout_Indicator

To show your sdd information

# smartctl -a /dev/sda

You can read the complete article at Nam Huy Linux Blog - How to check SSD life left on linux http://namhuy.net/1024/how-to-check-ssd-life-left.html

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So, if mine has value 199 - 199, is it credible ? –  badfoo Jan 22 '14 at 20:32
That property does not appear in my SSD. Maybe I should look at Wear_Leveling_Count instead? as in: sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep Wear_Leveling_Count EDIT: Confirmed by the response below: askubuntu.com/a/381779/221115 –  Jose Gómez Nov 14 '14 at 20:41

If you don't have an Intel-brand SSD: READ THIS.

Watch out !! -- I was blithely mislead by 'smartmontools.' I have a Samsung SSD, and the smartmonitor/'smartctl' tool happily misreported that '233' (hex 'E9') attribute was 'Media_Wearout_Indicator'; in fact -- no, for Samsung (and other manufacturers) it is up to entirely different. This and other forum postings, stack-exchange question/answers, and power-user blogs I found seem to be 'Intel focused,' with only vague hints that 'it may vary.' (Versus any suggestion that you need to watch out for wrong and erroneous labeling of the attribute by smartmontools).

As I was preparing to copy my SSD to a new harddrive I'd bought (because of what smartmontools had told me), I booted to windows (I have a dual boot system), to learn something about SSD's from what the windows-only Samsung tool 'Samsung_Magician_v43.exe' had to tell me about my drive -- it was shockingly uninformative.

After what's been hours of digging - I've finally been able to run the windows only tools: hddgaurdian - ' code.google.com/p/hddguardian', and then also CrystalDiskInfo: Surprise! both tools independently tell me my Samsung SSD is 'just fine' (hdd guardian says '5 stars' and Crystal Disk "98% OK"). By contrast the smartctl tool explicitly labeled the attribute with 'decimal- 233 / 'hex- E9' as "Media Wearout Indicator" -- and told me its value was "1" or 1% -- an indicator of (the risk of) pending failure. To be as sure as I can, I dug and dug and was finally able to locate at least something from Samsung official: " http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/us/download/07_Communicating_With_Your_SSD.pdf" The document indeed implies that the attribute 'hex E9' /'decimal '233' is not used by Samsung the same way. ( Samsung: I'm very disappointed, please either fix your official software-tool, or at least make it clear that you do not provide wear out indication information!)

Further - if you have neither an Intel SSD nor Samsung SSD - be warned, this info does seem to vary across manufacturers. ( e.g. see the attribute label chart on 'code.google.com/p/hddguardian/wiki/about_reliability' for the only useful indication of the degree of variability that I found. )

The so-what: If you don't have an Intel SSD-- do not be mislead by the false attribute name labels provided by smartmonitor. Perhaps it will improve in the future, but the version installed by default for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (April, 2014) was total fail. Instead of telling you it 'doesn't know' -- smartctl just mislabeled the attribute. I did not find another tool for linux that made the 'correct' information transparent or clear.

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Props for including the link to Samsungs documentation of their SMART attributes. I have no idea what those other applications you mentioned are or how useful they are, but I would strongly recommend you simply keep an eye on the Attribute #5 "Reallocated Sector Count" as this will be a good indicator of how close your SSD is to failure, as once it runs out of spare sectors it has to use to replace the ones that go bad then you'll be nearing EOL on your SSD –  Maks Jul 18 '14 at 7:01

Wear_Leveling_Count is the right attribute to track. However, like the other attributes, 100 is the BEST value and 0 is the WORST. Think of it as "percent life remaining".

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It may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but this is most likely very wrong. On this page explaining micron (aka. crucial, as in "crucial m4", etc.) codes, this one is "Average erase count of all good blocks." That's a number that will increase with use. If you do some reading about wear leveling, you'll realize it should reach at least into the tens of thousands before the drive is defunct (i.e., you probably won't live to see it die this way). –  goldilocks Dec 14 '14 at 15:05

The best way to check the health of an SSD is to follow the manufacturers recommendations for doing so. As these vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and may change over time, it's a good idea to check with your drives manufacturer if you have concerns. Based on MTBF ratings (the JEDEC JESD218A standard defines the method) provided by most manufacturers an SSD should last well over a million hours without a problem.

I have several of these covering several manufacturers. I can guarantee that the SMART attributes vary between manufacturers. For comparison purposes here's an example from an OCZ Revodrive3 X2 and smart data from a Corsair F40 unit along with a discussion regarding how unreliable this data is.

Since all devices fail eventually, the important thing is that you back up your data regularly. This provides peace of mind that your data is safe while you wait (likely for several years) for your SSD to fail. As costs drop and capacities rise, it's more likely that you'll replace an SSD due to space contraints than to failure. (In my experience 10x more likely). I would simply backup regularly and not worry about it.


Experience, http://www.hardcoreware.net/mtbf-ssd-what-does-it-mean-for-you/

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Using Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

Call via command-line (renamed from palimsest):


See also https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-disk-utility/+bug/1041665

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