First of all, I must say that I have successfully used Disk Utility in the past and thus I could rename my partitions.

But yesterday, I saw that my partitions are not mounted, so I used Storage Device Manager to make them to automatically mount at start up. That was a success also but I saw that the partitions are labelled as sda1 and sda7 not as they were initially. So I wonted to open again Disk Utility to rename them.

The problem is that, no matter how many times I try to open the application it just does't start at all! I don't know why it is doing this, as I have already told, I could use it in the past very well. I don't know if this "lack of reaction" of the application is the result of the actions I described before, or it is something else.

But I'm thinking of trying to start Disk Utility in terminal. Maybe I'll force it to run and solve the labelling problem. Do you have any ideas?

  • Did you change your partitions, drive attachments to SATA, or USB ports, or did you make different setting in the BIOS before you device numbers had changed?
    – Takkat
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 15:41
  • Hello! Sory to reply so late. No, I did not changed anything, especialy not in BIOS. At that time - when I have asked this question Ank Ubuntu - I was using an old HP desktop with a very weird BIOS. Apparently, the owner of the PC (it was not my PC) created a password for BIOS which he then forgotten, so I wasn't able to make any change in BIOS not even accidentally, because the "Exit and save" command wasn't working. Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 20:59
  • In case you still have this machine: you may be able to reset the BIOS password with a jumper on the Motherboard. Check with the manual.
    – Takkat
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 6:18
  • 1
    The computer may (or may not) have been sold with a manual for its motherboard. In the likely case you dont have access to it anymore you may find it online from HP. If that fails too - well, then you can try to open the computer, remove all the dust (which should be done anyway), and see if something conclusive is printed on the motherboard (CLR, CLEAR, CLR CMOS or similar). Some very old BIOSes also reset to default values when removing the backup battery for an hour or so. See also security.stackexchange.com/q/19665
    – Takkat
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 20:59
  • 1
    This is another major problem with ubuntu that still isn't solved. There is no easy way to launch disk utilities as root so you can actually mount disks... windows has had right click icon and run as administrator for over 10 years.
    – Myforwik
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 1:17

3 Answers 3


The application behind "Disk Uitility" changed in newer release versions. Hence the terminal command to call them is as follows:

For >= 12.10


For earlier versions including 12.04:


Renaming partitions can also be done with a command line tool (no need to install and run gparted):

Please note that the device and partition names /sda, resp. /sda1 ... /sdaX and /sdb /sdc .. do not depend on the disk label but are internal device numbers, depending on partition layout, SATA-port attachment, BIOS. To avoid confusion we have a unique UUID for each drive to mount it appropriately. This can be replaced by a label if needed.

  • palimpsest? Good name.
    – thavan
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 6:46

As an alternative from the disk utility you can use Gparted. It is the best tool partitioning and managing of them.

to install gparted in your PC type as

sudo apt-get install gparted

in your terminal.


Run sudo fdisk -l to list all drives in Ubuntu 21.10; it's like running diskutil list in macOS.

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