Are there any SD Card diagnostic utility programs out there for Ubuntu? I would like to run tests on my SD card to check capacity, write speed etc. I have one for windows but I am looking for a Linux flavor and hope to find some source code.

4 Answers 4


Look for Disk Utility on you dash (as an option press Alt+F2 and type palimpsest)

enter image description here

Click on the disk you want information from, to test it click on Benchmark

enter image description here

To start benchmark, select Read only or Read/Write benchmark

enter image description here

  • 5
    "disk utility" is the nice title for palimpsest
    – cweiske
    Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 21:02
  • Hey, there are screenshots! Cant miss those! :) Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 21:07
  • On a german ubuntu - like mine - looking for "disk utility" does not yield any results.
    – cweiske
    Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 21:31
  • fair enough, solved. Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 21:35
  • 7
    On 13.04 (raring) palimpsest was replaced with gnome-disks ("Disks" when you access it from the menu). The instructions are the same as posted by Bruno Pereira.
    – user181081
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 18:24

For Ubuntu 13.04 and later...

From the dash

Find <code>disks</code> in the launcher

From the command line



Select the disk you wish to test. enter image description here Find the menu in the top right and select Benchmark...

enter image description here

A window will appear. Click Start Benchmark... to see: enter image description here

I left the defaults and clicked Start Benchmarking.... It will run for a while, building the chart over time. enter image description here You can see that my new SD card's read rate is around 7 MB/s, while the write rate is only slightly over 2 MB/s.

The model shown here is a SanDisk Ultra SDXC with an advertised speed of up to 30 MB/s. As you can see, the transfer rate is not as advertised.


Reported Capacity

$ df -h /media/sdcard

Real capacity and write speed

$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/sdcard/testfile bs=10M
1xx+0 records in 1xx+0 records out 9xx bytes (9.4 GiB) copied, 34.xx seconds, 271 MB/s

dd will fill up all the space. Remove the testfile afterwards.

  • What if his sd card is only 1Gb??? Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 20:54
  • 2
    df will reveal the capacity reported by the SD card, but that may not be the true capacity. dd if=/dev/null does nothing because /dev/null is always empty. I think you mean dd if=/dev/zero.
    – Zaz
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 20:53
  • Or cat /dev/zero > /media/sdcard/testfile
    – Zaz
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 21:06

There is also f3 (Repository, doc), that specifically aims at detecting fraudulent cards (f3 stands for "fight flash fraud").

It was suggested here first.

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