If enter the following commands on the command line it works as expected and spins down in the specified time.

sudo hdparm -S 120 /dev/sda

sudo hdparm -S 120 /dev/sdb

Putting this in /etc/hdparm.conf does nothing however. The disks just stay spun up indefinitely.

command_line {
    hdparm -S 120 /dev/sda
    hdparm -S 120 /dev/sdb

I'm running Ubuntu Server 16.04.2


Ubuntu 16.04's hdparm version is "9.48" and if you have a look at its configuration file man page: man hdparm.conf you will find out that:

Blocks beginning with the keyword 'command_line' instead of a device identifier are no longer supported for backwards compatibility by this version of hdparm.

So the correct configuration file should looks like:

/dev/sda {
    spindown_time = 120

/dev/sdb {
    spindown_time = 120
| improve this answer | |
  • Ah! That did it. Thanks. Also I never knew there were man pages for things other than programs, Learn something new all the time. – Geo R Jun 18 '17 at 22:14

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