How to test the hard drive speed in ubuntu

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How to test the hard drive speed in ubuntu
Hard drives have varying file transfer performance, depending on their rotation speed and how old they are. (hard disk in funzione image by Michele Campini from Fotolia.com)

The Ubuntu Linux operating system includes a variety of standard Linux commands, including the "hdparm" command. Among other things, the "hdparm" command tests a hard drive's speed and displays it in megabytes per second. Testing a hard drive's speed lets you know how well it's performing and which of your hard drives is faster. Test a hard drive's speed by running the "hdparm" command in a Terminal.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open a Terminal by clicking "Applications," "Accessories" and "Terminal."

  2. 2

    List the hard drives in your system by typing "sudo fdisk -l" into the Terminal window and pressing "Enter." Authenticate yourself by typing your password and pressing "Enter" when prompted. The hard drives in your system are displayed under the "Device" column of the fdisk command's output.

  3. 3

    Test a hard drive's speed by typing "sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sdX" into the Terminal window, replacing "/dev/sdX" with a hard drive device, for example "/dev/sda" for the first hard drive, and pressing "Enter." Hdparm tests your hard drive and outputs the hard drive's speed a few seconds later.

Tips and warnings

  • Test multiple hard drives' speeds at once by listing them at the end of the "hdparm" command. For example, test the speeds of the first two hard drives in your computer by typing "sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sda /dev/sdb" into the Terminal window and pressing "Enter."

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