Jun 25, 2024 4 min read

How to Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04

Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04 with our step-by-step tutorial. It is a tool that allows you to monitor and manage SMART information of devices.

Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04
Table of Contents


Before we discuss how to install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04, let's first understand-What is SmartCTL?

SmartCTL (Smartmontools) is a command-line tool that allows you to monitor and manage SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) information of storage devices.

This tutorial will walk you through the process of installing SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04.


  1. Monitoring Drive Health: SmartCTL enables you to monitor the health status of your storage devices, providing critical information on impending failures or errors.
  2. Prevent Data Loss: By detecting drive issues early, SmartCTL can help you prevent data loss by identifying failing drives in advance.
  3. Assessing Drive Performance: SmartCTL provides detailed information about drive attributes, allowing you to assess performance characteristics and identify potential bottlenecks.
  4. Scheduled Testing: SmartCTL allows you to schedule periodic tests to check for read errors, bad sectors, or other potential issues that may affect drive performance.
  5. Compatibility: SmartCTL supports a wide range of storage devices, including hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs), ensuring compatibility across different hardware.

Section 1: Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04

Step 1: System Package Update Before SmartCTL Installation

When setting up any new software, it’s best practice first to update the existing system packages. This ensures that your system is equipped with the latest software and includes vital security patches that protect your system. To facilitate this, we will use the apt package handling utility, a standard tool in Ubuntu. Run the following commands in your terminal:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

sudo here is used to grant administrator privileges for the execution of the following commands. It’s a vital command that ensures secure management of administrative access.

Step 2: Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04 via APT

With your system updated, you are now ready to install SmartCTL. SmartCTL is part of the smartmontools package in Ubuntu. The smartmontools package provides two utility programs (smartctl and smartd) to control and monitor storage systems using the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (SMART) built into most modern ATA, SCSI and NVMe disks.

To get this package installed, use the apt install command followed by the package name as shown below:

sudo apt install smartmontools

Upon successful execution of this command, SmartCTL, along with the rest of the smartmontools package, will be installed on your Ubuntu system. You are now ready to harness the capabilities of SmartCTL in maintaining the health of your hard drives.

Section 2: SmartCTL Basic Commands on Ubuntu 22.04

Verifying SmartCTL Version on Ubuntu

Now that you have SmartCTL installed, ensuring the installation is successful and knowing which version you’re working with is paramount. The following command will serve this purpose:

smartctl --version

This command will return the installed version of SmartCTL, confirming its correct installation on your system.

Fetching Basic Drive Information

Understanding the specifics of your drives, such as model, serial number, and firmware version, can be valuable for future reference. This can be accomplished by invoking the following command:

sudo smartctl -i /dev/sda

Make sure to replace /dev/sda with your own drive’s device identifier.

Activating SMART Monitoring

Activating SMART monitoring on your drives will enable ongoing observation of drive health. To turn this feature on for a particular drive, use the following command:

sudo smartctl -s on /dev/sda

Remember to replace /dev/sda with your target drive’s identifier.

Executing Self-Tests

SmartCTL allows you to run self-tests on your drives, which is crucial in pinpointing potential issues. For a quick, short self-test, run:

sudo smartctl -t short /dev/sda

Alternatively, for a more thorough long self-test, use:

sudo smartctl -t long /dev/sda

Again, replace /dev/sda with your drive’s device identifier in these commands.

Interpreting SMART Attributes

SMART attributes provide insight into the current health status and performance of your drives. To list these attributes and their values, execute:

sudo smartctl -A /dev/sda

Make sure to replace /dev/sda with your own drive’s identifier. The output will list various attributes related to drive health and performance, providing critical data for preventive action and problem diagnosis.

Comprehensive Drive Report

For a more holistic view of your drive’s health and performance, generating a detailed report can be beneficial. This can be achieved using:

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda

Remember to replace /dev/sda with your own drive’s identifier. This command returns a comprehensive report including SMART attributes, self-test logs, and error logs. This report can help identify potential drive issues and inform the necessary remedial steps.

How to Remove SmartCTL From Ubuntu 22.04

Sometimes, you might find that you no longer require SmartCTL on your system. In such a case, the uninstallation process is straightforward and quick. Utilize the command below to remove the smartmontools package, which will consequently uninstall SmartCTL:

sudo apt remove smartmontools

Executing this command will prompt your system to remove the smartmontools package, and as a result, SmartCTL will be removed from your Ubuntu system.

FAQs to Install SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04

What is SMART technology? 

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is a system built into storage devices that monitors various drive attributes and reports potential issues.

Can I monitor external USB drives with SmartCTL? 

Yes, SmartCTL supports monitoring of both internal and external storage devices connected via USB.

How often should I run SMART tests? 

It is recommended to schedule SMART tests periodically, depending on the specific use case and level of criticality of the data stored on the drives.

Can SmartCTL predict drive failures?

While SmartCTL provides valuable information about drive health and early warnings of potential issues, it cannot predict drive failures with 100% accuracy.

Does SmartCTL work with SSDs? 

Yes, SmartCTL supports monitoring and managing SSDs. However, some advanced features may not be available for all SSD models.

Can I use SmartCTL on other Linux distributions?

Yes, SmartCTL is available for various Linux distributions and can be installed using their respective package managers.

Can SmartCTL fix drive issues? 

SmartCTL is primarily a monitoring and reporting tool. It does not have built-in repair or fix capabilities. It is recommended to consult hardware manufacturers or service providers for drive repair or replacement.


We navigated installing, using, and uninstalling SmartCTL on Ubuntu 22.04 in this tutorial. As a comprehensive tool for drive monitoring, SmartCTL proves invaluable for system administrators and other tech-oriented users.

If you have any queries, feel free to ask them in comments section and, we would be happy to respond to them....

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to DevOps Tutorials - VegaStack.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.