Using Smartctl, Smartd and Hddtemp on Debian

Setting up smartmontools and hddtemp packages to analyse and monitor storage devices. 

What is SMART?

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) is a supplementary component build into many modern storage devices through which devices monitor, store, and analyse the health of their operation.

Installation on Debian

# apt-get update && apt-get install smartmontools hddtemp

Basic smartctl Usage

Smartctl is a command line utility designed to perform SMART tasks such as printing the SMART self-test and error logs, enabling and disabling SMART automatic testing, and initiating device self-tests.

Scan for Devices

# smartctl --scan
/dev/sda -d scsi # /dev/sda, SCSI device
/dev/sdb -d scsi # /dev/sdb, SCSI device

Scan and Try to Open Devices

# smartctl --scan-open
/dev/sda -d sat # /dev/sda [SAT], ATA device
/dev/sdb -d sat # /dev/sdb [SAT], ATA device

Check for SMART support for Device

# smartctl -i /dev/sda | grep support
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

Show Identity Information for Device

# smartctl -i /dev/sda
smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.0-4-amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Western Digital Scorpio Blue Serial ATA
Device Model:     WDC WD3200BEVT-75ZCT1
Serial Number:    WD-WXE608NN5731
LU WWN Device Id: 5 0014ee 2ac77d26d
Firmware Version: 11.01A11
User Capacity:    320,072,933,376 bytes [320 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Tue Apr 29 22:18:03 2014 BST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled
# smartctl -i /dev/sdb
smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [x86_64-linux-3.2.0-4-amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     SandForce Driven SSDs
Device Model:     OCZ-VERTEX2
Serial Number:    OCZ-SACTRPJY59L43FH3
LU WWN Device Id: 5 e83a97 f02ec6a4d
Firmware Version: 1.37
User Capacity:    50,020,540,416 bytes [50.0 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  ATA-8-ACS revision 6
Local Time is:    Tue Apr 29 22:18:04 2014 BST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

Show SMART Capabilities

# smartctl -c /dev/sda

Show SMART Health Status

# smartctl -H /dev/sda

Perform a Short Test

Run a short test (normally takes several minutes) on /dev/sda:

# smartctl -t short /dev/sda

Show Selftest Log for Device

# smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

Show Error Log for Device

# smartctl -l error /dev/sda

Get Device’s Temperature

# smartctl -a /dev/sda | grep Temp | cut -d" " -f 2,37
Temperature_Celsius 42
# smartctl -a /dev/sdb | grep Temp | cut -d" " -f 2,37
Temperature_Celsius 30

Configure SMART Disk Monitoring Daemon

Backup the default /etc/default/smartmontools configuration file first:

# cp /etc/default/smartmontools /etc/default/smartmontools.backup

Start smartd on system startup:

# echo "start_smartd=yes" > /etc/default/smartmontools

Also backup the default /etc/smartd.conf configuration file:

# cp /etc/smartd.conf /etc/smartd.conf.backup

Create a script to execute if any disk problems are detected:

# touch /root/script.sh

Open the file and add the following lines:

#!/bin/bash

# Save the email message (STDIN) to a file:
cat > /root/smartdmsd

# Append the output of smartctl -a to the message:
/usr/sbin/smartctl -a -d $SMART_DEVICETYPE $SMARTD_DEVICE >> /root/smartdmsg
 
# Now email the message to the user at address ADD:
/usr/bin/mail -s "$SMARTD_SUBJECT" $SMARTD_ADDRESS < /root/smartdmsg

Make sure the paths defined are correct. Double-check if unsure:

# which smartctl mail
/usr/sbin/smartctl
/usr/bin/mail

Make the script file executable:

# chmod 0755 /root/script.sh

Make the smartd configuration file empty:

# >/etc/smartd.conf

Now add the following lines to /etc/smartd.conf:

/dev/sda -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././19) -m root -M exec /root/script.sh
/dev/sdb -a -d sat -o on -S on -s (S/../.././19) -m root -M exec /root/script.sh

These two lines set up monitoring for /dev/sda and /dev/sdb disks.

  1. -a : turns on -H, -f, -t, -l selftest, -l error, -C 197, -U 198.
  2. -d sat : the device type is SCSI to ATA Translation (SAT).
  3. -o on : enables SMART Automatic Offline Testing when smartd starts up.
  4. -S on : enables Attribute Autosave when smartd starts up.
  5. -s (S/../.././19) : run Short Self-Test (S) every day between 7-8pm.
  6. -m root : send a warning email to root.
  7. -M exec /root/script.sh : run the executable /root/script.sh instead of the default mail command, when smartd needs to send email.

Our root email address is set under /etc/aliases. It is recommended to use “-M test” first which sends a single test email immediately upon smartd startup. This allows one to verify that email is delivered correctly.

Restart the smartmontools daemon:

# /etc/init.d/smartmontools restart
[ ok ] Restarting S.M.A.R.T. daemon: smartd.

For troubleshooting, check syslog:

# tail -f /var/log/syslog

Monitor Hard Drive Temperature with hddtemp

The hddtemp utility can monitor hard drive temperature by reading S.M.A.R.T. information on drives that support this feature.

# hddtemp /dev/sda /dev/sdb
/dev/sda: WDC WD3200BEVT-75ZCT1: 41°C
/dev/sdb: OCZ-VERTEX2: 30°C

5 thoughts on “Using Smartctl, Smartd and Hddtemp on Debian

  1. Thank you very much for this great introduction and getting started to SMART monitoring. I just followed your steps and even cut and paste for some of the config and script files. I just finished a little troubleshooting and wanted to mention I think I found 2 typos in the root script.sh.
    “cat > /root/smartdmsd”, I think should be “cat > /root/smartdmsg” (the d at the end should be g).
    and
    “/usr/sbin/smartctl -a -d $SMART_DEVICETYPE $SMARTD_DEVICE >> /root/smartdmsg”, I believe there is a “D” missing in $SMART_DEVICETYPE, should be $SMARTD_DEVICETYPE.
    I may be wrong, I’m very new to this, and thank you again for your time and effort so others of us can get SMARTer.

    • Hi David. You’re right, thanks very much for spotting them. I fixed the article.

      If you don’t make mistakes then you don’t learn I guess :)

  2. Hi Tomas,

    Thank you so much for this extremely useful tutorial. I followed it through, but not entirely sure if I got everything right. In the script, I replaced “$SMARTD_SUBJECT” $SMARTD_ADDRESS with a subject of my choosing and an email address that I want the report delivered to. Is that correct?

    Also, kind of touching on the same subject, I’m not quite sure what to do with the recommendation “to use “-M test” first which sends a single test email immediately upon smartd startup.” Where do I apply that? In the configuration file /etc/smartd.conf? Sorry for my ignorance, I’m still figuring this out…

    Best,
    Jakob

  3. Tomas, never mind! I found out. Also changed the script back the way it was… Thanks a lot again!

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