gnome-disk-utility (shown as "Disks") shows SMART option grayed for USB connect disks despite being available.

Bug #1540110 reported by Hans Deragon
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-disk-utility (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

gnome-disk-utility (show as "Disks" on the desktop environment running Unity) systematically does not acknowledge that disks have SMART capabilities when connected through a USB port; SMART capabilities are grayed. However, 'sudo smartctl -a /dev/<disk>' works fine confirming that there is no problem reading SMART data through a USB link. gnome-disk-utility acknowledge SMART capabilities if the same disk is connected through a SATA port.

Confirmed for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr on 2016-01-26, gnome-disk-utility 3.10.0, udisks 2.1.3 (built against 2.1.3) by Hans Deragon.

This bug is the same as bug #1092900 which was reported against Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx. Following user dino99 suggestion, I opened this new bug report to follow the same problem on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: gnome-disk-utility 3.10.0-1ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-76.120-generic 3.13.11-ckt30
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-76-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.19
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sun Jan 31 11:30:03 2016
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-11-01 (456 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 (20140722.2)
SourcePackage: gnome-disk-utility
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Hans Deragon (deragon) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in gnome-disk-utility (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Hans Deragon (deragon) wrote :
Hans Deragon (deragon)
description: updated
Revision history for this message
da2 (hiboudev) wrote :

I confirm this bug on Linux Mint 17.3 with gnome-disk-utility 3.10.0.

smartctl (from package smartmontools) works fine with command: sudo smartctl -a /dev/sdX

Hans Deragon (deragon)
Changed in gnome-disk-utility (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Turbo Nene (turbonene) wrote :

I confirm this bug on Linux Mint 18.1 with gnome-disk-utility [UDisks 2.1.7 (built against 2.1.6)]

Revision history for this message
Turbo Nene (turbonene) wrote :

Maybe it is due to the fact ( that USB connected disks usually need a '-d' option to enable S.M.A.R.T. support.

In fact, for the same disk, trying first:

  $ sudo smartctl -d scsi -H -i -A -l error -l selftest '/dev/sdb'

gives "SMART support is: Unavailable - device lacks SMART capability.", whereas:

  $ sudo smartctl -d scsi -d sat -H -i -A -l error -l selftest '/dev/sdb'

gives "SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.//SMART support is: Enabled", and the full output expected.

And also in GSmartControl I have to add the "-d sat" option to Preferences/Drives to enable S.M.A.R.T. support and view attributes.

The difficulty to include this in gnome-disk-utility is that each disk needs a different "-d" option...

Revision history for this message
Rüdiger Kupper (ruediger.kupper) wrote :

I have several disks connected via USB. Most of them work with gnome-disks' SMART interface. But for one of them, I get "operation not permitted". smartctl in the terminal works fine for that disk.

Changed in gnome-disk-utility:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
MasterCATZ (mastercatz) wrote :

having same problem and it seems random for my SATA drives

Changed in gnome-disk-utility:
status: Confirmed → Expired
Revision history for this message
Laurent Dinclaux (dreadlox) wrote :

Please note that the upstream bug hasn't expired but is now on GitLab:

Revision history for this message
Jānis Kangarooo (kangarooo) wrote :
Changed in gnome-disk-utility (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
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