blkid man page

blkid — locate/print block device attributes


blkid -L label | -U uuid

blkid [-dghlv] [-c file] [-o format] [-s tag] [-t NAME=value] [device ...]

blkid -p [-O offset] [-o format] [-S size] [-s tag] [-n list] [-u list] device ...

blkid -i [-o format] [-s tag] device ...


The blkid program is the command-line interface to working with the libblkid(3) library. It can determine the type of content (e.g. filesystem or swap) that a block device holds, and also the attributes (tokens, NAME=value pairs) from the content metadata (e.g. LABEL or UUID fields).

It is recommended to use lsblk(8) command to get information about block devices rather than blkid. lsblk(8) provides more information, better control on output formatting and it does not require root permissions to get actual information.

When device is specified, tokens from only this device are displayed. It is possible to specify multiple device arguments on the command line. If none is given, all devices which appear in /proc/partitions are shown, if they are recognized.

Note that blkid reads information directly from devices and for non-root users it returns cached unverified information. It is better to use lsblk --fs to get a user-friendly overview of filesystems and devices. lsblk(8) is also easy to use in scripts. blkid is mostly designed for system services and to test libblkid functionality.

blkid has two main forms of operation: either searching for a device with a specific NAME=value pair, or displaying NAME=value pairs for one or more specified devices.


The size and offset arguments may be followed by the multiplicative suffixes like KiB (=1024), MiB (=1024*1024), and so on for GiB, TiB, PiB, EiB, ZiB and YiB (the "iB" is optional, e.g. "K" has the same meaning as "KiB"), or the suffixes KB (=1000), MB (=1000*1000), and so on for GB, TB, PB, EB, ZB and YB.

-c cachefile
Read from cachefile instead of reading from the default cache file (see the Configuration File section for more details). If you want to start with a clean cache (i.e. don't report devices previously scanned but not necessarily available at this time), specify /dev/null.
Don't encode non-printing characters. The non-printing characters are encoded by ^ and M- notation by default. Note that the -o udev output format uses a different encoding which cannot be disabled.
Perform a garbage collection pass on the blkid cache to remove devices which no longer exist.
Display a usage message and exit.
Display information about I/O Limits (aka I/O topology). The 'export' output format is automatically enabled. This option can be used together with the -p option.
List all known filesystems and RAIDs and exit.
Look up only one device that matches the search parameter specified with the -t option. If there are multiple devices that match the specified search parameter, then the device with the highest priority is returned, and/or the first device found at a given priority. Device types in order of decreasing priority are: Device Mapper, EVMS, LVM, MD, and finally regular block devices. If this option is not specified, blkid will print all of the devices that match the search parameter.
-L label

Look up the device that uses this filesystem label; this is equal to -l -o device -t LABEL=label. This lookup method is able to reliably use /dev/disk/by-label udev symlinks (dependent on a setting in /etc/blkid.conf). Avoid using the symlinks directly; it is not reliable to use the symlinks without verification. The -L option works on systems with and without udev.

Unfortunately, the original blkid(8) from e2fsprogs uses the -L option as a synonym for -o list. For better portability, use -l -o device -t LABEL=label and -o list in your scripts rather than the -L option.

-n list
Restrict the probing functions to the specified (comma-separated) list of superblock types (names). The list items may be prefixed with "no" to specify the types which should be ignored. For example:

blkid -p -n vfat,ext3,ext4 /dev/sda1

probes for vfat, ext3 and ext4 filesystems, and

blkid -p -n nominix /dev/sda1

probes for all supported formats except minix filesystems. This option is only useful together with -p.
-o format

Use the specified output format. Note that the order of variables and devices is not fixed. See also option -s. The format parameter may be:

print all tags (the default)
print the value of the tags

print the devices in a user-friendly format; this output format is unsupported for low-level probing (-p or -i).

This output format is DEPRECATED in favour of the lsblk(8) command.

print the device name only; this output format is always enabled for the -L and -U options

print key="value" pairs for easy import into the udev environment; the keys are prefixed by ID_FS_ or ID_PART_ prefixes

The udev output returns the ID_FS_AMBIVALENT tag if more superblocks are detected, and ID_PART_ENTRY_* tags are always returned for all partitions including empty partitions. This output format is DEPRECATED.


print key=value pairs for easy import into the environment; this output format is automatically enabled when I/O Limits (-i option) are requested.

The non-printing characters are encoded by ^ and M- notation and all potentially unsafe characters are escaped.

-O offset
Probe at the given offset (only useful with -p). This option can be used together with the -i option.

Switch to low-level superblock probing mode (bypassing the cache).

Note that low-level probing also returns information about partition table type (PTTYPE tag) and partitions (PART_ENTRY_* tags). The tag names produced by low-level probing are based on names used internally by libblkid and it may be different than when executed without -p (for example PART_ENTRY_UUID= vs PARTUUID=).

-s tag
For each (specified) device, show only the tags that match tag. It is possible to specify multiple -s options. If no tag is specified, then all tokens are shown for all (specified) devices. In order to just refresh the cache without showing any tokens, use -s none with no other options.
-S size
Override the size of device/file (only useful with -p).
-t NAME=value
Search for block devices with tokens named NAME that have the value value, and display any devices which are found. Common values for NAME include TYPE, LABEL, and UUID. If there are no devices specified on the command line, all block devices will be searched; otherwise only the specified devices are searched.
-u list
Restrict the probing functions to the specified (comma-separated) list of "usage" types. Supported usage types are: filesystem, raid, crypto and other. The list items may be prefixed with "no" to specify the usage types which should be ignored. For example:

blkid -p -u filesystem,other /dev/sda1

probes for all filesystem and other (e.g. swap) formats, and

blkid -p -u noraid /dev/sda1

probes for all supported formats except RAIDs. This option is only useful together with -p.
-U uuid
Look up the device that uses this filesystem uuid. For more details see the -L option.
Display version number and exit.

Return Code

If the specified device or device addressed by specified token (option -t) was found and it's possible to gather any information about the device, an exit code 0 is returned. Note the option -s filters output tags, but it does not affect return code.

If the specified token was not found, or no (specified) devices could be identified, an exit code of 2 is returned.

For usage or other errors, an exit code of 4 is returned.

If an ambivalent low-level probing result was detected, an exit code of 8 is returned.

Configuration File

The standard location of the /etc/blkid.conf config file can be overridden by the environment variable BLKID_CONF. The following options control the libblkid library:

Sends uevent when /dev/disk/by-{label,uuid,partuuid,partlabel}/ symlink does not match with LABEL, UUID, PARTUUID or PARTLABEL on the device. Default is "yes".
Overrides the standard location of the cache file. This setting can be overridden by the environment variable BLKID_FILE. Default is /run/blkid/blkid.tab, or /etc/blkid.tab on systems without a /run directory.
Defines LABEL and UUID evaluation method(s). Currently, the libblkid library supports the "udev" and "scan" methods. More than one method may be specified in a comma-separated list. Default is "udev,scan". The "udev" method uses udev /dev/disk/by-* symlinks and the "scan" method scans all block devices from the /proc/partitions file.


blkid was written by Andreas Dilger for libblkid and improved by Theodore Ts'o and Karel Zak.


Setting LIBBLKID_DEBUG=all enables debug output.

See Also

libblkid(3), findfs(8), wipefs(8), lsblk(8),


The blkid command is part of the util-linux package and is available from ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/ut….

Referenced By

findfs(8), fstab(5), libblkid(3), lsblk(8), lvcreate(8), open_by_handle_at(2), wipefs(8).

Explore man page connections for blkid(8).

util-linux March 2013