Updated: February 2009
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blkid - command-line utility to locate/print block device attributes  


blkid -L label | -U uuid

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

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



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

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 devices.  


-c cachefile
Read from cachefile instead of reading from the default cache file /etc/blkid/ 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.
Perform a garbage collection pass on the blkid cache to remove devices which no longer exist.
Display a usage message and exit.
Look up one device that matches the search parameter specified using 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 one device that uses the label (same as: -l -o device -t LABEL=<label>). This look up method is able to reliable use /dev/disk/by-label udev symlinks (depends on setting in /etc/blkid.conf). Avoid to use the symlinks directly. It is not reliable to use the symlinks without verification. The -L option is portable and works on systems with and without udev.
-u list
Restrict probing functions to defined (comma separated) list of "usage" types. Supported usage types are: filesystem, raid, crypto and other. The list can 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 filesystems and others (e.g. swap) formats, and

  blkid -p -u noraid /dev/sda1

probes for all supported formats exclude RAIDs. This option is useful with -p only.

-U uuid
Look up one device that uses the uuid. For more details see the -L option.
-o format
Display blkid's output using the specified format. The format parameter may be:
print all tags (the default)
print the value of the tags
print the devices in a user-friendly format
print the device name only
vol_id compatible mode; usable in udev rules
-O bytes
Probe at the given offset (only useful with -p).
Switch to low-level probing mode (bypass cache)"
-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 bytes
Overwrite device/file size (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.
Display version number and exit.
-w writecachefile
Write the device cache to writecachefile instead of writing it to the default cache file /etc/blkid/ If you don't want to save the cache to the default file, specify /dev/null. If not specified it will be the same file as that given by the -c option.
Display tokens from only the specified device. It is possible to give multiple device options on the command line. If none is given, all devices which appear in /proc/partitions are shown, if they are recognized.


If the specified token was found, or if any tags were shown from (specified) devices, 0 is returned. 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.  


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


The blkid command is part of the util-linux-ng package and is available from  


libblkid(3) findfs(8)