program to manipulate ATA (IDE) devices
allows a user or system administrator to
issue commands to and otherwise control devices which reside on standard IDE
and ATA controllers. It is used by specifying a device to manipulate, a
command to perform, and any arguments the command may require.
supports the following commands:
acousticdisable, acousticset, apmdisable, apmset, checkpower, dump, identify
(the default), idle, poddisable, podenable, puisdisable, puisenable,
puisspinup, readaheaddisable, readaheadenable, readattr, secdisablepass,
secerase, secfreeze, secsetpass, secunlock, setidle, setstandby, sleep,
smartautosave, smartdisable, smartenable, smartoffline, smartread,
smartreadlog, smartstatus, standby, writecachedisable, and writecacheenable.
Support for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART)
functionality is indicated by the device with ‘SMART feature
set’ in the output of the
SMART commands and the
command are for
Support for Security Mode functionality is indicated by the device with
‘Security Mode feature set’ in the output of the
command. Be very
while playing with these commands: loss of the user and master
passwords for the device will result in an inaccessible device.
A full description of the commands follows:
- Disables support for automatic acoustic management on the
specified device. Note that devices supporting automatic acoustic
management may refuse to disable it, resulting in an ‘ATA device
returned Aborted Command’ warning.
- Enables and sets the automatic acoustic management level to
the requested level on the specified device (if supported). Device
performance may increase with increasing automatic acoustic management
levels at the cost of potentially generating more noise and requiring more
power. Valid values are 0 up to and including 126. Support for automatic
acoustic management is indicated by the device with ‘Automatic
Acoustic Management feature set’ in the output of the
- Disables support for advanced power management on the
specified device. Note that devices supporting advanced power management
may refuse to disable it, resulting in an ‘ATA device returned
Aborted Command’ warning.
- Enables and sets the advanced power management level to the
requested level on the specified device (if supported). Device performance
may increase with increasing power management levels at the cost of
potentially requiring more power. Values up to and including 126 allow the
device to go into standby mode and spin-down the disk. This
may cause disk time-outs and is therefore
not recommended. These values are more
suitable optimization for low power usage on infrequently used devices.
Values 127 up to and including 253 do not allow the device to go to
standby mode and are more suitable for optimization for performance.
Support for advanced power management is indicated by the device with
‘Advanced Power Management feature set’ in the output of the
- Will print out if the device is in Active, Idle, or Standby
power management mode.
- Extracts the records about issued ATA commands from the log
buffer. The log buffer is cleared after extraction.
- Identify the specified device, displaying the device's
vendor, product, revision strings, supported capabilities and enabled
capabilities. This command is the default.
- Place the specified device into Idle mode. This mode may
consume less power than Active mode.
- Disallows the specified device to revert to power-on
default (pod) settings after a software reset. In other words this permits
the settings that have been modified since power-on to remain after a
- Allows the specified device to revert to power-on default
(pod) settings after a software reset.
- Disables power-up in standby (puis) on the specified
device, causing the device to spin up the disks after power-up. This
should be the factory default setting of the device and it is recommended
to leave this setting disabled.
- Enables power-up in standby (puis) on the specified device,
causing the device to wait while spinning up the disks after power-up.
This may cause problems at boot if the device is too slow in spin-up. This
option is therefore not recommended unless
the implications are understood. Note that the power-up in standby mode
stays enabled over power-downs, hardware and software resets. Support for
power-up in standby is indicated by the device with ‘Power-up in
standby feature set’ in the output of the
- Explicitly spins up the device if power-up in standby
(puis) mode is enabled.
- Disables read look-ahead on the specified device. This may
decrease performance. Note that the device may use ‘vendor
specific’ behaviour in implementing this, so it is
not recommended to issue this command on a
disk containing any currently mounted filesystems.
- Enables read look-ahead on the specified device. This may
increase performance. Support for and status of read look-ahead is
indicated by the device with ‘read look-ahead’ in the output
- Displays attribute thresholds and values for the specified
device. Besides attribute values, device vendors may provide additional
information shown in the last column, ``Raw''. Attributes names can be
completely wrong since they vary between vendors and even models, so don't
rely on it. SMART must be enabled while executing this command or the
device will return an error.
- Disables the lock mode for the specified device with user
or master password. This command won't change the master password. The
master password will be reactivated when a user password is set.
- Erases all user data and unlocks the specified device.
Execution of this command with the master password is the only way to
unlock a device locked at maximum security level with the
secsetpass command if the user's password is lost
or unknown. There are two erase modes: normal and enhanced. Default erase
mode is normal. In the normal erase mode this command will write binary
zeroes to all user data areas. The enhanced erase mode is optional and may
not be supported by the device. When enhanced erase mode is specified, the
device will write predetermined data patterns to all user data areas. In
enhanced erase mode, all previously written user data will be overwritten,
including sectors that are no longer in use due to reallocation. This
command will disable the device lock mode, however, the master password
will still be stored internally within the device and may be reactivated
later when a new user password is set.
- Prevents changes to passwords until a following power
cycle. The purpose of this command is to prevent password setting attacks
on the security system. After command completion any other commands that
update the device lock mode will be aborted.
- Sets password and security level for the specified device.
There are two passwords, user and master, and two security levels, high
and maximum. The maximum password length is 32 symbols. The security
system is enabled by sending a user password to the device with this
command. When the security system is enabled, access to user data on the
device is denied after a power cycle until the user password is sent to
the device with the
secunlock command. A master
password may be set in addition to the user password. The purpose of the
master password is to allow an administrator to establish a password that
is kept secret from the user, and which may be used to unlock the device
if the user password is lost. Setting the master password does not enable
security system. Each master password change decrements the master
password revision code value which is displayed in the
identify command output if supported. After value
0x0001 is reached the next value will be 0xfffe. The security level
determines device behavior when the master password is used to unlock the
device. When the security level is set to high the device requires the
secunlock command if the master password is used
to unlock. When the security level is set to maximum the device requires a
secerase command if the master password is used to
unlock it. Execution of the
erases all user data on the device.
- Unlocks the specified device with user or master password.
The device will always unlock if a valid user password is received. If the
security level was set to high during the last
secsetpass command, the device will unlock if the
master password is received. If the security level was set to maximum
during the last
secsetpass command, the device
won't unlock even if the master password is received.
- Places the specified device into Idle mode, and sets the
Idle timer to idle-timer seconds. A value
of 0 will disable the Idle timer.
- Places the specified device into Standby mode, and sets the
Standby timer to standby-timer seconds. A
value of 0 will disable the Standby timer.
- Place the specified device into Sleep mode. This mode will
consume less power than Standby mode, but requires a device reset to
resume operation. Typically the
performs this reset automatically, but this should still be used with
- Enables/disables attribute autosave feature on the
- Disables support for SMART on the specified device. Note
that this means that the device will no longer record any SMART
Note that SMART must be enabled while executing
the following commands or the device will return an error.
- Enables SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting
Technology) on the specified device (if supported). This causes the device
to record information for prediction of device degradation and/or faults.
- Causes the specified device to immediately initiate the
optional set of activities that collect SMART data in off-line mode and
then save this data to the device's non-volatile memory, or execute
self-diagnostic test routines in either captive or off-line mode. The
subcommand may be one of the following:
Note that executing self-test routines in captive mode causes the device to
be not accessible until the routine completes. This option is therefore
not recommended unless the implications are
- Abort off-line mode self-test routine.
- Start SMART off-line data collection immediately.
- Execute SMART extended self-test routine immediately in
- Execute SMART extended self-test routine immediately in
- Execute SMART short self-test routine immediately in
- Execute SMART short self-test routine immediately in
- Reads various SMART information from the specified device
and prints it to stdout.
- Reads specified log and
prints it to stdout. The log may be one
of the following:
- The comprehensive error log.
- The error log directory.
- The self-test log.
- The summary error log.
- Reads the reliability status of the specified device. If
the device reports that one of its thresholds is exceeded (a strong
indication of imminent failure), the warning ‘SMART threshold
exceeded!’ is printed to stderr and a status of 2 is returned.
- Place the specified device into Standby mode. This mode
will consume less power than Idle mode.
- Disable the write cache on the specified device (if
supported). This may decrease performance. Support for and status of write
caching is indicated by the device with ‘write cache’ in the
output of the
- Enables the write cache on the specified device (if
supported). This may increase performance, however data still in the
device's cache at powerdown may be lost. The
performs a cache flush automatically before shutdown.
Display the vendor, product, revision strings, and capabilities (such as SMART
support) as reported by /dev/wd0
# atactl /dev/wd0c identify
Enable SMART support on /dev/wd0
for detection of
early warning signs of device failure:
# atactl /dev/wd0c smartenable
which queries /dev/wd0
each hour for early
warning signs of failure. If the device exceeds one of the SMART thresholds,
will output ‘SMART threshold
exceeded!’ to stderr and
will mail it.
0 * * * * /sbin/atactl /dev/wd0c smartstatus
command first appeared in
. Support for acoustic management, advanced
power management, power-up in standby, read look-ahead, and SMART was added in
command was written by Ken Hornstein. It
was based heavily on the scsictl command written by Jason R. Thorpe. Support
for acoustic management, advanced power management, power-up in standby, read
look-ahead, and SMART was added by Wouter Slegers.
Not all devices are created equally. Some may not support the feature sets
and/or commands needed to perform the requested action, even when the
command indicates support for the requested
action. The device will typically respond with an ‘ATA device returned
Aborted Command’ if the requested action is not supported. Similarly a
device might not implement all commands in a feature set, so even though
disabling a feature works, enabling might not.
The output from the
command is rather ugly.
Disabling read look-ahead with
cause problems with mounted filesystems on that device.