Section: System Administration (8)
Updated: March 2014
cfdisk - display or manipulate a disk partition table
is a curses-based program for partitioning any block device.
The default device is
provides basic partitioning functionality with a user-friendly interface.
If you need advanced features, use
Since version 2.25
supports MBR (DOS), GPT, SUN and SGI disk labels, but no longer provides any
functionality for CHS (Cylinder-Head-Sector) addressing. CHS has
never been important for Linux, and this addressing concept does not make any
sense for new devices.
Since version 2.25
also does not provide a 'print' command any more.
This functionality is provided by the utilities
in a very comfortable and rich way.
If you want to remove an old partition table from a device, use
- -h, --help
Display help text and exit.
- -L, --color[=when]
Colorize the output. The optional argument when
can be auto, never or always. If the when argument is omitted,
it defaults to auto. The colors can be disabled, for the current built-in default
see --help output. See also the COLORS section.
Use exclusive BSD lock for device or file it operates. The optional argument
mode can be yes, no (or 1 and 0) or nonblock. If the mode
argument is omitted, it defaults to "yes". This option overwrites
environment variable $LOCK_BLOCK_DEVICE. The default is not to use any
lock at all, but it's recommended to avoid collisions with udevd or other
- -V, --version
Display version information and exit.
- -z, --zero
Start with an in-memory zeroed partition table. This option does not zero the
partition table on the disk; rather, it simply starts the program without
reading the existing partition table. This option allows you to create a new
partition table from scratch or from an sfdisk-compatible script.
The commands for
can be entered by pressing the corresponding key (pressing
after the command is not necessary). Here is a list of the available
Toggle the bootable flag of the current partition. This allows you to
select which primary partition is bootable on the drive. This command may not
be available for all partition label types.
Delete the current partition. This will convert the current partition
into free space and merge it with any free space immediately
surrounding the current partition. A partition already marked as free
space or marked as unusable cannot be deleted.
Show the help screen.
Create a new partition from free space.
then prompts you for the size of the partition you want to create.
The default size is equal to the entire available free space at the current
The size may be followed by a multiplicative suffix: 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").
Quit the program. This will exit the program without writing any data to
Sort the partitions in ascending start-sector order. When deleting and
adding partitions, it is likely that the numbering of the partitions will
no longer match their order on the disk. This command restores that match.
Change the partition type. By default, new partitions are created as
Dump the current in-memory partition table to an sfdisk-compatible script file.
The script files are compatible between cfdisk, fdisk, sfdisk
and other libfdisk applications. For more details see
It is also possible to load an sfdisk-script into cfdisk if there is
no partition table on the device or when you start cfdisk with the
--zero command-line option.
Write the partition table to disk (you must enter an uppercase W). Since
this might destroy data on the disk, you must either confirm or deny
the write by entering `yes' or `no'. If you enter `yes',
will write the partition table to disk and then tell the kernel to re-read the
partition table from the disk.
The re-reading of the partition table does not always work. In such a
case you need to inform the kernel about any new partitions by using
or by rebooting the system.
Toggle extra information about a partition.
- Up Arrow, Down Arrow
Move the cursor to the previous or next partition. If there are more
partitions than can be displayed on a screen, you can display the next
(previous) set of partitions by moving down (up) at the last (first)
partition displayed on the screen.
- Left Arrow, Right Arrow
Select the preceding or the next menu item. Hitting Enter will
execute the currently selected item.
All commands can be entered with either uppercase or lowercase
letters (except for
When in a submenu or at a prompt, you can hit the
key to return to the main menu.
Implicit coloring can be disabled by creating the empty file
for more details about colorization configuration.
does not support color customization with a color-scheme file.
enables cfdisk debug output.
enables libfdisk debug output.
enables libblkid debug output.
enables libsmartcols debug output.
use visible padding characters. Requires enabled LIBSMARTCOLS_DEBUG.
use exclusive BSD lock. The mode is "1" or "0". See --lock for more details.
Karel Zak <firstname.lastname@example.org
The current cfdisk implementation is based on the original cfdisk
from Kevin E. Martin (email@example.com).
The cfdisk command is part of the util-linux package and is available from