cfdisk - display or manipulate a disk partition table
cfdisk [options] [device]
cfdisk is a curses-based program for partitioning any block device. The
default device is /dev/sda.
Note that cfdisk provides basic partitioning functionality
with a user-friendly interface. If you need advanced features, use
Since version 2.25 cfdisk 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 cfdisk also does not provide a 'print'
command any more. This functionality is provided by the utilities
partx(8) and lsblk(8) in a very comfortable and rich way.
If you want to remove an old partition table from a device, use
The commands for cfdisk can be entered by pressing the corresponding key
(pressing Enter after the command is not necessary). Here is a list of
the available commands:
- -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
- 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 tools.
- -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
- 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. cfdisk 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 position.
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
- Change the partition type. By default, new partitions are created as
- Dump the current in-memory partition table to an sfdisk-compatible script
The script files are compatible between cfdisk,
fdisk, sfdisk and other libfdisk applications. For more
details see sfdisk(8).
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', cfdisk 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 partprobe(8) or partx(8), or by rebooting the
- 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 Write). When in a submenu or at a prompt, you can
hit the Esc key to return to the main menu.
Implicit coloring can be disabled by creating the empty file
See terminal-colors.d(5) for more details about
cfdisk does not support color customization with a
Karel Zak <email@example.com>
- 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.
The current cfdisk implementation is based on the original cfdisk
from Kevin E. Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
fdisk(8), parted(8), partprobe(8), partx(8),
The cfdisk command is part of the util-linux package and is available from