I am setting up Smart monitoring currently and I had a question regarding the command

smartctl -H /dev/sda

SMART Health Status: OK

Does this actually run anything against the disk, or does it just poll the logs/data currently available from SmartMonTools.

I understand and am looking into running smartd with short and long tests, but that would be managed by smartd. My script is simple in that it just greps for Health Status OK and fails/passed based on finding the result. It also displays "smartctl -all /dev/sda", and I wondered about that too.

I just want to make sure, because

I Think that both smartctl -H /dev/sda && smartctl -all /dev/sda when run, don't actually do any testing, they just poll avaialable data. Can anybody confirm?

The reason is I poll this data way to often with my network monitoring software (every 15m currently), but if it doesn't effect disks, I will just leave it and use smartd to schedule the actual self-tests which do 100% read/write/test the disks.


As a fellow user of the tool (not a developer), I would assume they don't run any tests because, looking at the man page:


  • -a, --all appear under "SHOW INFORMATION OPTIONS"

  • all the tests are under "SMART RUN/ABORT OFFLINE TEST AND self-test OPTIONS"

If this were not convincing enough, I would also ask on the mailing lists on their homepage.

  • Perfect! My network monitoring software doesn't like not getting updates so vs try to fix it I will just let it parse that info and set up smartd to tk update the info on a regular schedule – FreeSoftwareServers Aug 9 '16 at 20:23

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