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So this might be an obvious question, but I am managing several servers over a network and I would like to be able to find out what type of connector each server is using (i.e. SATA, SCSI, IDE, etc...) without powering off the machine and looking inside physically.

I have tried to use smartctl --scan and it seems accurate for the most part, however when I use it on my Lenovo Thinkpad, it prints:

/dev/sda -d scsi # /dev/sda, SCSI device

which I kind of doubt that my laptop has a SCSI device. Any ideas on how I could verify this information without opening the servers themselves?

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How to see how disks are connected

If you look in the directory:

/dev/disk/by-path/

You will find links for each disk, by how it is connected.

On my machine, running this:

ls -g /dev/disk/by-path/ | grep -v part

gives back this:

total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  9 Jun 15 21:27 pci-0000:00:17.0-ata-1 -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root  9 Jun 15 21:27 pci-0000:00:17.0-ata-2 -> ../../sdb

(I have 2 disks, both using SATA)

  • This looks good, but which part of the output indicates that it is SATA? And if it is the 'ata' part, how will I know what a scsi device will look like by contrast? Thanks! – christopolise Jun 15 '18 at 21:22
  • According to this it looks like pci-0000:02:04.0-scsi-0:0:0:0 – jrtapsell Jun 15 '18 at 21:25
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lsscsi --transport will attempt to show detail about that device.

That may not be enough detail for identifying hardware, you still need to reference the manual for what storage options the system has.

SCSI device could mean any number of things, but in 2018 probably not parallel SCSI. And although there are differences between SAS and SATA protocols, the Linux SCSI generic driver names both devices /dev/sd?. If you are interested in the history have a read: In what sense does SATA “talk” SCSI? How much is shared between SCSI and ATA?

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