1

I am looking into setting up smartmontools.

I'd like to control when the tests run. I was thinking of running:

/usr/sbin/smartctl --test=short /dev/sdX (every week)
/usr/sbin/smartctl --test=long /dev/sdX (every month)

And send an email/alert if an error is found.

1) Am I right to say that if I have the above set up in a cron, I don't need to have "smartd" daemon running in background?

2) Is there any advantage in enabling Offline Data Collection, if I run the tests above and have "smartd" disabled?

3) And the last thing that's been bugging me is that I see in the documentation that the commands for enabling/disabling --smart, --offlineauto and --saveauto are listed as Obsolete in ATA specifications. Does this mean that all these features are obsolete/useless on ATA devices?

1

As smartd works quite well, I would not rely on custom scripts. But let reply to each question:

  • Q: Am I right to say that if I have the above set up in a cron, I don't need to have "smartd" daemon running in background? R: While technically correct, you have to discover the presence of an error: smartctl, by itself, immediately return with exit code 0. You then had to parse the output of smartctl --all and examine the exit status of the previos test run;

  • Q: Is there any advantage in enabling Offline Data Collection, if I run the tests above and have "smartd" disabled? R: Probably not. However, Offline Data Collection by itself will not cause any (noticeable) performance hit.

  • Q: And the last thing that's been bugging me is that I see in the documentation that the commands for enabling/disabling --smart, --offlineauto and --saveauto are listed as Obsolete in ATA specifications. Does this mean that all these features are obsolete/useless on ATA devices? R: while marked as "obsolete", each single HDD I have supports them. That said, each disk seems to implement them in a different (and inconsitent) manner, especially regarding SMART attributes update.

  • Thank you very much for your advice. Regarding Offline Data Collection, I was based on documentation saying "This type of test can, in principle, degrade the device performance.". – Nuno Dec 15 '18 at 14:56
  • In principle this is true, but any modern disk runs offline tests with no noticeable performance impact (at least in my experience). – shodanshok Dec 15 '18 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.