GSmartControl iconGSmartControl 0.8.7

smartctl GUI
GSmartControl is a graphical user interface for smartctl (from Smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives.

What is SMART?

Short answer: SMART is a technology which provides hard disk drives with methods to predict certain kinds of failures with certain chance of success.

Long answer: read below.

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, or SMART, is a monitoring system for hard drives to detect and report various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures. It is implemented inside the drives SMART provides several ways of monitoring hard drive health. It may provide information about general health, various drive attributes (for example, number of unreadable sectors), error logs, and so on. It may also provide ways to instruct the drive to run various self-tests, which may report valuable information. It may even automatically scan the disk surface in when the drive is idle, and repair the defects, reallocating the data to more safe areas.

While having SMART sounds really good, there are some nuances to consider. One of the commond pitfalls is that it may create a false sense of security. That is, a perfectly good SMART data is NOT an indication that the drive won't fail the next minute. The reverse is also true - some drives may function perfectly even with not-so-good-looking SMART data. However, as studies indicate, given a large population of drives, some SMART attributes may reliably predict drive failures within up to two months.

Another common mistake is to assume that the attribute values are the real physical values, as experienced by the drive. As manufacturers do not necessarily agree on precise attribute definitions and measurement units, the exact meaning of the attributes may vary greatly across different drive models.

At present SMART is implemented individually by manufacturers, and while some aspects are standardized for compatibility, others are not. In fact, most manufacturers refer the users to their own health monitoring utilities, and advice against taking SMART data seriously. Nevertheless, SMART may prove an effective measure against data loss.

Yet another issue is that quite often the drives have bugs which prevent correct SMART usage. This is usually due to buggy firmware, or the manufacturer ignoring the standard. Luckily, smartmontools usually detects these bugs and works around them.


Short answer: ./configure; make; make install

Long answer: read below.

First, check if you can find a pre-built package for your distribution or operating system - they usually provide the best integration and the easiest installation procedure.

If you want to compile from source, check that you have all the required dependencies (see Software Requirements section). Then the usual

./configure; make; make install

will build and install it. Installation usually requires root privileges, but you don't need to install the program in order to run it directly from the compilation directory.

Main features:

  • Automatically report and hilight any abnormal SMART information.
  • Ability to enable / disable SMART.
  • Ability to enable / disable Automatic Offline Data Collection - A short self-check that the drive will perform automatically every four hours with no impact on performance.
  • Ability to set global and per-drive options for smartctl.
  • Display drive identity, capabilities, attributes, error and self-test logs.
  • Perform SMART self-tests.
  • Ability to load smartctl output as a "virtual" device, which acts just like a real (read-only) device.
  • Extensive help information.

last updated on:
August 13th, 2012, 8:32 GMT
developed by:
Alexander Shaduri
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
ROOT \ System \ System Administration


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3 Screenshots
GSmartControl - Device menuGSmartControl - Drives optionsGSmartControl - General options
What's New in version 0.8.6
  • Support detecting drives behind 3ware controllers (Linux, Windows), including tw_cli/cx/px mode in Windows. Having tw_cli is recommended but not required.
  • Added support for specifying -d option and extra parameters via command line, "Add Device" and "Preferences" dialogs. This change effectively adds full support for multiple drives behind a single device name.
  • Beesu and su-to-root are supported by gsmartcontrol-root script now.
  • Completely revamped the attribute database and its handling, should be a lot more usable and forward-compatible now; SSD attributes are also included.
read full changelog

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