cfdisk(8) — Linux manual page


CFDISK(8)                 System Administration                CFDISK(8)

NAME         top

       cfdisk - display or manipulate a disk partition table

SYNOPSIS         top

       cfdisk [options] [device]

DESCRIPTION         top

       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
       fdisk(8) instead.

       All disk label changes will remain in memory only, and the disk
       will be unmodified until you decide to write your changes. Be
       careful before using the write command.

       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

OPTIONS         top

       -h, --help
           Display help text and exit.

       -V, --version
           Print version 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 section.

           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
           systemd-udevd(8) or other tools.

       -r, --read-only
           Forced open in read-only mode.

       -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(8)-compatible

COMMANDS         top

       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:

           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

           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 the disk.

           Reduce or enlarge the current partition. cfdisk then prompts
           you for the new size of the partition. The default size is
           the current size. A partition marked as free space or marked
           as unusable cannot be resized.

           Note that reducing the size of a partition might destroy data
           on that partition.

           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 match.

           Change the partition type. By default, new partitions are
           created as Linux partitions.

           Dump the current in-memory partition table to an
           sfdisk(8)-compatible script file.

           The script files are compatible between cfdisk, fdisk(8)
           sfdisk(8) 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 system.

           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

       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.

COLORS         top

       The output colorization is implemented by terminal-colors.d(5)
       functionality. Implicit coloring can be disabled by an empty file


       for the cfdisk command or for all tools by


       The user-specific $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/terminal-colors.d or
       $HOME/.config/terminal-colors.d overrides the global setting.

       Note that the output colorization may be enabled by default, and
       in this case terminal-colors.d directories do not have to exist

       cfdisk does not support color customization with a color-scheme

ENVIRONMENT         top

           enables cfdisk debug output.

           enables libfdisk debug output.

           enables libblkid debug output.

           enables libsmartcols debug output.

           use visible padding characters. Requires enabled

           use exclusive BSD lock. The mode is "1" or "0". See --lock
           for more details.

AUTHORS         top

       Karel Zak <>

       The current cfdisk implementation is based on the original cfdisk
       from Kevin E. Martin <>.

SEE ALSO         top

       fdisk(8), parted(8), partprobe(8), partx(8), sfdisk(8)

REPORTING BUGS         top

       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at

AVAILABILITY         top

       The cfdisk command is part of the util-linux package which can be
       downloaded from Linux Kernel Archive
       <>. This page
       is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project. Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨⟩. If you have
       a bug report for this manual page, send it to This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2023-12-22. (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2023-12-14.) If you discover
       any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page,
       or you have corrections or improvements to the information in
       this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to

util-linux 2.39.594-1e0ad      2023-07-19                      CFDISK(8)

Pages that refer to this page: fdisk(8)sfdisk(8)