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)

       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.

       -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 udevd or
              other tools.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -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-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:

       b      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.

       d      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

       h      Show the help screen.

       n      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").

       q      Quit the program.  This will exit the program without writing
              any data to the disk.

       s      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.

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

       u      Dump the current in-memory partition table to an sfdisk-
              compatible script file.

              The script files are compatible between cfdisk, fdisk, sfdisk
              and other libfdisk applications.  For more details see

              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.

       W      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.

       x      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 screen.

       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

       Implicit coloring can be disabled by creating the empty file

       See terminal-colors.d(5) for more details about colorization

       cfdisk does not support color customization with a color-scheme file.

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)

AVAILABILITY         top

       The cfdisk command is part of the util-linux package and is available

COLOPHON         top

       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
       2020-07-14.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2020-07-14.)  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                       March 2014                        CFDISK(8)

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