The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to label a hard disk in Linux. Labeling hard drives under a Linux system gives a user a better way to organize all of the block system’s devices on their system.
In this tutorial, you will see how to use the e2label and tune2fs commands to lavel a hard drive partition in Linux. You will also see how to use blkid to read these labels later on, and how to mount drives by their label in the
fstab file. Read on to learn through examples.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to use
- How to use
blkidto read partition labels
- How to mount hard drive partitions by label
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|System||Any Linux system|
|Software||e2label, tune2fs, ntfslabel, mkswap, blkid|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
How to label disk partition in Linux
On a Linux system, disk partitions are given a device name such as
/dev/sda5, etc. Basically, sdX (with X being some letter), and sometimes a number on the end.
As you can imagine, it gets hard and confusing to identify a disk with this naming system alone, especially if you have more than a few hard disks and partitions on your computer. This is why labeling a hard disk partition would come in handy. A label like
MY_BACKUP is infinitely more helpful than
To see the device path of all your hard disk partitions, you can use the
$ sudo fdisk -l
Label disk partition examples
blkidcommand can be used to show the current partition label (if any) and UUID of the disk partition. Simply specify the device path of the partition you wish to see.
$ blkid /dev/sda5 /dev/sda5: UUID="a80ad9d4-90ff-4903-b34d-ca70d82762ed" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="75efe5f1-05"
- One way to add a label to a disk partition is with the
e2labelcommand. Use the syntax below to add a label to any disk partition of your choosing.
$ sudo e2label /dev/sda5 "MY_BACKUP"
- Another way to add a label is with the
tune2fscommand. The following syntax would be used to add a label to our
$ sudo tune2fs -L "MY_BACKUP" /dev/sda5
tune2fscommands will work fine for ext2, ext3, and ext4 formatted partitions. To label a partition that’s been formatted as NTFS, you will need to use the
$ sudo ntfslabel /dev/sda5 NTFS_DRIVE
- To label a SWAP partition, you can use the
mkswapcommand and the following syntax.
$ sudo mkswap -L SWAP_PARTITION /dev/sda5
Mount hard drive partitions by label
Now we are able to refer to
MY_BACKUP, after adding that label to the disk partition in an earlier step. To do so, we would edit the
/etc/fstabfile and add the following line:
LABEL=MY_BACKUP /mount/point ext4 defaults 0 2
In this tutorial, we saw how to add a label to a disk partition in Linux. This included use of the
mkswap commands, depending on the type of file system that is being used on the partition that you want to label. We also learned how to use the
blkid command to view the labels of our disk partitions.