How to detect if a disk is an SSD

Brandon J. Wandersee brandon.wandersee at
Fri Dec 2 01:23:47 UTC 2016

Matthias Petermann writes:

> Hello Stefano,
> one option might be to check the kernel log via
> % dmesg
> I would expect some entries like:
> ada4 at ata0 bus 0 scbus4 target 1 lun 0
> ada4: <SAMSUNG MZ7LM120HCFD-0E003 GXT3003Q> ACS-2 ATA SATA 3.x device
> ada4: Serial Number S2NRNXAGC00170D
> ada4: 150.000MB/s transfers (SATA, UDMA6, PIO 8192bytes)
> ada4: 114473MB (234441648 512 byte sectors)
> ada4: quirks=0x3<4K,NCQ_TRIM_BROKEN>
> which includes the model number / name. Feeding this into Google should provide clarity if it is a SSD or not.

camcontrol(8) can be used for more extensive information, as well:

# camcontrol identify ada0

pass0: <Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB EXT0DB6Q> ACS-2 ATA SATA 3.x device
pass0: 600.000MB/s transfers (SATA 3.x, UDMA6, PIO 512bytes)

protocol              ATA/ATAPI-9 SATA 3.x
device model          Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB
firmware revision     EXT0DB6Q
serial number         S1DBNSADB01138V
WWN                   50025388a00b2df3
cylinders             16383
heads                 16
sectors/track         63
sector size           logical 512, physical 512, offset 0
LBA supported         268435455 sectors
LBA48 supported       488397168 sectors
PIO supported         PIO4
DMA supported         WDMA2 UDMA6 
media RPM             non-rotating

Feature                      Support  Enabled   Value           Vendor
read ahead                     yes      yes
write cache                    yes      yes
flush cache                    yes      yes
overlap                        no
Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ)   no       no
Native Command Queuing (NCQ)   yes              32 tags
NCQ Queue Management           no
NCQ Streaming                  no
Receive & Send FPDMA Queued    yes
SMART                          yes      yes
microcode download             yes      yes
security                       yes      yes
power management               yes      yes
advanced power management      no       no
automatic acoustic management  no       no
media status notification      no       no
power-up in Standby            no       no
write-read-verify              yes      no      0/0x0
unload                         no       no
general purpose logging        yes      yes
free-fall                      no       no
Data Set Management (DSM/TRIM) yes
DSM - max 512byte blocks       yes              8
DSM - deterministic read       no
Host Protected Area (HPA)      yes      no      488397168/488397168
HPA - Security                 no


::  Brandon J. Wandersee
::  brandon.wandersee at
::  --------------------------------------------------
::  'The best design is as little design as possible.'
::  --- Dieter Rams ----------------------------------

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