partx — tell the kernel about the presence and numbering of on-disk partitions


partx [-a|-d|-P|-r|-s|-u] [-t type] [-n M:N] [-] disk
partx [-a|-d|-P|-r|-s|-u] [-t type] partition [disk]


Given a device or disk-image, partx tries to parse the partition table and list its contents.  It can also tell the kernel to add or remove partitions from its bookkeeping.

The disk argument is optional when a partition argument is provided.  To force scanning a partition as if it were a whole disk (for example to list nested subpartitions), use the argument "-" (hyphen-minus). For example:

partx --show - /dev/sda3

This will see sda3 as a whole-disk rather than as a partition.

partx is not an fdisk program – adding and removing partitions does not change the disk, it just tells the kernel about the presence and numbering of on-disk partitions.


-a, --add

Add the specified partitions, or read the disk and add all partitions.

-b, --bytes

Print the SIZE column in bytes rather than in human-readable format.

-d, --delete

Delete the specified partitions or all partitions.

-g, --noheadings

Do not print a header line with --show or --raw.

-l, --list

List the partitions.  Note that all numbers are in 512-byte sectors. This output format is DEPRECATED in favour of --show. Do not use it in newly written scripts.

-n, --nr M:N

Specify the range of partitions.  For backward compatibility also the format M-N is supported. The range may contain negative numbers, for example --nr -1:-1 means the last partition, and --nr -2:-1 means the last two partitions.  Supported range specifications are:


Specifies just one partition (e.g. --nr 3).


Specifies the lower limit only (e.g. --nr 2:).


Specifies the upper limit only (e.g. --nr :4).


Specifies the lower and upper limits (e.g. --nr 2:4).

-o, --output list

Define the output columns to use for --show, --pairs and --raw output.  If no output arrangement is specified, then a default set is used.  Use --help to get list of all supported columns.  This option cannot be combined with the --add, --delete, --update or --list options.


Output all available columns.

-P, --pairs

List the partitions using the KEY="value" format.

-r, --raw

List the partitions using the raw output format.

-s, --show

List the partitions. The output columns can be selected and rearranged with the --output option. All numbers (except SIZE) are in 512-byte sectors.

-t, --type type

Specify the partition table type.


List supported partition types and exit.

-u, --update

Update the specified partitions.

-S, --sector-size size

Overwrite default sector size.

-v, --verbose

Verbose mode.

-V, --version

Display version information and exit.

-h, --help

Display help text and exit.


partx --show /dev/sdb3
partx --show --nr 3 /dev/sdb
partx --show /dev/sdb3 /dev/sdb

All three commands list partition 3 of /dev/sdb.

partx --show - /dev/sdb3

Lists all subpartitions on /dev/sdb3 (the device is used as whole-disk).

partx -o START -g --nr 5 /dev/sdb

Prints the start sector of partition 5 on /dev/sdb without header.

partx -o SECTORS,SIZE /dev/sda5 /dev/sda

Lists the length in sectors and human-readable size of partition 5 on /dev/sda.

partx --add --nr 3:5 /dev/sdd

Adds all available partitions from 3 to 5 (inclusive) on /dev/sdd.

partx -d --nr :-1 /dev/sdd

Removes the last partition on /dev/sdd.

See Also

addpart(8), delpart(8), fdisk(8), parted(8), partprobe(8)


Davidlohr Bueso
Karel Zak

The original version was written by Andries E. Brouwer.



enables libblkid debug output.


The partx command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel Archive.

Referenced By

addpart(8), cfdisk(8), delpart(8), fdisk(8), findfs(8), resizepart(8), sfdisk(8).

December 2014 util-linux System Administration