In my ubuntu system, I want to have a look about my system disk info. When I use fdisk -l without sudo, I get nothing. But with sudo fdisk -l, I only get a device /dev/sda1, but when I use df -h, I get so many devices, like /dev/sda2, /dev/sda4 and so on. What is the difference between such disk operations?

# fdisk -l
WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use

Disk /dev/sda: 6000.1 GB, 60000069312512 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 729466 cylinders, tatal 11718885376 sectars
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000
   Device Boot     Start          End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1              1   4294967295  2147483647+  ee  GPT

# df -h
Filesystem     Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2      457G  2.0G  432G   1% /
udev            16G  4.0K   16G   1% /dev
tmpfs          6.3G  236K  6.3G   1% /run
none           5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            16G     0   16G   0% /run/shm
/dev/sda4      5.0T  604G  4.2T  13% /var
  • 1
    Please learn how to copy & paste text instead of an image. Images make it much harder for people searching for answers to find related questions.
    – cjm
    Oct 16, 2013 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


It says it right there:

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT.

Your /dev/sda is using a GUID Partition Table. Your version of fdisk doesn't support GPT, so all it can see is the fake MBR partition that takes up your entire disk. Try using gdisk or another program that supports GPT.


df -h displays all of the mounted partitions. enter image description here

fdisk -l displays all of the partitions that exist on your system. The partitions are displayed by their device’s names. For example: /dev/sda, /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc

enter image description here


fdisk checks the MBR on the disk device. df lists filesystems present in the OS.

  • 1
    I think he's asking why fdisk shows only 1 partition, but df shows the disk has several partitions.
    – cjm
    Oct 16, 2013 at 7:14
  • Who knows. As he missed the line with WARNING and he is also does not get why fdisk without sudo shows nothing. He could do little homework...
    – jirib
    Oct 16, 2013 at 7:17
  • 2
    @JiriXichtkniha It's a Q&A site; if you're going to get upset when people ask about something they don't understand, you're going to be upset a lot Oct 17, 2013 at 16:01

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