blkdeactivate - Linux


blkdeactivate is a Linux utility that deactivates a physical or logical block device. It is commonly used to prepare a device for removal, modification, or maintenance without losing data.


blkdeactivate [options] <device>


  • -f, –force: Force the deactivation even if it could result in data loss.
  • -h, –help: Display help and usage information.
  • -V, –version: Display version information.


Deactivate an unused physical disk:

blkdeactivate /dev/sdb

Deactivate a logical volume:

blkdeactivate /dev/mapper/test-lv

Force deactivation of a mounted device:

blkdeactivate -f /dev/sda1

Common Issues

  • Device is in use: If the device is currently mounted or in use by a process, deactivation will fail. Unmount the device or stop the process before attempting deactivation.
  • Data loss: Deactivating a device without using the -f flag may result in data loss. Use -f only when necessary, and always ensure that proper backups are in place.


blkdeactivate can be used in conjunction with other Linux commands to manage and prepare devices. For example:

  • Unmounting before deactivating:
umount /dev/sda1
blkdeactivate /dev/sda1
  • Using in a script:

# Deactivate all unused block devices
for dev in /dev/sd*; do
  if [ $(lsblk -f $dev | grep -c PARTUUID) -eq 0 ]; then
    blkdeactivate $dev

Related Commands

  • blkid: Provides information about block devices.
  • fdisk: Partitions and manages disk space.
  • mkfs: Creates file systems on block devices.