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Manual Pages  — NVMECONTROL


nvmecontrol – NVM Express control utility



nvmecontrol devlist
nvmecontrol identify [-v] [-x] [-n nsid] <device-id | namespace-id>
nvmecontrol perftest <-n num_threads> <-o read|write> [-p] <-s size_in_bytes> <-t time_in_sec> <namespace-id>
nvmecontrol reset <device-id>
nvmecontrol logpage <-p page_id> [-x] [-v vendor-string] [-b] [-f LSP] [-i LSI] [-r] <device-id | namespace-id>
nvmecontrol ns active <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns allocated <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns attach <-n nsid> <-c cntid> <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns attached <-n nsid> <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns controllers <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns create <-s nsze> [-c ncap] [-f lbaf] [-m mset] [-n nmic] [-p pi] [-l pil] [-L flbas] [-d dps] <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns delete <-n nsid> <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns detach <-n nsid> <-c cntid> <device-id>
nvmecontrol ns identify [-v] [-x] <-n nsid> <device-id>
nvmecontrol nsid <device-id | namespace-id>
nvmecontrol resv acquire <-c crkey> [-p prkey] <-t rtype> <-a racqa> <namespace-id>
nvmecontrol resv register [-c crkey] <-k nrkey> <-r rrega> [-i iekey] [-p cptpl] <namespace-id>
nvmecontrol resv release <-c crkey> <-t rtype> <-a rrela> <namespace-id>
nvmecontrol resv report [-e] [-v] [-x] <namespace-id>
nvmecontrol firmware [-s slot] [-f path_to_firmware] [-a] <device-id>
nvmecontrol format [-f fmt] [-m mset] [-o pi] [-l pil] [-E] [-C] <device-id | namespace-id>
nvmecontrol sanitize <-a sanact> [-c owpass] [-d] [-p ovrpat] [-r] [-I] [-U] <device-id>
nvmecontrol power [-l] [-p -power_state] [-w -workload_hint]
nvmecontrol selftest <-c code> <device-id | namespace-id>
nvmecontrol wdc cap-diag [-o -path_template] <device-id>
nvmecontrol wdc drive-log [-o -path_template] <device-id>
nvmecontrol wdc get-crash-dump [-o -path_template] <device-id>
nvmecontrol admin-passthru [args] <device-id>
nvmecontrol io-passthru [args] <namespace-id>


NVM Express (NVMe) is a storage protocol standard, for SSDs and other high-speed storage devices over PCI Express.


The identify commands reports information from the drive's IDENTIFY_CONTROLLER if a device-id is specified. It reports IDENTIFY_NAMESPACE data if a namespace-id is specified. When used with disk names, the IDENTIFY_NAMESPACE data is reported, unless the namespace nsid is overridden with the -n flag. Then that namespace's data is reported, if it exists. The command accepts the following parameters:
  The namespace <nsid> to use instead of the namespace associated with the device. A nsid of "0" is used to retrieve the IDENTIFY_CONTROLLER data associated with that drive.


The logpage command knows how to print log pages of various types. It also knows about vendor specific log pages from hgst/wdc and intel. Note that some vendors use the same log page numbers for different data.

Page 0x01 Drive Error Log
Page 0x02 Health/SMART Data
Page 0x03 Firmware Information
Page 0x04 Changed Namespace List
Page 0x05 Commands Supported and Effects
Page 0x06 Device Self-test
Page 0x80 Reservation Notification
Page 0x81 Sanitize Status
Page 0xc1 Advanced SMART information (WDC/HGST)
Page 0xc1 Read latency stats (Intel)
Page 0xc2 Wite latency stats (Intel)
Page 0xc5 Temperature stats (Intel)
Page 0xca Advanced SMART information (Intel)

Specifying -v help will list all valid vendors and pages. -x will print the page as hex. -b will print the binary data for the page. -s will set Log Specific Field. -i will set Log Specific Identifier. -r will set Retain Asynchronous Event.


Various namespace management commands. If namespace management is supported by device, allow list, create and delete namespaces, list, attach and detach controllers to namespaces.


Reports the namespace id and controller device associated with the <namespace-id> or <device-id> argument.

resv acquire

Acquire or preempt namespace reservation, using specified parameters:
  Acquire action:
0 Acquire
1 Preempt
2 Preempt and abort
-c Current reservation key.
-p Preempt reservation key.
-t Reservation type:
1 Write Exclusive
2 Exclusive Access
3 Write Exclusive - Registrants Only
4 Exclusive Access - Registrants Only
5 Write Exclusive - All Registrants
6 Exclusive Access - All Registrants

resv register

Register, unregister or replace reservation key, using specified parameters:
  Current reservation key.
  New reservation key.
  Register action:
0 Register
1 Unregister
2 Replace
-i Ignore Existing Key
-p Change Persist Through Power Loss State:
0 No change to PTPL state
2 Set PTPL state to ‘0’. Reservations are released and registrants are cleared on a power on.
3 Set PTPL state to ‘1’. Reservations and registrants persist across a power loss.

resv release

Release or clear reservation, using specified parameters:
  Current reservation key.
  Reservation type.
  Release action:
0 Release
1 Clean

resv report

Print reservation status, using specified parameters:
  Print reservation status in hex.
  Use Extended Data Structure.


Format either specified namespace, or all namespaces of specified controller, using specified parameters: fmt LBA Format, mset Metadata Settings, pi Protection Information, pil Protection Information Location. When formatting specific namespace, existing values are used as defaults. When formatting all namespaces, all parameters should be specified. Some controllers may not support formatting or erasing specific or all namespaces. Option -E enables User Data Erase during format. Option -C enables Cryptographic Erase during format.


Sanitize NVM subsystem of specified controller, using specified parameters:
-a operation
  Specify the sanitize operation to perform.
  Perform an overwrite operation by writing a user supplied data pattern to the device one or more times. The pattern is given by the -p argument. The number of times is given by the -c argument.
block Perform a block erase operation. All the device's blocks are set to a vendor defined value, typically zero.
  Perform a cryptographic erase operation. The encryption keys are changed to prevent the decryption of the data.
  Exits a previously failed sanitize operation. A failed sanitize operation can only be exited if it was run in the unrestricted completion mode, as provided by the -U argument.
-c passes
  The number of passes when performing an 'overwrite' operation. Valid values are between 1 and 16. The default is 1.
  No Deallocate After Sanitize.
  When performing an 'overwrite' operation, the pattern is inverted between consecutive passes.
-p pattern
  32 bits of pattern to use when performing an 'overwrite' operation. The pattern is repeated as needed to fill each block.
  Perform the sanitize in the unrestricted completion mode. If the operation fails, it can later be exited with the 'exitfailure' operation.
  Run in "report only" mode. This will report status on a sanitize that is already running on the drive.


Manage the power modes of the NVMe controller.
  List all supported power modes.
-p mode
  Set the power mode to mode. This must be a mode listed with the

    nvmecontrol power -l


-w hint
  Set the workload hint for automatic power mode control.
0 No workload hint is provided.
1 Extended idle period workload. The device is often idle for minutes at a time. A burst of write commands comes in over a period of seconds. Then the device returns to being idle.
2 Heavy sequential writes. A huge number of sequential writes will be submitted, filling the submission queues.
Other All other values are reserved and have no standard meaning.
Please see the "NVM Subsystem Workloads" section of the relevant NVM Express Base Standard for details.


Start the specified device self-test:
-c code
  Specify the device self-test command code. Common codes are:
0x1 Start a short device self-test operation
0x2 Start an extended device self-test operation
0xe Start a vendor specific device self-test operation
0xf Abort the device self-test operation


The various wdc command retrieve log data from the wdc/hgst drives. The -o flag specifies a path template to use to output the files. Each file takes the path template (which defaults to nothing), appends the drive's serial number and the type of dump it is followed by .bin. These logs must be sent to the vendor for analysis. This tool only provides a way to extract them.


The "admin-passthru" and "io-passthru" commands send NVMe commands to either the administrative or the data part of the device. These commands are expected to be compatible with nvme-cli. Please see the NVM Express Base Standard for details.
-o --opcode opcode
  Opcode to send.
-2 --cdw2 value
  32-bit value for CDW2.
-3 --cdw3 value
  32-bit value for CDW3.
-4 --cdw10 value
  32-bit value for CDW10.
-5 --cdw11 value
  32-bit value for CDW11.
-6 --cdw12 value
  32-bit value for CDW12.
-7 --cdw13 value
  32-bit value for CDW13.
-8 --cdw14 value
  32-bit value for CDW14.
-9 --cdw15 value
  32-bit value for CDW15.
-l --data-len
  Length of the data for I/O (bytes).
-m --metadata-len
  Length of the metadata segment for command (bytes). This is ignored and not implemented in nvme(4).
-f --flags
  Nvme command flags.
-n --namespace-id
  Namespace ID for command (Ignored).
-p --prefill
  Value to prefill payload with.
-b --raw-binary
  Output in binary format (otherwise a hex dump is produced).
-d --dry-run
  Do not actually execute the command, but perform sanity checks on it.
-r --read
  Command reads data from the device.
-s --show-command
  Show all the command values on stdout.
-w --write
  Command writes data to the device.
Send arbitrary commands to the device. Can be used to extract vendor specific logs. Transfers to/from the device possible, but limited to MAXPHYS bytes. Commands either read data or write it, but not both. Commands needing metadata are not supported by the
nvme(4) drive.


Where <namespace-id> is required, you can use either the nvmeXnsY device, or the disk device such as ndaZ or nvdZ. The leading /dev/ is omitted. Where <device-id> is required, you can use either the nvmeX device, or the disk device such as nda Z or nvdZ. For commands that take an optional <nsid> you can use it to get information on other namespaces, or to query the drive itself. A <nsid> of "0" means query the drive itself.


    nvmecontrol devlist

Display a list of NVMe controllers and namespaces along with their device nodes.

    nvmecontrol identify nvme0

    nvmecontrol identify -n 0 nvd0

Display a human-readable summary of the nvme0 IDENTIFY_CONTROLLER data. In this example, nvd0 is connected to nvme0.

    nvmecontrol identify -x -v nvme0ns1

    nvmecontrol identify -x -v -n 1 nvme0

Display an hexadecimal dump of the nvme0 IDENTIFY_NAMESPACE data for namespace 1.

    nvmecontrol perftest -n 32 -o read -s 512 -t 30 nvme0ns1

Run a performance test on nvme0ns1 using 32 kernel threads for 30 seconds. Each thread will issue a single 512 byte read command. Results are printed to stdout when 30 seconds expires.

    nvmecontrol reset nvme0

    nvmecontrol reset nda4

Perform a controller-level reset of the nvme0 controller. In this example, nda4 is wired to nvme0.

    nvmecontrol logpage -p 1 nvme0

Display a human-readable summary of the nvme0 controller's Error Information Log. Log pages defined by the NVMe specification include Error Information Log (ID=1), SMART/Health Information Log (ID=2), and Firmware Slot Log (ID=3).

    nvmecontrol logpage -p 0xc1 -v wdc nvme0

Display a human-readable summary of the nvme0's wdc-specific advanced SMART data.

    nvmecontrol logpage -p 1 -x nvme0

Display a hexadecimal dump of the nvme0 controller's Error Information Log.

    nvmecontrol logpage -p 0xcb -b nvme0 > /tmp/page-cb.bin

Print the contents of vendor specific page 0xcb as binary data on standard out. Redirect it to a temporary file.

    nvmecontrol firmware -s 2 -f /tmp/nvme_firmware nvme0

Download the firmware image contained in "/tmp/nvme_firmware" to slot 2 of the nvme0 controller, but do not activate the image.

    nvmecontrol firmware -s 4 -a nvme0

Activate the firmware in slot 4 of the nvme0 controller on the next reset.

    nvmecontrol firmware -s 7 -f /tmp/nvme_firmware -a nvme0

Download the firmware image contained in "/tmp/nvme_firmware" to slot 7 of the nvme0 controller and activate it on the next reset.

    nvmecontrol power -l nvme0

List all the current power modes.

    nvmecontrol power -p 3 nvme0

Set the current power mode.

    nvmecontrol power nvme0

Get the current power mode.

    nvmecontrol identify -n 0 nda0

Identify the drive data associated with the nda0 device. The corresponding nvmeX devices is used automatically.

    nvmecontrol identify nda0

Get the namespace parameters associated with the nda0 device. The corresponding nvmeXnsY device is used automatically.


The directories /lib/nvmecontrol and /usr/local/lib/nvmecontrol are scanned for any .so files. These files are loaded. The members of the top linker set are added to the top-level commands. The members of the logpage linker set are added to the logpage parsers.



The NVM Express Base Specification, June 10, 2019.


The nvmecontrol utility appeared in FreeBSD 9.2 .


nvmecontrol was developed by Intel and originally written by Jim Harris <Mt jimharris@FreeBSD.org>.

This man page was written by Jim Harris <Mt jimharris@FreeBSD.org>.

NVMECONTROL (8) December 19, 2020

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