Difference Between UUID and PARTUUID

This guide helps to learn the difference between UUID and PARTUUID. Also, it will help you to find out the PARTUUID and the UUID.


Difference Between UUID and PARTUUID

Difference Between UUID and PARTUUID


Index of Difference Between UUID and PARTUUID


I get asked quite frequently what’s the difference between UUID and PartUUID and why we need both. Simply said, the UUID is at the level of the filesystem, whilst the PARTUUID is at the level or the Partion:

  • UUID: File System Level
  • PARTUUID: Partion Table Level

Both, UUID and PARTUUID are typically used in a Linux or Linux based system. 

Its fair to say on a high level that:

  • PARTUUID is the unique identifier of a partition on a storage device. It will remain, even if you change the filesystem or reformat it.
  • UUID is a unique identifier for the identification of the filesystem on a partition on a storage device. It can change if you format the filesystem.

The PARTUUID can therefore als be considered the more save value, assuming you maybe change at a future stage the filesystem or reformat it.

Difference Between UUID and PARTUUID

Now let’s make the theory more feasible. To see both, the UUID and the PARTUUID you run the below command on your Linux system:

sudo blkid

This will print, depending on your system and on how many devices you added to your system something like this:

/dev/sda1: LABEL_FATBOOT="RASPI-BOOT" UUID="50FB-3DFA" TYPE="vfat" PARTUUID="2fe7ed1f-01"
/dev/sda2: UUID="1c4df10a-62b3-4252-b7fa-6d6aa77d315a" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="2fe7ed1f-02"

As you can see, there are various items incl. UUIDs and PARTUUID, hence, the UUID for:

/dev/sda1 is 50FB-3DFA whilst the PARTUUID is 2fe7ed1f-01

/dev/sda2 is 1c4df10a-62b3-4252-b7fa-6d6aa77d315a whilst the PARTUUID is 2fe7ed1f-02

Can I see the same on a Mac computer?

Yes, you can! On the Mac machine. For the Mac we will not be using the “blkid” command, but the “diskutil” command. First of all, lets get an overview and run:

diskutil info -all

Most likely, the Mac will through at you many disks and a lot of information. However, with this you will be able to identify into which disk you like to look into, but also the detailed information, including the UUID. Now, if we would like to be more precise, we need to specify which disk that we like to see. In the Mac world disks are typically having identifiers like for example disk0s1, whereof the numbers can change and are from disk to disk different. This is because Mac uses this as disk identifier and the disks must be unique. Lets however shut a more specified command (assuming you are interested into disk0s1:

diskutil info disk0s1

Once you fired the above command, than the Mac will output something like:
Device Identifier:         disk0s1
Device Node:               /dev/disk0s1
Whole:                     No
Part of Whole:             disk0

Volume Name:               Not applicable (no file system)
Mounted:                   Not applicable (no file system)
File System:               None

Partition Type:            Apple_APFS_ISC
OS Can Be Installed:       No
Media Type:                Generic
Protocol:                  Apple Fabric
SMART Status:              Verified
Disk / Partition UUID:     80EFFB72-95C0-417A-A341-E45C0498D280
Partition Offset:          24576 Bytes (6 4096-Byte-Device-Blocks)

Disk Size:                 524.3 MB (524288000 Bytes) (exactly 1024000 512-Byte-Units)
Device Block Size:         4096 Bytes

Media OS Use Only:         No
Media Read-Only:           No
Volume Read-Only:          Not applicable (no file system)

Device Location:           Internal
Removable Media:           Fixed

Solid State:               Yes
Hardware AES Support:      Yes

Within this information, you find the PART UUID. It’s called Disk / Partition UUID. In this case it is 80EFFB72-95C0-417A-A341-E45C0498D280.

We now can get even more specific by adjusting the command fired with trapping out the word Partition. This will then provide you simply with the Disk / Partition UUID line. To do so you run:

diskutil info disk0s1 |grep -e "Partition"

The output will look like something like this:

Partition Type:            Apple_APFS_ISC
Disk / Partition UUID:     80EFFB72-95C0-417A-A341-E45C0498D280
Partition Offset:          24576 Bytes (6 4096-Byte-Device-Blocks)


Additional Information

On a Mac you do not need to go to command line, but you can easily find the Partition UUID also in the Graphical User Interface (GUI). To do so, you click 

    1. The Mac Apple Icon (typically on the upper left corner)
    2. Select “About This Mac”
    3. Select “More Info…”
  1. Select “System Report…”
  2. Under “Hardware” you find “Storage”
  3. Select the disk drive you like to look at. In the window below it will show you all details.

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