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Fstab is a file where static information about  the file system is stored. The fstab file typically lists all available disks and disk partitions, and indicates how they are to be initialized or otherwise integrated into the overall system’s file system.

It defines which all partitions  should be mounted and where to be mounted.

fstab Syntax

Each entry in the fstab should have the the fields shown below.

[Device] [Mount Point] [File_system] [Options] [dump] [fsck order]


Device is the physical location that is to be mounted.

It can be /dev/hdxy or /dev/sdxy.

x will be a letter starting with a, then b,c,….
y will be a number starting with 1, then 2,3,….

Thus hda1 = First partition on the master HD.

Or it can also be a remote filesystem residing in a remote sever.


Mount Point

This is where the partition is mounted or accessed within the “tree” (ie /mnt/hda1).
You can use any name you like.

1. /mnt/windows
2. /mnt/data
3. /media/usb

File types:
Linux file systems: ext2, ext3, jfs, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, swap.

vfat = FAT 32, FAT 16
ntfs= NTFS

Note: For NTFS rw ntfs-3g

CD/DVD/iso: iso9660

To mount an iso image (*.iso NOT CD/DVD device)


defaults = rw, suid, dev, exec, auto, nouser, and async.

My recommended options for removable (USB) drives are in green.

auto= mounted at boot
noauto= not mounted at boot

user= when mounted the mount point is owned by the user who mounted the partition
users= when mounted the mount point is owned by the user who mounted the partition and the group users

ro= read only
rw= read/write


Written by praji

January 8, 2008 at 9:32 am

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