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Distribution: Slackware 11, Solaris 10, Solaris 9, Sourcemage 0.9.6
When you mount partitions, they will not take up space from the partition you mount them to. Mount works for both FAT32 and NTFS, but to have read and write access to NTFS you must compile NTFS support into the kernel.
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Think of the command "mount" as putting a tape on a tape drive so the system can read and write to it.
When you mount a fat32 partition, it is added into the existing file system at some mount point you specify.
The concept in Linux is different to other OS's like windows. Everything starts at the root, designated by the "/" If you add a directory, it is referenced from the root. ie. /home/user is where your user stuff goes. Note the "/" at the beginning. This says root.
Partitions are simply mounted to some point; either from the root, or through some directory structure. There is is difference in that linux doesn't reference hard drives as windows does, and that doesn't show up in the single tree structure.
So to answer one question, mounting a fat32 has nothing to do with the ext3 partitions you have or the ext3 size.
The basic thing you have to do is create a directory in the existing file system where you want to mount the new partition. Most linux distro's have a directory /mnt. This is a place you can mount more partitions if they are to be used by the system, or local users. If at any point you want to share files on this partition through samba, ( windows shares) you need to mount it within a home directory.
As for the mount command, it is much easier to add the command to your /etc/fstab file and have it mounted at boot time. Here is a sample of a fat32 partition I have mounted.
The first part /dev/hda1 is the hard drive and partition I'm mounting. The /mnt/win_c is the mount point I'm specifying. I had to run a command "md" make dir once to create an empty directory. The rest of the stuff tells linux what file system (vfat) character set etc to expect. Fstab is read during the boot process, and a mount command is done for each partition.
= look which is your NTFS drive eg /dev/hda5
#mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/ntdrive -t ntfs -r -o umask=0222
= ntfs kernel must be installed find in sourceforge must same kernel use using
= look which is your fat drive . eg. /dev/hda6
#mount -t vfat /dev/hda6 /mnt/fatdrive