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Old 07-31-2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Help to understand how to automount a usb ntfs hard drive

Hi everyone

(Using ubuntu 9.04)
Sorry to post this one up, but I've have googled and still don't quite understand fstab and I really don't want to trash my system! I have an external usb hard drive I want to automount on bootup / startup. Not 100% sure of the best / safest way: here is some info on my drives

sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x35073506

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1       12748   102398278+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2           12749       14207    11719417+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3           14208       60801   374266305    5  Extended
/dev/sda5           14208       14331      995998+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6           14332       60801   373270243+  83  Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xddfe77c0

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1      121601   976760001    7  HPFS/NTFS

rich@htpc:~$ df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2             11535376   1929492   9019916  18% /
tmpfs                  1030344         0   1030344   0% /lib/init/rw
varrun                 1030344       328   1030016   1% /var/run
varlock                1030344         0   1030344   0% /var/lock
udev                   1030344       176   1030168   1% /dev
tmpfs                  1030344         0   1030344   0% /dev/shm
lrm                    1030344      2392   1027952   1% /lib/modules/2.6.28-11-generic/volatile
/dev/sda6            373139168   1175216 371963952   1% /var/lib


/dev/sdb1            976760000  11307200 965452800   2% /media/Mybook

Here is my fstab file

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'vol_id --uuid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
# / was on /dev/sda2 during installation
UUID=af994ff2-a9b8-4977-b0ca-734b7ea56d93 /               ext3    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /var/lib was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=01cad37d-b1d5-4ec5-b107-e5af973da68c /var/lib        xfs     defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=537acc4a-eaf5-4d5f-bfa7-8af67666d63f none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/scd0       /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0
So the drive is a NTFS drive (I know,sorry!!!) and it's /dev/sdb1 and label is /media/Mybook

Thanks every so much.
Old 07-31-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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Well, if the device is always going to be at /dev/sdb1 (Think hard about what I am suggesting here).
You could put this in your /etc/fstab
/dev/sda2       /mnt/wherever        ntfs-3g defaults
Otherwise you might be better off mounting by UUID
UUID=7591fe5b-8907-406f-854e-321684957104 /mnt/wherever        ntfs-3g defaults
Obviously, your UUID will be different from mine.

Or use the LABEL:
LABEL=Mybook   /mnt/wherever        ntfs-3g defaults
See here:

The directory /mnt/wherever needs to exist and have appropriate permissions for your security policy. Perms = 777 if you don't care who can read / write the drive. Eg (as root)
mkdir /mnt/Mybook
chmod 777 /mnt/Mybook
Before you try mounting the drive.

As usual with linux, there are many ways to achieve what you need.

udev is great for handling this sort of thing (especially if you have multiple drives / USB things that you want to plug in and out, and always have them appear at a sensible, known mountpoint).

See here:

Have fun and welcome to LQ!
Old 07-31-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Thanks Tredegar

Thanks for excellent reply! It has helped a lot. I have used the first suggestion in the post and it automounts perfectly. I will get around to using the uuid as I will probably add more drive in the future. Changing the permissions to enable sharing with other computers was a good call as well, I had not thought of that but I will probably do that in the near future. Thanks again!


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