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Mounting is the act of making an existing disk available to the OS.
I have read that the term stems from the act of "mounting" a spool of tape on a mainframe tape drive back in the tape days, when the spool of tape had to physically lifted into place and threaded through the tape heads.
Windows doesn't hide it so much as do it automatically for any disk that Windows can read. (If it weren't so late, I would take my ext3 formated USB drive from my Slackbox and plug it into my Windows computer just for grins and giggles; I might try that tomorrow to see what happens. If I do, I shall report back.)
Is mounting the kernel's job or the distro's job? EX is the pice of mounting code in the Linux kernel or, for example, Ubuntu's everything else.
It's part of the kernel.
Drives in *nix are represented as files containing the raw bytes on the disk. When you "mount" one of these files to a directory, the OS checks that the file contains a filesystem and makes the contents of the directory mirror the contents of the filesystem contained in the file.
Distribution: Fedora14,Scientific 6.1?, Mandriva 2010 ;GO MAGEIA!!!Next up Gentoo
Non Tcchnical explaination that will not contradict any other understandings
Mounting a file-system makes it possible for your O.S to address locations that where not previously considered it's own. Hardware as in a CD/DVD drive are given addresses to be able to communicate with them. Think of un-mounted file-systems as remote sections of your hardware that are not always accessible and are only un-accessible because the software does not allow it. The Mount Command is sort of a data traffic enforcer. Mounting is basically running code that makes it possible for your O.S to retrieve data from these addresses.
Don't intuitively assume that mounting is a physical/hardware type of thing which the term "mount" real definition means. If the O.S configures some files that now include a isolated address location and now the CPU can put these addresses on the adddress bus ,this area of memory has now been mounted and you can access data from them/it.
This definition is not perfect and took five minutes to write but will give you the overlook to understand it.
Last edited by theKbStockpiler; 11-20-2011 at 09:19 AM.
Think of un-mounted file-systems as remote sections of your hardware that are not always accessible and are only un-accessible because the software does not allow it. The Mount Command is sort of a data traffic enforcer. Mounting is basically running code that makes it possible for your O.S to retrieve data from these addresses.
The software doesn't "not allow" it, and the mount command isn't some kind of "enforcer" that keeps data going where it shouldn't. That definition is wrong and confusing, in my opinion.
Mounting simply tells the OS that it should treat a file's contents as a filesystem, and mirror that filesystem's contents in a directory (this directory is called the "mount point"). Adding and removing files from the mount point adds and removes files from the filesystem, and modifying files under the mount point causes the files in the filesystem to be modified.
Mount is a Linux command
Linux Commands are defined with usage detail in the Linux Wiki here on LQ.Org
You can pull up the Linux Wiki in the Main menu at the top right of this page
Then click Commands in the center of the page
Scroll down to Mount and read the description
Click on the hyperlink for usage details