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I downloaded and installed Mandriva 2009 RC1 a couple of days ago and have been trying to decide if I like the new KDE 4 interface or not. Today I went to edit my fstab and to my horror, it looks like something out of a m$ operating system or dotnet program code. I NEVER use the gui to edit my configuration files, including fstab but I don't have a clue what all that UUIDWindowsLookingDescription stuff means. Am I over reacting or is there a simple syntax change to learn here ?
Well it would help if you posted the fstab so we could see what you are talking about. I'll assume you refer to using UUID rather than /dev in defining partitions
There seems to be a general move towards installers using UUIDs to specify partitions rather than /dev entries. I won't claim to know the details, but as I understand things, the UUID for a partition will not change during the life of a partition, whereas if a lower numbered parition is deleted, the higher numbers can change (ie delete /dev/sdb5 and /dev/sdb6 can/does become /dev/sdb5). Therefore using UUID in fstab is more robust.
well yes, the UUID is what I am talking about and I had no idea what it is.
I think I like the old fstab better but maybe this will just take a little getting used to. still, it's too windowsey looking. So can you still edit the fstab as before ?
You can still add a partition with /dec/sdb3 or whatever, it's just a different way of defining the partition. If you really hate it, just change the UUID entry to a /dev entry. Probably not recommended though.
Nothing to do with windows. A closer analogy would be using MAC addresses for network interface ID rather than eth? notation
I doubt it's actually that new, just the use is. Use fstab as you always have (ie edit it if you want)
EDIT - I note that my 2004 mount manpage discusses the ability to use UUID's and suggests that in Linux this would have worked since kernel 2.1.116
Last edited by billymayday; 09-08-2008 at 08:17 PM.
I just read that you can pass a kernel parameter to the installer to force it to use device names instead of UUIDs in fstab... (just like acpi=off)
It would seem that this would be an option in the installation setup process. I think this is going to turn a lot of old timers off. Another thing is that just when there is a push, like with xml, to make things human readable, the fifty-plus character uuid comes along. If you were working strictly from the cl, no gui, and needed to make a change in fstab it would be a little difficult to remember something this big and odd. the idea behind uuid is fine but why make it something unreadable - what possible purpose can it serve ? and again, changing the devices from hda to sda, what useful purpose does that serve ? UUID theory may be great and so is string theory (i read that somewhere else) but neither serves any useful purpose that I can see. to use such a huge and unreaadable uuid identifier seems bizzare, and yes, microsoftish.
Labels or UUIDs are far better than /dev names. /dev names are too subject to change. I've seen one laptop that enumerated USB devices first (in BIOS) so if you booted while a USB device was attached, IT became sda and the internal drive moved to sdb.... real fun.
The libata change was the impetus for the major distros to go to either LABEL or UUID - so they didn't have to explain to everybody why their (E)IDE drives were now /dev/sd?
If you play with a lot of distros, and reformat a fair bit, both LABEL and UUID are a PITA. Even simple things like sharing a swap - every installer wants to mkswap; and change the UUID in the process.
FWIW, I only use /dev/...
some 'new and improved' fstab syntax...
I said it was 50 characters long, turns out it's only 36 characters long.
UUID=ddee4f6c-7dac-11dd-90ce-c7961ac25dfa / ...
What is rediculous about making this the default is that most linux users are not using massive disk arrays and have absolutely no advantageous use whatever for it, regardless of how 'progressive' it is. Its also one of the butt-ugliest features I've ever seen in linux not to mention that it makes a simple and managable fstab into something unreadable. Stuff like this is going to discourage noobs from taking on command line system management of their own systems. Oh well, after using linux for 11 years, and Mandrake since 7.x this is the first thing I've ever had that I thought was bad enough to vent about and I hope it's the last. Linus must have been napping when this default got changed.