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Old 08-10-2005, 11:59 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2004
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Fedora 3: Unable to mount floppy disc as a normal user

I've recently bought a new computer with a dual boot - Windows and Fedora Core 3. I've managed to load Fedora, but find I can't mount a floppy disc as a normal user. It works as root so the hardware / drivers must be ok.

So I searched around and found advice to edit the /etc/fstab file. I changed an option from something like pamconsole to user as recommended. Rebooted - no change. So I looked again at fstab, and found it had been changed back to its original content! At the top there was a message about fstab-sync, but it didn't mean much to me.

Clearly something (presumably fstab-sync) is modifying fstab on start up. How do I prevent this (or at least specify how it should be modified)?

Help appreciated - I don't have a lot of time available on the machine to experiment as my wife is studying for a Masters degree and has a prior call!


Old 08-10-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Orlando, FL USA
Distribution: Fedora Core 13 x86_64 / RHEL 5.3
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I'm not sure which device your floppy drive is listed as. Whatever your device is in /dev, check the permissions on it.
Old 08-10-2005, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks - permissions on /dev/fd0 seem ok.

Progress of a sort. The man page for fstab-sync is utterly incomprehensible, but it refers to a HAL daemon. On the start up of Fedora it gives the option for interactive stary, where you can skip any step. By taking this route and disabling the 'load HAL' step, but leaving everything else as it is, I can now mount my floppy.

This is not a permanent solution - interactive start up is slow, and if I once avoid it I will have to re-edit the fstab file. But if I disabled the HAL daemon, would I notice it was gone? What does HAL do, anyway?

Old 08-12-2005, 05:44 PM   #4
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It seem no-one can tell me what HAL does!

I searched some more - HAL seems to stand for hardware abstraction layer, but I just couldn't follow any further. But in the man page for fstab-sync there is the note:-

"Automatic updates of the /etc/fstab file by the fstab-sync program from the HAL daemon can be disabled by changing the 50-fstab-sync.hal symlink in /etc/hal/device.d directory to point to /bin/false"

So I tried this, although I had no idea really what I was doing. Guess what - I can now mount my floppy disks as a normal user! But can anyone enlighten me as to what I have done, why it works and could it cause problems in the future?


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