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Old 04-10-2005, 10:58 AM   #1
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Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
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Unwanted modifications to fstab

I wonder if any one knows what processes might modify the /etc/fstab file? Alternately, how I can track modifications to this file?

I have found my /etc/fstab file modified twice now, by some process not explicitly asked to modify it by me. The first time, I was mounting and unmounting my USB camera over the course of several hours while taking photographs, uploading them, and writing synopses. Unexpectely after one photo shoot I couldn't mount the camera, because /etc/fstab didn't list the camera's mount point. Once I figured out what the correct settings were, I copied the fstab into a backup and printed it to be sure I wouldn't have to do the research again.

The new fstab worked well for several months, until a few days ago when it was modified again. Some of my comments are still there, but they don't describe the lines the follow them very well. I can and will restore the fstab from the backup, but now I'd like to know what is modifying it. Aside from writing a script to monitor the file for any changes, are there any other logs or monitoring that I should look at to help figure out where these modifications are coming from? I should note that I have been using three USB devices in the same two USB slots: Fuji PinePix and Logitech Quickcam cameras and my trusty USB portable memory drive.

I am posting this in the Mandrake forum because someone said it might be a Mandrake program that is trying to maintain the fstab. I am running Mandrake 9.2, and was avoiding upgrading "because it works".

Suggestions would be gladly appreciated!!
Old 04-10-2005, 01:29 PM   #2
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"I have found my /etc/fstab file modified twice now, by some process not explicitly asked to modify it by me."

Hotplug is probably the process doing the modifications. The hotplug scripts that modify /etc/fstab are written by the distribution. In SuSE the script is /etc/hotplug/hotplug.functions. I don't know where Mandrake keeps their hotplug script which modifies /etc/fstab but it probably has a similar name. Once you find the correct script you might be able to change it to do things the way you want them done.

Steve Stites


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