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Mounting typically involves the attaching of an additional filesystem to the currently accessible filesystem of a computer.[1]


The mount command is part of the sys-apps/util-linux package. In Gentoo Linux sys-apps/util-linux is part of the system set and is installed on all Gentoo systems by default. If for some strange and unordinary reason it is missing it can be re-installed by running a simple emerge command:

root #emerge --ask sys-apps/util-linux


Show mounted filesystems by running the mount command with no arguments or options:

root #mount

Mount a filesystem. A device file, UUID or label or other means of locating the partition or data source and a mount point are required. Non-system relevant filesystems are normally mounted in the /mnt directory. The proper syntax for mounting a file system is as follows:

root #mount <DEVICE> <DIRECTORY>

For further details see man 8 mount.

The /media directory is generally used to mount removable devices such as USB drives or SD cards. After determining which device the USB drive shows up as, a command like the following could be used to mount its contents to a newly created usb folder in /media

root #mkdir /media/usb
root #mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb

To unmount a filesystem the device file or the mount point can be specified:

root #umount <DEVICE>
root #umount <DIRECTORY>

Sometimes mounting a filesystem requires special options.

Program options
Option Description
-f Simulate the mount
-t Specify the filesystem, e.g ext4
-o OPTION1,OPTION2,... Specify the mount options (see below)
-a Mount all filesystems in /etc/fstab

The filesystem being used must support the mount option being passed. Many options are common, but some are filesystem specific. For more information see the mount man page.

Mount options
Option Description
defaults Use the default mount options: rw, suid, dev, exec, auto, nouser, async.
auto Mount the filesystem automatically on boot.
noauto Do not mount the filesystem automatically on boot.
ro Mount the filesystem read-only.
rw Mount the filesystem read-write.
sw Mount a swap filesystem.
atime Update inode access times on every read.
relatime Update inode access times only on writes to improve I/O performance.
noatime Never update inode access times for best I/O performance.
sync Sync drive after each write. Can shorten life for e.g. some flash drives.
async Sync drive asynchronously.
discard The equivalent of trim support on Linux.
exec Allow execution of binaries.
noexec Do not allow execution of binaries.
suid Follow SUID and SGID bits.
nosuid Do not follow SUID and SGID bits.
user Allow a user to mount the filesystem.
users Allow every user to mount the filesystem.
nouser Allow only "root" to mount the filesystem.

Mounting as non-superuser

According to man mount only the superuser can mount filesystems. However, when fstab contains the user option on a line any user will be capable of mounting the corresponding partition, device, drive, etc.

Mounting removable media

See the relevant section in the Removable media article.

Mounting Windows shares (cifs)

Despite fstab entries non-superuser mounts of Windows shares will fail (for security reasons). In the following example is found a fstab entry for Windows share; pay close attention to the cifs option:

FILE /etc/fstab
//server/folder /home/larry/winmount cifs noauto,user 0 0
user $mount /home/larry/winmount
This program is not installed setuid root -  "user" CIFS mounts not supported.

The solution is to use sudo mount /home/larry/winmount in combination with a corresponding entry in /etc/sudoers to allow passwordless mounting. Be sure to read this before editing the /etc/sudoers file!

FILE /etc/sudoers
larry    ALL = NOPASSWD: /bin/mount  /home/larry/winmount/, /bin/mount  /home/larry/winmount
larry    ALL = NOPASSWD: /bin/umount /home/larry/winmount/, /bin/umount /home/larry/winmount

See also

External resources