External Hard Drive Mounting Problem for Back up's

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at infinity-ltd.com
Fri Nov 16 00:34:12 UTC 2007

Bill Davidsen wrote:
> Ralph De Witt wrote:
>> Hello All:
>> I am new to Fedora. Just installed Fedora 8 on my Dell Inspiron
>> Laptop. So far I am impressed. I have a USB External hard drive that
>> is attached. Does anyone know how to permanently mount the partitions
>> on it? I would like to use it for Hard Drive back up and to play music
>> files from. Also could you recommend a good way to back up my current
>> lappy hard disk to one of the partitions on the external hard drive. TIA
> I suspect you don't really want to "permanently mount" removable
> filesystems, what you want is to mount them if the device is present.
> You have an option in system->preferences->removable media which is
> probably what you want. You *may* be able to put lines in /etc/fstab for
> "noauto" mounting, I don't know if that would be scanned by the hotplug
> stuff. Of course, if you don't care too much about all the filesystems
> being mounted on /media/* points, just enable automount, make sure the
> filesystems on the removable device are labeled (see tune2fs) and you're
> done.
> Wasn't that easy?
I suspect that he may run into a problem using it for backup if he
wants to run a cron job to do the backup. The type of auto-mount you
are talking about only works if you are logged in. What I find works
well is to create a udev rule based on the drive's ID, and have it
create a symlink for the drive. How much of the drive identification
you use depends on what you need. The product and vendor ID man be
enough, or you may want the serial number as well.

You can then create a /etc/fstab mount using the noauto and possible
the user option. Or you can have udev run a script to mount the
drive partition(s) or the entire drive at a specific place. You also
have the option of using the drive without mounting it. Though it is
not common practice, it is possible to backup to a drive using
something like: (No file system on the drive.)

tar -cvzf /dev/backup <files to backup>

You can also use the entire drive as one file system. You will get a
warning if you try to create a file system on something like
/dev/sdb, but it will let you do it, and it does work. You don't
gain a lot of space doing it this way, and HAL will probably not
auto-mount a drive formatted like that...


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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