Linux Know-How provides a collection of introductory texts on often needed Linux skills.

Mounting my other devices

Very much the same as CDROM--see the previous answer if you did not read it.


I can mount my floppy (as root) with:

mount -t auto /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy

Again, make sure that the directory /mnt/floppy exists and is empty. Also, /mnt/floppy/ cannot be your current directory.

After a successful mount, the files from the floppy appear in the directory /mnt/floppy/ . All the users will be able to read the files, but only root will be able to modify/delete the files. Please read further if you wanted the users to be able to write to the floppy.

To unmount a floppy (you *must* do this before ejecting the disk!) use:

umount /mnt/floppy

If you cannot unmount because "the device is busy", perhaps the /mnt/floppy/ directory is your current directory. Exit it by typing (for example):


which will change your current directory to your home directory.


I mount the parallel port external zipdrive (scsi emulation) with:

mount -t vfat /dev/sda4 /mnt/zipdrive

The "-t vfat" is used here because zip disks come preformatted in the vfat file system, which is the file system of MS Windows with the long filename support. You won't be able to eject the disk without unmounting it. Again, the directory must exist, be empty, and must not be your current working directory (see the previous answer).

I can mount an internal IDE zipdrive using:

mount -t vfat /dev/hdd4 /mnt/zipdrive

On my system, this is the second drive on the second IDE interface, hence "hdd"--replace it with "hdb" or "hdc" if necessary on your system.

A tip from Alvaro Reguly <>. "I have a ATAPI Zip Drive (recognized as ATAPI Floppy) so to make it work with Debian and kernel 2.4.3 I had to switch my BIOS setting from "Autodetect" to "None" (just the Zip channel of course), and mount it using

mount -t vfat /dev/hdb

(without the trailing 4!) "

All zipdrives (internal SCSI and IDE, external SCSI and parallel port) but the USB are supported under Linux (April 1999). See forward in this chapter for info on how to manually load a module (driver) for zipdrives if one does not load automatically on your system.

DOS/Windows partition

I use a dual boot system with both Linux and MS Windows on the same computer. I can access files on the DOS/Windows partition after mounting it with the following command:

mount -t vfat /dev/hda1 /mnt/dosdrive

Again, you may have to customize this command depending on what partition your DOS file system is. The "hda1" means the first IDE hard drive (hd a), first partition (1); "hda2" is the first IDE hard drive, second partition; "hda3"--the first IDE hard drive, third partition; "hdb1"--second IDE hard drive, first partition (or just "hdb" if it is the CDROM installed as a slave on your first IDE interface). "hdc" is the third IDE drive, hdd is the fourth IDE drive. SCSI drives have analogous names but start with letters "sd", followed by the letter indicating the SCSI interface, followed by the number indicating the SCSI device id . For example sda4 means "first SCSI interface, id number 4".

To mount so that all the users can read and write, you may want to try:

mount -t vfat -o user,rw,exec,umask=000 /dev/hda1 /mnt/dosdrive

This uses options (-o user,rw,exec,umask=000) to give absolutely everybody all the permission to all files on your DOS /dev/hda1 partition (you should ask yourself if this is really safe on your system). If users still can't write to the DOS partitions, perhaps the permissions on your mountpoint need to be set. This command (executed by root) will set up the permissions on the mountpoint /mnt/dosdrive so that all users will be given rights to read, write and execute:

chmod a=rwx /mnt/dosdrive

Network File System (NFS)

This is great for direct access to files that reside on another Linux computer. For mounting of a remote file system as NFS, first check if the NFS service is enabled (use the program setup). NFS also requires permission from the other computer. To configure the permissions on the server machine, run as root:


and adjust the setting under "Exported File Systems" menu.

If you prefer to do it manually, the permissions are set in the file /etc/exports . My /etc/exports looks like this:

/usr hacker(ro) mars(ro)

/home hacker(rw) mars(rw)

/mnt hacker(rw) mars(rw)

This gives the machines called hacker and mars the permission to mount the directories /usr/ (read-only access), /home and /mnt (read-write).

If you set up your NFS properly, you should now be able to mount a network directory using a command like this:

mount -t nfs mars:/home /mnt/mars_home

This mounts the contents of the directory /home/ on a machine called "mars" into the directory /mnt/mars_home/ (which must exist and be empty).

Many operating systems know NFS, but MS Windows doesn't. Therefore MS Windows remote shares have to be dealt with differently. See the next answer for details.

Last Update: 2010-12-16