Mounting partitions

Nils Kassube kassube at
Fri Apr 2 12:10:10 UTC 2010

alan duval wrote:
> I have installed a larger 500G HD, and used Gparted to make 4
> partitions.
> Partition 1 for Ubuntu9.04
> Partition2 for Swap
> Partition3 for Home
> Partition4 for Virtual operating systems
> I then transferred Ubuntu and my Home partition from my smaller disk
>  to the larger using Acronis.
> However Ubuntu then couldn't mount the new Virtual partition. Message
> said
> "Can't find sda7 (my virtual partition) in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab".
> I looked at fstab but didn't know what values to put for sda7.

You can find out the UUID of the partitions with the command

ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid

in a terminal. There should be a line like this:

d7351921-3fb9-48b5-a5ae-799bbbbd682d -> ../../sda7

The name of the link is the UUID for the partition /dev/sda7 and you can 
use it in your fstab. It should be something like

UUID=d7351921-3fb9-48b5-a5ae-799bbbbd682d /Virtual ext3 relatime 0 0

where you replace the UUID with the one found by the command above. Then 
use the command

sudo mount -a

and the new fstab entry should be used.

> I then opened mtab and it looked simpler, so I added the line:
> /dev/sda7 /Virtual ext3 rw,relatime 0 0
> which is similar to the line for sda6
> This then loaded my Virtual partition in the media folder and I am
>  able to use it but I notice that the line I inserted in mtab has
>  disappeared.
> Although this works I doubt that I have followed accepted practice.

Well, it is your system after all and you are free to do with it 
whatever you want. :)

But the right file to change is always fstab and not mtab which is used 
by the system to list the actually mounted partitions.


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