What are the Linux FSTAB and MTAB files

These are some of those critical files for your computer. Without them, your computer will not know where to find any of the partitions or drives on the computer.

Loose this up and you can be dead in the water.

Never make any changes without a good backup copy.

/etc/fstab

In this file there is a description of the various file systems.

Commands like ¨fsck¨ and ¨mount¨ consult this file for the actions they take.
This looks like a complicated description of the files on your host, but it is really simple if you break it down into the parts of each entry.

See below
– In order for certain programs to be able to determine where certain partitions are supposed to be mounted by default, the /etc/fstab file is used.



I will try to bring some clarity in there. Let´s only take the partitions, here for Linux : / and /home and swap.

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For the CD-ROM and floppy drive:



You can see the CD-ROM and floppy have the same codes as the Windows partition because they are not Linux default.

For the memory card reader:



Two additional entries are ¨devpts¨ and ¨/proc¨

The devpts file system provides an interface to pseudo-terminal (pty) devices. It is typically mounted at /dev/pts.

The /proc filesystem is to provide an easy way to view kernel and information about currently running processes.

If you build Linux from scratch, you will have to write your own /etc/fstab file.

/etc/mtab

This file handles the mounted devices and is automatically updated by the mount command.
And it looks a bit similar to fstab but not the  same ( notice rw and ro for read/write and read only ) and it does only lists the mounted devices !



 

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