Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Ubuntu I have an external USB drive that gets automounted when accessed through Nautilus. The problem is that if I first open up a terminal and try to access the files, they're not there. I have to first access the drive through Nautilus. After that a folder is created in the /mount directory and I can access the files in the terminal.

How can I get access to the drive in the terminal without first having to access it like this?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

As Mattias suggested (+1) the /etc/fstab is the place to add correct entry.

But, you may want to identify the block device in different way. For example if you have another pendrive/disk/sdcard connected the /dev/sda1 may not be block device you want.

Determine label or UUID by:

sudo blkid

and all entry to /etc/fstab in format:

UUID=85104805-cef7-41c6-9665-934e3c5ef1eb     /mount     ext3     defaults 0   0


LABEL=MYPEN     /mount     ext3     defaults 0   0
share|improve this answer
+1 this way is better as UUID won't change and /dev/sda1 can change depending on what devices you have connected. – laurent Jan 13 '12 at 2:20
UUID can change, but it's a PITA to do and you can't do it accidentally. – Rob Jan 13 '12 at 15:41
@Rob: I think, to change UUID you will need to backup data, recreate filesystem and restore the data. Didn't try it. – Michał Šrajer Jan 13 '12 at 21:02
No, there's definitely a way to do it otherwise. I found out after copying a partition with gparted. – Rob Jan 15 '12 at 15:49
@Rob: by copying a partition, parted recreates a similar filesystem under the cover. Anyhow, you are right, there is probably several ways to change a UUID, but fortunately it's not that easy to do it by mistake. – Michał Šrajer Jan 16 '12 at 1:45

If your USB drive is always connected you can put an entry in your /etc/fstab file if you figure out what devicename it has. To figure it out, when you have the volume mounted with Nautilus, open a Terminal and write mount and then check the output for the proper device. Then edit /etc/fstab with this, for example:

/dev/sda1     /mount     ext3     defaults 0   0
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.