Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

I have a backup script that backs up some data to a USB device. The problem I have is that OSX sometimes changes the expected mount path. For example if some file is locked under the expected mount path, OSX mounts it on another path. A USB device named 'BACKUP' can be mounted at /Volumes/BACKUP-1 instead of /Volumes/BACKUP.

Is there a way to finding out the current mount path of a USB device in the OSX Terminal? Something like 'mount_path BACKUP' (command is fake) which would then return '/Volumes/BACKUP-1' or nothing if the device was not mounted?

share|improve this question

The following commands show you information about mounted volumes:

  • The well-known Unix mount, showing e.g. /dev/disk5s3 mounted at /Volumes/Foo
  • diskutil list shows an overview of all disks and volumes
  • diskutil info /dev/disk5s3 shows information about that volume, including a Volume UUID that can be used to uniquely identify that volume.

You can query diskutil info by using the volume's UUID:

$ diskutil info DEC8759E-F77D-3EAE-B3EB-B6438F1AA428 | grep 'Mount Point'
   Mount Point:              /Volumes/DroboOne

Sample command output on my system:

$ mount
/dev/disk1 on / (hfs, local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)
localhost:/bNqIvVr1ZdFBdf19Io81Q4 on /Volumes/MobileBackups (mtmfs, nosuid, read-only, nobrowse)
/dev/disk4 on /Volumes/MyBook (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled)
/dev/disk5s3 on /Volumes/DroboOne (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled, noowners)
/dev/disk7s3 on /Volumes/DroboTwo (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled, noowners)
/dev/disk6s3 on /Volumes/DroboThree (hfs, local, nodev, nosuid, journaled, noowners)

$ diskutil list
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *256.1 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         240.0 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:                  Apple_HFS Servus10 HD            *239.7 GB   disk1
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *3.0 TB     disk2
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk2s1
   2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         3.0 TB     disk2s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk2s3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:                  Apple_HFS MyBook                 *3.0 TB     disk4
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     Apple_partition_scheme                        *2.2 TB     disk5
   1:        Apple_partition_map                         32.3 KB    disk5s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS DroboOne                2.2 TB     disk5s3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     Apple_partition_scheme                        *2.2 TB     disk6
   1:        Apple_partition_map                         32.3 KB    disk6s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS DroboThree              2.2 TB     disk6s3
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     Apple_partition_scheme                        *2.2 TB     disk7
   1:        Apple_partition_map                         32.3 KB    disk7s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS DroboTwo                2.2 TB     disk7s3

$ diskutil info /dev/disk5s3
   Device Identifier:        disk5s3
   Device Node:              /dev/disk5s3
   Part of Whole:            disk5
   Device / Media Name:      Untitled

   Volume Name:              DroboOne
   Escaped with Unicode:     DroboOne

   Mounted:                  Yes
   Mount Point:              /Volumes/DroboOne
   Escaped with Unicode:     /Volumes/DroboOne

   File System Personality:  Journaled HFS+
   Type (Bundle):            hfs
   Name (User Visible):      Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
   Journal:                  Journal size 172032 KB at offset 0x4001000
   Owners:                   Disabled

   Partition Type:           Apple_HFS
   OS Can Be Installed:      No
   Media Type:               Generic
   Protocol:                 FireWire
   SMART Status:             Not Supported
   Volume UUID:              DEC8759E-F77D-3EAE-B3EB-B6438F1AA428

   Total Size:               2.2 TB (2198888927232 Bytes) (exactly 4294704936 512-Byte-Blocks)
   Volume Free Space:        169.4 GB (169412173824 Bytes) (exactly 330883152 512-Byte-Blocks)
   Device Block Size:        512 Bytes

   Read-Only Media:          No
   Read-Only Volume:         No
   Ejectable:                Yes

   Whole:                    No
   Internal:                 No
share|improve this answer
I was hoping to avoid having to use those commands and parsing my way through this :) But if there is no other way, do you know of any bash functions that do this for you? – xastor May 26 '12 at 11:31
@xastor Added relevant info. man diskutil would have helped. – Daniel Beck May 26 '12 at 11:38
Thanks, I wrote a script now and it works. I was hoping there was another way though, I should have mentioned that in the question. For example, what happens on an OSX system with another language? I cannot grep 'Mount Volume' on a french system I suppose.. – xastor May 26 '12 at 12:01
@xastor diskutil is not localized. – Daniel Beck May 26 '12 at 12:03
This is a dependable solution then. Thank you! – xastor May 26 '12 at 12:05

What about this command:

df -lH | grep "Filesystem"; df -lH | grep "/Volumes/*"

In the column "Mounted on" you get all the Mount Points of all devices mounted on "/Volumes", which in my case are almost always USB devices ;-)

The grep commands basically skip the hard drive which is mounted on "/".

In the terminal of my OSX Snow Leopard, I use it for quick overview of the Mount Points of my currently connected USB Devices. If you are only interested in Mount Points and not all the other parameters as UUID etc., this would be in my opinion the more straight forward way rather than "diskutil" with all its information.

share|improve this answer
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I ended up using this bash script :

# Retrieves the mount point of an OSX volume name or UUID.
# @param $1 Name of the volume or UUID of the volume.
# @return returns the mount path or an empty string if the volume is not mounted. 
diskutil info $1 | grep 'Mount Point' | cut -d : -f 2 | sed 's/^ *//g' | sed 's/ *$//g';
share|improve this answer
This was last September, and nobody's commented on it yet? your 'Mount Point' SHOULD instead be 'Device Node' if you expect this script to do what the comments say it does. – user191839 Jan 22 '13 at 9:45
@Blakat The device node is not what the OP was asking for. The mount point is /Volumes/…, which is what everyone was talking about if I read this question correctly. – slhck Jan 22 '13 at 9:54

I retrieve it in a variable:

media=\`df | grep "media" | awk '{print $6}'\`


media=$(df | awk '/media/ {print $6}')
share|improve this answer

I would just use fstab for this. There's a thread regarding this topic here on Super User: Mac Lion: fstab is deprecated. so what replaces it to prevent a partition from mounting?

share|improve this answer
And how would you use fstab for this, exactly? – Daniel Beck May 26 '12 at 13:01
Taking the UUId of the USB drive, creating a mount point and giving all of it to /etc/fstab. Whenever the aforementioned USB drive is attached, will be mounted on that mount point, recognized by its UUID. – dag729 May 26 '12 at 20:30
Note that the user's problem comes from the default mount point already being in use due. – Daniel Beck May 26 '12 at 21:57
That's what I meant: giving the OS a mount point by using /etc/fstab. From that time on, the system will read /etc/fstab, find that there's a UUID with an associated mount point, and it will use that instead of the default one. – dag729 May 27 '12 at 19:46

This is what I use in my shell scripts on OS X

df | awk '{print $6}' | grep -Ex "/Volumes/myvolume"
share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .