Normally, when you're using USB drives in Ubuntu, the system recognizes and auto-mounts them.

How do you manually mount them, when the system cannot?

I'm trying to restore to a bare SATA drive in an interal bay, from backup images that are stored on a SATA drive stuck in an external USB dock. When I boot off the Ubuntu 10.04 install disk, in recovery mode, I can access the drive I want to install to, so I can partition it, format it, etc. But I can't figure out how to mount the external drive that contains the backup images.

The install disk, in recovery mode, does not automount anything, except, optionally, the root disk of the system you want to fix.

So my choice is either to break open the box, and to mount the backup disk in an internal bay (or, at least, to plug the drive into an internal SATA port), or to figure out how to manually mount a disk, plugged in to an external USB dock.

So, before I start the process of clearing out the clutter that's accumulated on top of the PC case, and cleaning off enough of my desk that I can set the case down and crack it open, I thought I'd ask:

How do you manually mount an external USB drive, in Ubuntu, when auto-mount isn't running?


OK, never mind.

What I hadn't realized is that the USB drive was already being recognized, and being assigned a device in /dev, even though automount wasn't running. (I've vague memories of this not having happened, back when I was running CentOS 4, which is why I was confused.)

In any case, running "fdisk -l" from the recovery command shell showed that the USB drive was being assigned to /dev/sdc, and manually mounting that ("mount /media/backup /dev/sdc5") worked fine.

  • The parameters in your answer "mount /media/backup /dev/sdc5" in wrong order, aren't they? – Marian Paździoch Sep 28 '16 at 12:52

Create a directory like /home/username/usbdrive

Run the below command as Root user

mount /dev/sdb1 /home/usbdrive/usb

Not sure what distro version you are running, but my Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS auto-magically mounts external USB devices under /media/ --naming them with the volume label || serial#.

After plugging in a USB storage device, I habitually run df -h a few times until I see the new mount appear in the list.

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