How-To Geek

How to Auto Mount Partitions at Linux Startup the Easy Way

Usually making Ubuntu mount a partition at startup would require fiddling with the “fstab” which is confusing. The easiest way to mount your partitions automatically when you turn on your computer is by reading this article. So let’s get started!

Image by matsuyuki

We are going to install the program that will make the process easy is called “Storage Device Manager”. Enter this command in a terminal window to install it:

sudo apt-get install pysdm

Or search for it in Ubuntu Software Center

Now fire it up from System > Administration > Storage Device Manager. Once running, from the left hand side panel choose the partition you want to be mounted on startup (expand the hard drives list first). Then click on “Assistant” on the right side.

Now you are presented with the options window. Just check the “The file system is mounted at boot time” and uncheck the “Mount file system in read-only mode”.

You can edit the other options if you want but be careful, it might damage your system. When done click the “OK” button then hit “Apply”. Close the program and restart to see the effect. That’s it!

Omar Hafiz is a geeky Linux user who loves customizing Ubuntu to fit his personal style. Whether it's the login screen or his Gnome panels, he's got them tweaked to perfection.

  • Published 09/6/11

Comments (9)

  1. Phil

    read sometime back on the ubuntu community that you cannot undo the changes/damages that the storage device manager does. is it really true?

  2. Deez

    Does this work with Samba volumes as well?

  3. Omar Hafiz

    @Phil – Storage Device Manager edits the /etc/fstab file. That’s all it does, this means everything can be undone if you know how to use /etc/fstab. It also creates a backup of /etc/fstab in /etc should anything happen.

    Deez – I didn’t try that. I don’t see why it won’t. If you find out then please tell me.

  4. johnson

    A nice tool. But do yourself a favour and read “man fstab” – it really is easy to do it by hand. Other than that, manually editing works on all sort of distributions and over remote access.

  5. OhB1Knewbie

    I have multiple drives, each with multiple partitions. One drive has all my Linux partitions while the others are all Fat32 partitions, including the Windows XP boot partition.

    If I select any of the FAT32 partitions, I get a dialog box with a message like this –

    “/dev/sdb2 hasn’t been configured. Do you want to configure it now?” ( OK / Cancel )

    What is this request to configure concerning? All FAT32 partitions have been accessed under Linux previously.

  6. jhansonxi

    Not bad but doesn’t support md-raid, lvm2, dm-crypt/luks, and loopback devices (like mounted ISOs). There was a tool that supported some of these but it disappeared.

  7. Rick Stanley

    So let me understand this. If you run Ubuntu, you need a GUI app to do everything. For the rest of us who DON’T use Ubuntu, we can edit the /etc/fstab from a terminal or console faster than we can install the GUI app, PLUS even if we had never edited the /etc/fstab before we now have an better understanding of what of it’s contents, by running `man fstab`, again, in a terminal or console!

    If you want to run Linux, then take the time to LEARN Linux! Especially the CLI (Command Line Interface)! If all you want to do is run GUI apps, then you are better off installing and running Mickey$oft Windoze!

  8. bob

    @ Rick Stanley-I liked the dig for the unnecessary reference in the article to Ubuntu. It saved the writer some time, but imnasho articles for newcomers about to do something in Linux are best done with information for more than one distro.

    As far as learning Linux to run it-that gives rise to perhaps a couple of debates, but I’ll stick to one and assume the point is that writers do a greater service teaching ways to do things that offer more options and less bloat to the system, with some corresponding understanding of the the GNU Linux system, than teaching a more simplified gui method.

    In the interest of showing where what I express comes from, I’m not a noob, but probably will never learn the cli well enough to get beyond a novice level, and I don’t remember ever changing fstab.

    After reading your post I read man fstab. In my view it would have left a Linux newcomer at least uneasy about what to do. I then looked at fstab where I found it in the index of a Linux book (Sobell’s Practical Guide to Linux Commands etc) and a couple of articles found by an internet search for fstab and concluded that changing mount options using fstab isn’t difficult, though it requires a bit of learning.

    My sense is that the article is probably useful for a newcomer or low novice who had to change mount options, possibly useful but also maybe counterproductive for novices beyond the newcomer stage, and of course not intended for competent Linux users.


  9. Tsaknorris

    You can also do this with Gparted :) (put that bootable flag to the partition)

    Good side is that you dont have to install anything else like SDM package.
    Gparted is basic program what comes with Ubuntu :P

    Anyway good stuff \o/

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