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The file fstab contains descriptive information about the various file
systems. fstab is only read by programs, and not written; it is the
duty of the system administrator to properly create and maintain this
file. Each filesystem is described on a separate line; fields on each
line are separated by tabs or spaces. Lines starting with '#' are com-
ments. blank lines are ignored. The order of records in fstab is
important because fsck(8), mount(8), and umount(8) sequentially iterate
through fstab doing their thing.
The first field, (fs_spec), describes the block special device or
remote filesystem to be mounted.
For ordinary mounts it will hold (a link to) a block special device
node (as created by mknod(8)) for the device to be mounted, like
'/dev/cdrom' or '/dev/sdb7'. For NFS mounts one will have
<host>:<dir>, e.g., 'knuth.aeb.nl:/'. For procfs, use 'proc'.
Instead of giving the device explicitly, one may indicate the (ext2 or
xfs) filesystem that is to be mounted by its UUID or volume label (cf.
e2label(8) or xfs_admin(8)), writing LABEL=<label> or UUID=<uuid>,
e.g., 'LABEL=Boot' or 'UUID=3e6be9de-8139-11d1-9106-a43f08d823a6'.
This will make the system more robust: adding or removing a SCSI disk
changes the disk device name but not the filesystem volume label.
The second field, (fs_file), describes the mount point for the filesys-
tem. For swap partitions, this field should be specified as 'none'. If
the name of the mount point contains spaces these can be escaped as
The third field, (fs_vfstype), describes the type of the filesystem.
Linux supports lots of filesystem types, such as adfs, affs, autofs,
coda, coherent, cramfs, devpts, efs, ext2, ext3, hfs, hpfs, iso9660,
jfs, minix, msdos, ncpfs, nfs, ntfs, proc, qnx4, reiserfs, romfs,
smbfs, sysv, tmpfs, udf, ufs, umsdos, vfat, xenix, xfs, and possibly
others. For more details, see mount(8). For the filesystems currently
supported by the running kernel, see /proc/filesystems. An entry swap
denotes a file or partition to be used for swapping, cf. swapon(8). An
entry ignore causes the line to be ignored. This is useful to show
disk partitions which are currently unused. An entry none is useful
for bind or move mounts.
mount(8) and umount(8) support filesystem subtypes. The subtype is
defined by '.subtype' suffix. For example 'fuse.sshfs'. It's recom-
mended to use subtype notation rather than add any prefix to the first
fstab field (for example 'sshfs#example.com' is depreacated).
The fourth field, (fs_mntops), describes the mount options associated
with the filesystem.
the fifth field is not present, a value of zero is returned and dump
will assume that the filesystem does not need to be dumped.
The sixth field, (fs_passno), is used by the fsck(8) program to deter-
mine the order in which filesystem checks are done at reboot time. The
root filesystem should be specified with a fs_passno of 1, and other
filesystems should have a fs_passno of 2. Filesystems within a drive
will be checked sequentially, but filesystems on different drives will
be checked at the same time to utilize parallelism available in the
hardware. If the sixth field is not present or zero, a value of zero
is returned and fsck will assume that the filesystem does not need to
The proper way to read records from fstab is to use the routines getmn-
getmntent(3), mount(8), swapon(8), fs(5), nfs(5)
The ancestor of this fstab file format appeared in 4.0BSD.
This man page is part of the util-linux-ng package and is available
Linux 2.2 15 June 1999 FSTAB(5)