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Thread: Automounting - How does it work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Default Automounting - How does it work?

    Hi there,

    I am trying to modify the auto mounting behavior of OpenSuse 11.2 (with a view of modifying the same in SLES 11.1).

    Put simply, /etc/auto.master has a single active entry:

    +auto.master

    With this, any removable media (USB sticks, remvable disks, DVDs, etc) are mounted as their own volume name under /media.

    However, I would like to map a RDX removable disk drive under /media/rdx - consistently - regardless of the volume name.

    So I have added

    /media /etc/auto.misc

    to the bottom of auto.master and added

    rdx -fstype=auto,rw,sync /dev/sdb1

    - to the /etc/auto.misc file.

    This works - it mounts the rdx disk reliably.

    However, nothing else now automounts.

    So, my question is, is the "out-of-box" automounting feature controlled by autofs?

    If so, where does the directive +auto.master point to? (ie what script can I look at that explains what follows?)

    If not, what controls it (is it udev?), and where do I look to further understand the process?

    Thanks in advance- Patrick

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Automounting - How does it work?

    IMHO what is called "automounter" for years in Unix/Linux and is configured starting with /etc/auto.master (it mounts (NFS) partitions when one needs the data inside that partition) is completely different from what a lot of people here call automounting.

    They mean the actions taken by HAL (replaced newly by, sorry forgot the name), on behalf of a desktop when USB storage devices are connected to a system. HAL mounts inside /media (hard coded). See also SDB:Basics of partitions, filesystems, mount points - openSUSE.

    Or am I lost here?
    Henk van Velden

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Automounting - How does it work?

    Hi Henk, thanks for the clarification - I will check out hal/udev.

    There still must be some interplay between the auto.master and udev, because modifying auto.master in the manner I described seems to break the function meant to be performed by udev... I'll get to the bottom of it though.

    thanks again /patrick

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Automounting - How does it work?

    You are welcome.

    There is a big difference between udev and the rest. the udevd sees that the special files in /dev/ are created. These are directly related to (simulated) hardware. When it is about storage, the the special files in /dev/ can be used for a mount (regardless if this mounting is done through Hal or not). But you can also mount using other things then special files in /dev, think about an NFS mount using a <Host>:<directory> expression.

    It is not exactly clear to me why configuring the automounter influences HAL (and that is one of the reasons I answered to this, being curious ). But it could be related to the fact that HAL does not handle special files that are allready in /etc/fstab. The idea behind it is imho that when there is an entry in /etc/fstab then the sysadmin allready claims he knows what should be done, thus there is no task for HAL.

    EDIT: I forgot to give you a welcome here on the forums. Seeing now that you have two posts, the start of this thread must have been your first post. Welcome again and enjoy.
    Henk van Velden

  5. #5

    Default Re: Automounting - How does it work?

    The one thing I did notice from the autofs man page...

    Code:
    rdx -fstype=auto,rw,sync :/dev/sdb1
    As to the rest well out of my depth.
    Man first, have a try at Info, have a look at Wiki, if all that fails Scroogle!!!!!
    If I've helped click on the Rep button I don't know what it does but it sounds cool.

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