Options for MOUNT command - What exactly to choose?

I’ve got a question regarding the MOUNT command.

I am a total developer and recently my job required Linux Administration tasks. Linux seems pretty interesting but there are some questions which are lingering my mind.

Can anybody put me in the right perspective with the following questions:

  • I’ve seen lot of options for mount command, such as cifs, nfs, ntfs-3g, smbfs etc., When should I choose what? How am I supposed to choose whichone is the best to suit my needs?
  • Is there a way to check if my services (such as Samba or nfs for example) has been started? I need a command to check it via CLI

Mount with CIFS option via the command line seems to be pretty easy rather than using other configurations, such as Samba or NTFS-3g. Is there real difference between cifs and others? Please advise… Thanks a lot in advance…


To manage your services through the command line, you can use the “service” command (as root). Type “service --help” for details. For example, “service smb status” will show you whether samba is started.


CIFS is the successor to the SMB protocol and mount.cifs is part of the samba suite: mounts a remote resource. It’s the microsoft file sharing protocol

ntfs-3g is available for local resources only (i.e. mount an ntfs partition from an internal hard drive or usb connected, etc.)

So I guess it’s not a question regarding which is better but which is suitable for you (what kind of service do you need: local, remote, remote between linux systems or mixed lin-win systems, etc.)


Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I truly appreciate your answers.

I am very much impressed by the users of this forums.

Just wanted to share my own opinion on this forum… I am a purely developer guy and recently got into Linux admin tasks (my job required it).

I know how developer forums go… people tend to get irritated when basic questions were asked but here, I am getting wonderful replies (patiently written) by the users and ALL THE CREDIT to the USERS of this forum.

Please keep up the good work and you will see more posts of mine (as I rate this forum #1 in my experience).

Thank you all

The options for the mount command you listed up are file systems. If you are mounting a disk on your own computer you usually don’t have to know which file system to use. It will be autodetected.

When you mount a remote disk however you need to know what system you wanna use most of the times. If you are trying to mount the typical Windows shares the thing you wanna use is “cifs”. (No matter what the file system on the Windows machine with the share is). The old, outdated version of this used to be called “smb” or “smbfs”. CIFS replaces them all.

Samba is the file server for linux that makes files available via the typical Windows share system. You only need it running when you want to share local files to other Windows computers (or any computer with a CIFS client).

Edit: Awww, I just saw that this reply came too late :slight_smile: