Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I will soon move my /home folder to a separate partition. There are hundreds of tutorials on how to do so, including here. While most agree on the basic steps, their details are very different. For copying files, for instance, some use rsync, some cp, and some find | cpio (Ill use rsync)

As for fstab entry, the options are puzzling me. The most common suggestions are:

UUID=xxx /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
UUID=xxx /home ext3 defaults,error=remount-ro 0 1
UUID=xxx /home ext4 error=remount-ro 0 1
UUID=xxx /home ext3 defaults 1 2

Its hard to know if those suggestions are outdated or obsolete. So, for Ubuntu 10.04 onwards, what are the best / recommended parameters for an ext4 /home? nodev,nosuid? defaults? Nothing? And, most important, why?


So far, im inclined to use

UUID=xxx /home ext4 nodev,nosuid 1 2

But I would like some background on that

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

nodev and nosuid are simply added layers of security that bar the creation or recognition of devnodes and suid executables on the fs. They are typically used for removable media to prevent untrusted users from inserting a disk crafted to allow them to elevate their permissions. There is little to no point in using them for /home.

As always, unless you have specific needs for other options, defaults should be just fine.

share|improve this answer
but is defaults incompatible with nodev or nosuid? I mean.,.. is it possible (or stupid) to use both, as in defaults,nodev,nosuid? – MestreLion Jun 16 '11 at 2:42
@MestreLion, Not at all. – psusi Jun 16 '11 at 3:31
btw, is there any difference in using an explicit defaults, or leaving it blank, or is defaults the... default? – MestreLion Mar 17 '13 at 20:41
please include the default line in this answer – Tom Carchrae Mar 27 '13 at 15:35
Can you please clarify why you recommend defaults when Ubuntu's help page here recommends nodev,nosuid? I am honestly curious what the differences mean. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 12 '13 at 19:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.