Can somebody explain the logic behind Ubuntu's cdrom folder in root? (/cdrom)

I recall it used to be /media/cdrom or /mnt/cdrom before (in different distros perhaps)?


  • Which version of Ubuntu are you referring to?
    – Cry Havok
    Nov 17 '10 at 17:32
  • mmmm. I currently use Ubuntu 10.10 64 bit. I'm new to linux world as well. :)
    – Stann
    Nov 17 '10 at 17:33

If you do a detailed listing of the root directory, you will see that /cdrom is just a link to /media/cdrom - a shortcut for convenience.

$ ls -l /
total 120
drwxr-xr-x   2 root root  4096 2010-11-11 01:23 bin
drwxr-xr-x   3 root root  4096 2010-10-21 18:51 boot
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    11 2009-11-19 09:25 cdrom -> media/cdrom
  • hmm. In my case it's an actual folder though. .. drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 2010-11-12 01:50 cdrom
    – Stann
    Nov 17 '10 at 18:34
  • No, it is a link to a folder but it looks like a folder from the file manager. /cdrom and /media/cdrom are effectively the same place.
    – dv3500ea
    Nov 17 '10 at 18:37
  • mmm...looks like a folder to me though.... Otherwise when you do $ ls -l command I would see something like this cdrom -> media/cdrom (which I don't see). And when you right click on it in Nautilus it says that it's a "folder" and not a "link to a folder". What distro do you use? I though I've messed up somehting myself, but then I've openede xubuntu 10.10 in VirtualBox - and there is cdrom folder as well. But anyway - not a biggie:) Thanks for response
    – Stann
    Nov 17 '10 at 18:44
  • @Andre: I am using Ubuntu 10.10. No idea why your system would be different. Nov 17 '10 at 20:49
  • @HamishDowner This no longer holds true in Ubuntu 16.04. There is no symbolic link when drive is empty. It's just a regular empty directory as far as I can tell. Apr 17 '17 at 0:33

While /mnt/ and /media/ are common places to mount devices, the device location can be just about anywhere. /cdrom/ was probably chosen for either brevity or legacy support.



For me, it doesn't become a link until something is in /media/cdrom, and that's weird.

I'm sure there's a reason why this is done, most likely for "brevity or legacy support" but the linking/unlinking part is quite strange. In past versions of Ubuntu these folders were constantly linked (last I checked was Intrepid maybe)....

I'm presently trying to hunt down the script that does this black magic in order to discover it's dark secrets.

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