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I know how to use mounting in linux and have used it many a times but I am not able to understand what mount actually means in operating system,its benefits and practical usage? I have searched it on various sites but could not find useful links?

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Mount means binding a device such as hard-drive to your file-system under "/" root directory .

For example home directory /home could be another hard-disk , when you mount it will seems /home .

Another example when you connect a usb , how can you access it if its not mounted , so mount enable you to access your device.

So mount tell your Os that a devices is linked to root top directory and is ready for use .

Note : You can apply permissions to mount point , and if you want to save a mount after reboot you should write it in fstab .

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Benefits:

  1. Control access to drive
  2. No unnecessary read/write operations in a drive that you don't use
  3. When unmounting successfully you are sure that all your data has been writen to the drive
  4. Lower power consumption
  5. Security benefits: no software can access a drive before it is mounted and mounting requires Administrator privileges

Practical usage: if you don't have UPS you can consider an unmounted drive as safely removed (like USB) in case of power loss.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_(Unix)

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