When using an external device, do I write to the mnt point or the dev point? Every tutorial I'm on keeps telling me to write to the mount point but I've had better luck in the past writing to the dev directly.

I've had to dd in the past. Some tutorials I read told me to dd into the mnt point. I did this and nothing happened to the drive. When I changed to the /dev path, the dd went smooth. I'm currently doing Linux From Scratch. The drive I've mounted seems to be doing nothing at the /mnt/lfs directory. I'm wondering if I should keep following the directions for LFS or switch them to /dev instead of /mnt.

  • Can you post an example? – Carl H May 1 '15 at 19:33
  • @CarlH Details have been updated. – KI4JGT May 1 '15 at 19:38

It depends on what you are doing.

Generally the device is mounted at some location , such as /media/disk

Example might be /dev/sdb1 mounted at /media/disk

cp some_file /media/disk

Generally, as an end user, using graphical applications, you are going to copy user data to this location (save as ... , copy, graphical access, download to ...).

Sometimes you access the device at a low level, such as formatting, resizing, manually mounting, or with dd (although dd can be used on other ways), and in that case you would use /dev .

/dev/sda = entire diak /dev/sda1 = first partition.


mount /dev/sda1 /media/disk
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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