It is my second day on Linux. I am having difficulties mounting an USB drive. It shows this error:

mount: can't find /dev/sdb1/mnt in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

How can I get rid of this error?

  • How do you mount? May 12, 2016 at 19:44
  • sudo mount /dev/sdb1/mnt
    – Double S
    May 12, 2016 at 19:50
  • 3
    This is wrong. You should mount your device on a mountpoint. for example: mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb. Just remember that the /media/usb/ should be made before mounting May 12, 2016 at 19:52
  • 4
    for USB, it is better it be mounted inside /media/ folder. moreover, /mnt/ is not made by you. it is built-in folder in ubuntu May 12, 2016 at 19:55
  • 2
    You have made this media in your home directory while we are talking about root directory (/). Run this first sudo mkdir /media/usb then mount your USB by sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/usb May 12, 2016 at 20:11

4 Answers 4


Why this error?

You probably forgot to tell mount where to mount your drive.

Linux uses device files (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb1, etc.). And unlike Windows drives (C:, D:, etc.), you cannot access them directly (cd /dev/sdb1 will inevitably fail, telling you that it is not a directory but a file). If you want to open a drive with mount, you need to provide a mountpoint. A mountpoint is a directory wherein your USB drive will be opened and where you will be able to access your files.


  1. Create a directory that you will use as the mountpoint for your drive:

    mkdir /mnt/mydrive
  2. Mount your drive with this command:

    mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/mydrive

    Note: If you don't know your drive's device file, you can run sudo fdisk -l or lsblk to identify the partition you're looking for.

  3. Now if you run ls /mnt/mydrive, it should list your drive's files.

  4. When you're done, don't forget to unmount your USB drive before removing it from the computer:

    umount /dev/sdb1

More information about this error

/etc/fstab is a file in which you can associate a partition with a mountpoint, allowing you to run mount <device> instead of mount <device> <mountpoint>. This is why you get this confusing error.

fstab has many more uses like mounting a partition at boot time, etc. More information about fstab on the Arch Linux wiki


To know your device name use sudo fdisk. Your device can be recognized by its size, and probably looks like /dev/sdx, where x could be any letter from a to z. (Usually a is assigned to your first internal hard-drive)

To mount a usb drive sudo mount <Your Device Name> <Mount Position>, for example:

sudo mount /dev/sdb /mnt

To access what you have just mounted use the position where you have mounted. In the above example I have used /mnt, so I would type:

cd /mnt
sudo mkdir /mnt/spider 
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /dev/sda2 /mnt/spider

Remember to replace the drives name from /dev/sda2 to yours. You can find the name of your drives by using the command sudo fdisk -l .


maybe this has been answered, I've been trying to figure it out and finally got my virtual drive mounted back into wsl after a rebuild of Windows.

i move into the directory with the "ext4.vhdx" file, and my distro was set to default. Then this command, fixed it right up.

wsl mount --source c: --target /mnt/c .\ext4.vhdx -a

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