I have spent about 4 days searching the 9000 fstab posts, none of which answer my question. Recently I needed to reinstall Ubuntu 16.04 LTS because reasons. Anyway, this time around, I seem unable to mount my fixed hard drives to my file system. If I type

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /home/spooky/Songs

it works fine. That's great, wonderful, except whenever I reboot, I have to type that in manually. If I put that command into /etc/rc.local nothing happens at boot up (well, that's not true, it prevents me from a manual mount until I remove it again and reboot).

Before the clean install, I had it in fstab, but for some reason that isn't working any more.

The result of sudo blkid:

[some stuff]

/dev/sdb1: LABEL="Music" UUID="dc50cbf0-e046-4778-ba1a-1b85d65a1ea0" TYPE="ext4"

/dev/sdc2: LABEL="Movies" UUID="71f74e32-a760-463b-bec0-c06991ebb52f"
TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="d56e36e4-02"

[more stuff]

So into fstab, I added the lines to the EOF (the rest of which has remained unchanged since install):

UUID=dc50cbf0-e046-4778-ba1a-1b85d65a1ea0  /home/spooky/Music   
 ext4  defaults  0  2

UUID=71f74e32-a760-463b-bec0-c06991ebb52f  /home/spooky/Videos  ext4  defaults  0  2

and as a prize, I am forced into the debug mode thingy and have to remove them to be able to reboot.

What am I doing wrong? how can I fix it without rebooting every 4 minutes for a continuous 4 hours after working through every website and page I can find that's vaguely related to my problem?

I'm not an idiot (when it comes to Linux), but this is stumping me big time so I'm assuming I'm missing something simple, especially as it works perfectly fine when I do it manually, just no automated method works.

  • you EITHER provide UUID (unique identifier) OR device (/dev/sdb1). your command was interpreted as mounting UUID.. to a device directory (not allowed; its not a real directory but a special device.file). your specified type of fs was "/home/spooky/Music" (what fs is that??) -- ie. extra field caused your fstab to be misinterpreted. – guiverc Oct 22 '17 at 23:26
  • your manual example uses a different directory I note, you're trying to mount to real directories? – guiverc Oct 22 '17 at 23:29
  • yes to real directories, something that was working perfectly fine for about 3 years prior to last weeks re-install of the OS from scratch. It's where all my programs and scripts that use those drives point to, so despite this problem, it's a much easier approach than going through literally thousands of scripts to see which ones refer to it. I have a lot of automation happening. – SPooKYiNeSS Oct 22 '17 at 23:57
  • have you tried using fstab to mount to different directories (eg. /home/spooky/testing)... I only mount to directories I create, and I think Music & Videos are auto-created which may mean they are links/special (check with stat or files maybe). if this works delete & re-create the directories if you need those names. – guiverc Oct 23 '17 at 0:08
  • I've tried it with "songs" and "films" instead; and again, it worked fine before this week for many years with exactly the same OS installed (from the DVD), so i would doubt that changed much. But yes, i had tried that – SPooKYiNeSS Oct 23 '17 at 0:33

It looks like you have an extra field in your /etc/fstab entries.

If you use the UUID you don't need the device.


UUID=dc50cbf0-e046-4778-ba1a-1b85d65a1ea0 /home/spooky/Music ext4 defaults 0 2 UUID=71f74e32-a760-463b-bec0-c06991ebb52f /home/spooky/Videos ext4 defaults 0 2

  • dammit, i forgot to remove that in this post - i had already tried removing those in fstab after i noticed it, but copied from the wrong file i was using to monitor my changes, thanks tho, i'll edit the question – SPooKYiNeSS Oct 22 '17 at 23:27
  • What happens if you replace the UUID with the device? Are you getting anything relevant logged into /var/log/messages? – Glenn Bell Oct 22 '17 at 23:32
  • it produces the same problem; that was how i originally did it back in the day, but after adding some removable drives (which i choose to manually mount anyway, so didn't care about), i had a conflict which made me use the UUID instead (because every website i checked told me it was the best way, or the "correct" way to do it). – SPooKYiNeSS Oct 22 '17 at 23:54
  • When you are "forced into the debug mode thingy" did you get anything logged into /var/log/syslog or /var/log/kern.log? Were there any error messages? – Glenn Bell Oct 23 '17 at 0:40
  • I shall check them when I'm back at the computer; I'll admit i always forget to check logs – SPooKYiNeSS Oct 23 '17 at 3:32

After considerable research it was because it was placing them into the /home tree. I didn't believe they to be the case because it was working fine previously, but i still don't know why that was. I have since used the /media tree and made my chosen path point to it, allowing all my software that utilizes those drives work properly. So now I'm a happy camper, per se.

  • It does not seem reasonable that the reason is that you were using the /home tree. Is /home on a partition separate from /, or encrypted, or part of an LVM? – Charles Green Oct 29 '17 at 14:06

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