8.2. Creating the /etc/fstab File

The /etc/fstab file is used by some programs to determine where file systems are to be mounted by default, in which order, and which must be checked (for integrity errors) prior to mounting. Create a new file systems table like this:

cat > /etc/fstab << "EOF"
# Begin /etc/fstab

# file system  mount-point  type   options         dump  fsck
#                                                        order

/dev/[xxx]     /            [fff]  defaults        1     1
/dev/[yyy]     swap         swap   pri=1           0     0
proc           /proc        proc   defaults        0     0
sysfs          /sys         sysfs  defaults        0     0
devpts         /dev/pts     devpts gid=4,mode=620  0     0
shm            /dev/shm     tmpfs  defaults        0     0
# End /etc/fstab

Replace [xxx], [yyy], and [fff] with the values appropriate for the system, for example, hda2, hda5, and ext2. For details on the six fields in this file, see man 5 fstab.

When using a journalling file system, the 1 1 at the end of the line should be replaced with 0 0 because such a partition does not need to be dumped or checked.

The /dev/shm mount point for tmpfs is included to allow enabling POSIX-shared memory. The kernel must have the required support built into it for this to work (more about this is in the next section). Please note that very little software currently uses POSIX-shared memory. Therefore, consider the /dev/shm mount point optional. For more information, see Documentation/filesystems/tmpfs.txt in the kernel source tree.

There are other lines which may be added to the /etc/fstab file. One example is a line for USB devices:

      usbfs        /proc/bus/usb usbfs   devgid=14,devmode=0660 0 0 

This option will only work if “Support for Host-side USB” and “USB device filesystem” are configured in the kernel. If “Support for Host-side USB” is compiled as a module, then usbcore must be listed in /etc/sysconfig/modules.