Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
When you attach an external drive to your computer, you expect it to be immediately available and, if necessary, always ready to store files. The same thing holds true for internal secondary and tertiary drives. For that to happen in Linux, you must configure those drives to automount.
Automounting is an important step in Linux because it makes it so that when you reboot your machine, those attached drives are automatically mounted. That way you don't have to worry about doing it manually.
This is important because you might have applications (such as backups) that save files to those drives. Should an application attempt to write to a drive that's not mounted, it will fail. In addition, if you use secondary (or tertiary) drives for file storage, you'll want to have them automatically mounted for convenience.
Although setting up an automount from the command line is not all that challenging, it's not nearly as easy as doing so from a GUI. And that's exactly what I'm going to show you. Once you've taken care of this, your secondary drives (be they internal or external) will automatically mount to the location you define.
What you'll need: The only things you'll need are a running instance of Linux with the GNOME desktop environment and a secondary drive attached. That's it.
1. Create a folder
The first thing to do is create a new folder to serve as the mount point. Open the GNOME file manager and navigate to the folder you want to house the mount point (you can even place this in your home directory if you like).
In the resulting window, make sure User Session Defaults is in the Off position, and configure the drive as such:
Mount Options: Enable Mount at System Startup and (optionally) you can enable Show in User Interface. If there are no entries in the final text field of Mount Options, it should read nosuid,nodev,nofail,x-gvfs-show.
Mount Point: This is the folder you just created. For example, if you created FLASH in your home directory, that would be /home/USER/FLASH (Where USER is your username).
When you're finished, click OK. You'll be prompted for your user password.
Upon successfully typing the password, the mount options will be saved.
6. Take ownership
The final step is to take ownership of the drive (so you save and edit files on the drive). To do that, go back to the main Disks window and make sure the new drive is selected. Click the right-pointing arrow in the box and then click Take Ownership. You'll be prompted for your user password again. When you successfully type the password, you then have ownership of the drive, which means you now have both read and write access.
When you reboot the machine, it will be automatically mounted in the same folder. And that's all it takes to configure an automounted drive on the GNOME desktop.