Readying devices for use

Mount ’em Up!

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We show you how to add devices to and remove them from your system while keeping it stable and secure.

Mounting is the act of preparing a device for use with a computer. Originally, for security reasons, mounting on Linux was a privilege of the root user. However, with the rise of the desktop, convenience has won out over security, and most distributions give users the ability to mount DVDs, flash drives, partitions, and logical volumes automatically.

So, why would you want to mount or unmount devices manually? Several reasons. Even now, automatic mounting sometimes fails, especially when swapping large numbers of CDs or DVDs in and out of the drive. Additionally, you might want to run fsck to check a partition, edit a partition with GNU Parted, or add a new hard drive to your system – operations that require the device you are editing to be unmounted first. Of course, knowing what goes on behind the scenes on the desktop never hurts, either.

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