Mount USB Drive as File System

Provides a tutorial example on how to mount the formatted partition of a USB drive on a Linux system as a file system.

If you have a USB drive, you can insert it into a USB socket on your Linux system, and follow this tutorial to mount it as a new file system.

1. Check existing SCSI disk devices represented as /dev/sd* files:

herong$ ls -l /dev/sd*

brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  0 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  1 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda1
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  2 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda2
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  5 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda5
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  6 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda6
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  7 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda7

2. Insert the USB drive in a USB socket. And check SCSI disk devices again. Since USB drives are considered as SCSI disk devices on Linux system. You will see more devices are detected and represented as /dev/sd* files. In my example below, I see /dev/sdb representing the USB as a single storage as a whole, and /dev/sdb1 representing the first FAT32 formatted partition.

herong$ ls -l /dev/sd*

brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  0 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  1 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda1
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  2 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda2
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  5 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda5
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  6 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda6
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8,  7 Mar 26 21:17 /dev/sda7
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8, 16 Apr  4 02:25 /dev/sdb
brw-rw----. 1 root disk 8, 17 Apr  4 02:25 /dev/sdb1

3. Find a mounting point on the root file system on my CentOS 8 computer, and mount the USB formatted partition device, /dev/sdb1. You may see different mounting points on other Linux systems. By the way, you can not mount /dev/sdb, because it is not a formatted file system.

herong$ ls -l /
lrwxrwxrwx.   1 root root    7 May 10  2019 bin -> usr/bin
dr-xr-xr-x.   6 root root 4096 Mar 26 21:18 boot
drwxr-xr-x.  20 root root 3700 Apr  4 08:25 dev
drwxr-xr-x. 144 root root 8192 Mar 30 07:37 etc
drwxr-xr-x.   3 root root   20 Mar 26 17:11 home
lrwxrwxrwx.   1 root root    7 May 10  2019 lib -> usr/lib
drwxr-xr-x.   2 root root    6 May 10  2019 media
drwxr-xr-x.   2 root root    6 May 10  2019 mnt
drwxr-xr-x.   2 root root    6 May 10  2019 opt
...

herong$ ls -l /media
total 0

herong$ sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media

4. Verify the formatted partition of the USB drive as a mounted file system:

herong$ df

Filesystem          1K-blocks    Used Available Use% Mounted on
...
/dev/sdb1             7813124 1146116   6667008  15% /media

5. Check the "System Volume Information" folder, which usually exists on the formatted partition of any USB drive.

herong$ ls -l "/media/System Volume Information"

total 256
-rwxrwxrwx  1 herong  staff  76 Apr  2 20:43 IndexerVolumeGuid
-rwxrwxrwx  1 herong  staff  12 Apr  2 20:43 WPSettings.dat

6. Remember to umount the USB file system before taking the USB drive out of the USB socket to avoid any data damage.

herong$ sudo umount /dev/sdb1

(or)
herong$ sudo umount /media

Now I am ready to use /media to copy files from and to the USB drive.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction to Linux Systems

 Cockpit - Web Portal for Administrator

 Process Management

 Files and Directories

 Users and Groups

File Systems

 "df" - Display Free Space of File System

Mount USB Drive as File System

 "fdisk" - Format Disk Partitions

 "dd" - Copy Data from/to Storage Devices

 Use "dd" Command to Test I/O Speed

 "hdparm" - Hard Disk Parameters

 "du" - Display Disk Usage of Directories

 Mount Windows NTFS File System

 Access Persmissions on "ntfs-3g" File System

 Mount Windows Shared Folders

 W95 Ext'd (LBA) Partition

 File System Types, IDs and Formats

 LVM (Logical Volume Manager)

 "parted" - Partition Manipulation Program

 Reformat NTFS Partition into EXT4 Partition

 Unreachable Remote File Systems

 Installing CentOS

 SELinux - Security-Enhanced Linux

 Network Connection on CentOS

 Software Package Manager on CentOS - DNF and YUM

 Running Apache Web Server (httpd) on Linux Systems

 Running PHP Scripts on Linux Systems

 Running MySQL Database Server on Linux Systems

 Running Python Scripts on Linux Systems

 vsftpd - Very Secure FTP Daemon

 Postfix - Mail Transport Agent (MTA)

 Dovecot - IMAP and POP3 Server

 Email Client Tools - Mail User Agents (MUA)

 GCC - C/C++ Compiler

 Conda - Environment and Package Manager

 Tools and Utilities

 References

 Full Version in PDF/EPUB