Linux Tutorial Series

Linux Tutorial Series – 144 – Mounting and unmounting

Here is the video version, if you prefer it:

Today we will talk about something more conceptual yet again. I know that you might be thinking: “Why this conceptual stuff again? It’s been a lot of that lately and I’m tired of that…”. I get it. But be patient – this knowledge will pay off. I am trimming the fat – the things you don’t need to know – but it pays to know these particular concepts. Especially mounting and unmounting because even though you’ll probably never do those manually, there will be some situations where you will have to mount or unmount (an example – “burning” an operating system on an USB) and you have to know what is going on.

Still with me? Good. So what is mounting? Mounting is the process of attaching your device(your device’s storage)in the Linux directory structure. As we know, everything in Linux starts from the root folder (/). Every other directory is accessible from the root folder by navigating from the root folder to the other folders hierarchically below it. When you insert a new device (say, a USB drive) you have to place it in a directory so that it is accessible from the root directory. The directory in which the new device resides is called its mount point. That process (when you assign a directory accessible from the root folder to a new device) is called mounting. Unmounting is the reverse process from mounting – removing the association between a directory in the directory hierarchy and the device (device’s storage).

So basically, when you mount, you make your device’s storage accessible to your Linux computer and when you unmount, you make your device’s storage inaccessible. Not all devices that are mounted need to have storage, but that doesn’t matter for our practical applications. (“What is meant by mounting a device in Linux?,” n.d.)⁠

I modeled my explanation after (“understanding ‘mount’ as a concept in the OS [duplicate],” n.d.)⁠ , which you can read as well for a second perspective.

Thank you for reading!


understanding “mount” as a concept in the OS [duplicate]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from

What is meant by mounting a device in Linux? (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2020, from

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