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Linux mount alternating USB drives via UUID

Posted on 2015-02-12
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Last Modified: 2015-03-04
I have 2 external USB drives mounted to my Slackware 14.1 system. One of these drive pretty much stays mounted. The other is used for a backup and is switched weekly. My current /etc/fstab look like:
/dev/sdb1       /archive                ext2          defaults   0 2
/dev/sdc1       /remoteBackup   auto            noauto,user,rw 0 2

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The problem is that if e.g. sdc1 doesn't get unmounted before being unplugged, the next time a drive is plugged in it goes to sdd1 and sometimes upon reboot /archive ends up on sdc1 ... which messes up the backup AND access to /archive.

I though about using UUID. This works just fine for the semi-permanent drive /archive, but not so well for the drive I swap weekly. I tried:
UUID=53c2ee69-5952-407c-af94-52b9b4a773d7 /archive auto noauto,user,rc      0 2
UUID=60881cd8-2968-4e1d-b1b1-5b60cddd2d1f /remoteBackup auto noauto,user,rw  0 2
UUID=a6bbab22-25e9-4423-a070-a519119699a4 /remoteBackup auto noauto,user,rw  0 2

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Which worked for /archive, but I got a message saying it couldn't find 60881cd8-2968-4e1d-b1b1-5b60cddd2d1f, which is true, I had its twin a6bbab22-25e9-4423-a070-a519119699a4 mounted.

Is there a way to specify an "or" condition with UUIDs? Alternatively, I suppose I could symlink a different directory to /remoteBackup, but that seems messy.
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Question by:jmarkfoley
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
ID: 40609020
Can you try with auto and 0 0 at the end of your fstab entries?

So like this:

UUID=60881cd8-2968-4e1d-b1b1-5b60cddd2d1f /remoteBackup auto auto,user,rw  0 0
UUID=a6bbab22-25e9-4423-a070-a519119699a4 /remoteBackup auto auto,user,rw  0 0
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noci earned 500 total points
ID: 40610092
Maybe a better approach is to label the USB stick identical f.e. with BackupStick and use LABEL=BackupStick in the /etc/fstab.. in stead of UUID.., UUID is meant to uniquely identify objects, so it uses an algorithm that should lead to universally unique labels.
Only one entry should be needed then.
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Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 40632806
Any progress?, follow-up info?
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40644802
Sorry for the delay. Other fires to put out. I will try the "Label" solution later on today and post back.
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Author Comment

by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40645722
noci: That LABEL idea did the trick! Commands involved:

$ e2label /dev/sdc1 REMOTEBU
$ mount -L REMOTEBU /remoteBackup

fstab:
LABEL=REMOTEBU  /remoteBackup    auto noauto,user,rw  0 2
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