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RE: question concerning autofs, usbfs and vfat

Hi, and thanks for your help!

I have not made any changes to the default configuration for autofs.  The
truth is, I'm not even sure I need it installed.  I thought it sounded like
a nice feature, but I haven't done anything with it yet.

This machine is a server, so therefore no KDE or Gnome, or GUI at all.

I'm using the USB data stick to backup data, and up to now I've been
manually mounting with - mount -t auto /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb1

Once I've mounted, I'm able to tar and gzip, move the data files to the USB
stick, and then umount with no apparent problem.  It was not until a day or
two later that I found out the machine was hosed.

My autofs config files:


# $Id: auto.master,v 1.4 2005/01/04 14:36:54 raven Exp $
# Sample auto.master file
# This is an automounter map and it has the following format
# key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
# For details of the format look at autofs(5).
#/misc  /etc/auto.misc --timeout=60
#/smb   /etc/auto.smb
#/misc  /etc/auto.misc
#/net   /etc/auto.net


# $Id: auto.misc,v 1.2 2003/09/29 08:22:35 raven Exp $
# This is an automounter map and it has the following format
# key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
# Details may be found in the autofs(5) manpage
cd              -fstype=iso9660,ro,nosuid,nodev :/dev/cdrom
# the following entries are samples to pique your imagination
#linux          -ro,soft,intr           ftp.example.org:/pub/linux
#boot           -fstype=ext2            :/dev/hda1
#floppy         -fstype=auto            :/dev/fd0
#floppy         -fstype=ext2            :/dev/fd0
#e2floppy       -fstype=ext2            :/dev/fd0
#jaz            -fstype=ext2            :/dev/sdc1
#removable      -fstype=ext2            :/dev/hdd

My fstab looks like this:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/hda2       /               ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro 0       1
/dev/hdd1       /data           ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/hdc1       /home           ext3    defaults,usrquota,grpquota 0       2
/dev/hda5       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdb        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/sda1       /mnt/usb1       auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0

Thanks again for your help!

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob McGowan [mailto:bob_mcgowan@symantec.com] 
Sent: Dienstag, 5. Februar 2008 02:06
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
Subject: Re: question concerning autofs, usbfs and vfat

Robert Cates wrote:
> Hi all,
> to get right straight to my question - i was wanting to know which is 
> the proper file system to choose for a (normal)  USB 2.0 data/flash 
> stick - autofs, usbfs or maybe vfat?  The stick is of course usable 
> under Windows as well as linux (from kernel 2.4.x).  I believe I need to 
> set this in the fstab file, correct?

I think there is some confusion as to the meaning of some of the fields 
in the mount command output, specifically the value for 'type'.

The type 'vfat' is a real file system type, same as ext3 or xfs.  For 
simplicity, I will call the others 'pseudo' types, specific to some type 
of software that is running on the system.  The "autofs" type is printed 
when the automount daemon is running, "usbfs" refers to the USB 
subsystem software.

Though these "pseudo" types are printed by the mount command, they are 
only part of the picture.  The rest of the picture is the actual file 
system type on the device in question (the USB stick, in your case). 
This may be VFAT or NTFS (which is becoming more common, particularly on 
larger devices like USB hard disks).

To summarize:  If you have automount installed and the configuration set 
up in /etc so it works, you would see something like this:

automount(pid8835) on /var/autofs/misc type autofs \

in the mount out put.  If you configured the auto.misc file for access 
to CD and DVD drives (as I have) and you had a cd in the drive and 
accessed the automount defined path (or a link to it), you would then 
also see, in the mount output, something like this:

/dev/hdc on /var/autofs/misc/cd0 type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev)

Note that the type in this line is the actual file system type on the CD.

> My problem leading up to this question is - twice now in the past couple 
> of weeks I had my machine lockout access to various services, actually 
> pretty much all services, including mail (courier/postfix), web (apache 
> 2.2), SSH, DNS, just to name the main ones.  This time I found something 
> odd - a message telling me that the autofs had a problem because of 
> bogus options.  This lead me to believe the problem came from me 
> mounting my USB 2.0 data stick which I use to backup data.  After 
> transferring the data, I umount the file system.  The only other thing 
> I've done prior to the last occurrence was that I updated the kernel to 
> 2.6.18-6-686.

So, have you configured automounter to do your USB mounting for you? 
Or, are you using default setup for USB devices as provided by KDE or 
GNOME?  Or, do you mount it manually?

Knowing the answer to this could help determine the cause of the error 
message from autofs, which may or may not be related to the hosed system 

It may also help to see the content of the /etc/auto.* files.

> Any and all info/help on this matter will be greatly appreciated!
> Thanks in advance,
> Robert

Bob McGowan

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