Mounting FAT32 partition automatically at boot

In Gutsy, all my partitions would be mounted automatically at boot. At the time I was thinking that I want that for my FAT32 partition, which I store most files on, but not for my NTFS (windows) partition, which I generally don’t need access to.

After installing Hardy, things have changed around and neither of those two partitions are mounted automatically. They mount when I choose them in the “Places” menu. That is good for the NTFS partition, but quite annoying with the FAT32 partition, as I have photos, music files, wallpapers, etc on there. Which means, to play a song I first have to click on the drive to mount it and then load the media player (banshee, or…). Also, my wallpaper doesn’t show up until I have clicked on (i.e. mounted) the partition.

So, after some searching, I found some instructions about how to edit the /etc/fstab file. This page here is quite useful among others:

It seems that the fstab file has changed somewhat with Hardy, and the changes seem pretty difficult to understand for a newbie like me, but I decided to try it out following the somewhat older instructions. This is what I have done:

  • backup fstab: sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.backup
  • make a directory to mount the partition in: sudo mkdir /media/fat-partition
  • find out about my partitions: sudo fdisk -l
  • edit fstab: sudo gedit /etc/fstab
    …added the line: /dev/sda3 /media/fat-partition vfat defaults,nosuid,nodev 0 0
  • save and reboot

…I am writing this just before the reboot, so lets see what happens…

UPDATE: at first it seemed to work… but then it didn’t. I have postponed solving this issue until after the Intrepid Ibex upgrade. Perhaps it won’t even be there anymore.


5 responses to “Mounting FAT32 partition automatically at boot

  1. …and a reboot later I can confirm that it has worked 🙂

    (UPDATE: no it has not…)

  2. Hey, boff.

    I noticed that we both have the same interests in comp/tech. If you want, we can affiliate? Just send me a mail:

    I have 2 blogs:


  3. Update: actually, it did not work as mentioned above, and I returend to the previous configuration. Now I have to go to the partition in the “Places” menu every time, before opening any programs that use files on that partition. Still annoying.

    Next step is to upgrade to Intrepid Ibex (still haven’t done it)… then see if this issue still persists…

  4. Hello FreewareFool,
    thanks for the suggestion. However, as you may have noticed this is a very poorly maintained blog. Its primary function is for me to note down how I configured my computer, so I can recall or undo these things later. As an added bonus, others may glean some useful information from it. But, overall, I’m not much of a blogger and am not looking to affiliate with any other blogs.

  5. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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