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I want to sync an USB drive with a folder located on a NTFS partition which is not mounted at boot time. I have found a command to do that: rsync -axu /media/USB/folder /home/user/folder. But I have to have the NTFS drive already mounted.

How can I detect if a NTFS drive is mounted or not from a script and if is not to mount it? I use Linux (Ubuntu).

This is the little script modified (the original is here) with your help!

# Local folder to sync with
# Device folder to sync with
#verify if the drives are mounted
if mount | grep -q "/media/Windows/"; then
#device is mounted
echo "Windows NTFS Drive is mounted!"
#device is not mounted,let's mount it
# Wait for thumbdrive to settle
sleep 10
# Synchronize thumbdrive with local
rsync -axu /media/DISK_IMG/${SYNC_DEV}/ ${SYNC_LOC}/
# Synchronize local with thumbdrive
#rsync -axu ${SYNC_LOC}/ /media/disk/${SYNC_DEV}/
# Inform user that synchronization is complete.
zenity --title "Thumbdrive Sync" \
       --info --text "File synchronization        complete."

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is one other solution on how you can do it. You can create a file in the NTFS file system and then check if this file exists. In your case the other solutions are probably better. But if you need to check if a NFS or SMB file system is mounted it is sometimes better to check for a file because you want to be sure that it is not only mounted but as well accessible. Then you would do it like this:

if [ ! -f /your/mounted/fs/mount-check.txt ];
    echo "Here you have to put your mount command."
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There are many ways to check if a particular directory is a mount point, for example (under Linux) checking in the mount point list

if ! </proc/mounts awk '$2 == "/mount/point" {exit(0)} END {exit(1)}'; then
  mount /mount/point

or (portably) checking whether the path's filesystem's mount point is itself

if ! df -P /mount/point | grep -q '/mount/point$'; then
  mount /mount/point

If the possible mount point may be a symbolic link, then see if that directory is on a different filesystem from its parent:

if df -P /mount/point/. /mount/point/.. | {
      read -r _; read -r dev1 _; read -r dev2 _
      [ "$dev1" = "$dev2" ]
    }; then
  mount /mount/point

An alternative approach is to use an automounter to automatically mount the directory when it's accessed. For example, on Linux, you can use autofs:

  • Uncomment the line in /etc/auto.master that reads /misc /etc/auto.misc
  • In /etc/auto.misc, add windows_stuff -fstype=ntfs :/dev/sdz99 (replace sdz99 by the partition you want to mount)
  • Create a symbolic link /home/user/folder/misc/windows_stuff
  • Run /etc/init.d/autofs reload (or whatever tells autofs to reload its configuration on your distribution).
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You can check what is mounted by issuing a plain mount command. It also tells you the "source device" of each mount point.

If you use the devices in /dev/disk/by-id to mount your NTFS volume, then you'll have a fixed name you can check against in scripts, as opposed to the /dev/sd* names that can change between reboots and drive connect events.

So something like this can check for the presence of a mounted drive in bash:

if mount | grep -q "/dev/disk/by-id/$DEVICE_WITH_NTFS_FILESYSTEM"; then
 # device is mounted
 ;; # do nothing
 # device is not mounted, let's mount it
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Use mountpoint command:


The latter part (after ||) is executed only if the first part was false (i.e. the mount point did not exist).

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