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Rather than using mount | grep, I'd like to use mount -l -t bind, but that doesn't work, and -t none shows all mounts.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Bind mounts are not a filesystem type, nor a parameter of a mounted filesystem; they're parameters of a mount operation. As far as I know, the following sequences of commands lead to essentially identical system states as far as the kernel is concerned:

mount /dev/foo /mnt/one; mount --bind /mnt/one /mnt/two
mount /dev/foo /mnt/two; mount --bind /mnt/two /mnt/one

So the only way to remember what mounts were bind mounts is the log of mount commands left in /etc/mtab. A bind mount operation is indicated by the bind mount option (which causes the filesystem type to be ignored). But mount has no option to list only filesystems mounted with a particular set of sets of options. Therefore you need to do your own filtering.

mount | grep -E '[,(]bind[,)]'
</etc/mtab awk '$4 ~ /(^|,)bind(,|$)/'

Note that /etc/mtab is only useful here if it's a text file maintained by mount. Some distributions set up /etc/mtab as a symbolic link to /proc/mounts instead; /proc/mounts is mostly equivalent to /etc/mtab but does have a few differences, one of which is not tracking bind mounts.

One piece of information that is retained by the kernel, but not shown in /proc/mounts, is when a mount point only shows a part of the directory tree on the mounted filesystem. In practice this mostly happens with bind mounts:

mount --bind /mnt/one/sub /mnt/partial

In /proc/mounts, the entries for /mnt/one and /mnt/partial have the same device, the same filesystem type and the same options. The information that /mnt/partial only shows the part of the filesystem that's rooted at /sub is visible in the per-process mount point information in /proc/$pid/mountinfo (column 4). Entries there look like this:

12 34 56:78 / /mnt/one rw,relatime - ext3 /dev/foo rw,errors=remount-ro,data=ordered
12 34 56:78 /sub /mnt/partial rw,relatime - ext3 /dev/foo rw,errors=remount-ro,data=ordered
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This (grepping) will not necessarily work. It doesn't for me. There is no word bind in neither /etc/mtab, /proc/mounts o the output of mount. The directories that have been bound are listed as if it were their root filesystems mounted at those places. – rozcietrzewiacz Aug 4 '11 at 18:07
@rozcietrzewiacz As I explain in my first paragraph, bind will never appear in /proc/mounts, because the kernel doesn't distinguish the two mount locations. /etc/mtab is the only place where bind has a chance of being remembered; apart from that there is no notion of original and re-bound mount point. What do you have in /etc/mtab then? – Gilles Aug 4 '11 at 18:35
:) Well, it is a symlink to /proc/mounts! :D I think I might have done this myself following a tip somewhere... But I noticed the same thing on my computer at work, where I almost cetainly haven't created the link myself. – rozcietrzewiacz Aug 4 '11 at 20:07
@Gilles Actually, you can do this simply using findmnt | fgrep [ as explained here. – aculich Mar 6 '12 at 16:39
@aculich You should post findmnt as an answer. It only works if the target directory is not another mount point, by the way. Try for example sudo mount --bind / foo && findmnt | grep foo – l0b0 Nov 19 '13 at 22:56

Maybe this could do the trick:

findmnt | grep  "\["


$ mkdir /tmp/foo
$ sudo mount --bind /media/ /tmp/foo
$ findmnt | grep  "\["
│ └─/tmp/foo                     /dev/sda2[/media] ext4            rw,relatime,data=ordered
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+1 That works, but the result is tricky to parse. – l0b0 Jun 17 at 18:18

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