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Is there a simple command that takes a disk's device node as input, and tells me where (and whether) that disk is mounted? Is it possible to get the mount point by itself, so I can pass it to another command?

I'm working on a Debian Squeeze live system with a minimal install (I can install extra packages if need be).

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Under Linux, you can get mount point information directly from the kernel in /proc/mounts. The mount program records similar information in /etc/mtab. The paths and options may be different, as /etc/mtab represents what mount passed to the kernel whereas /proc/mounts shows the data as seen inside the kernel. /proc/mounts is always up-to-date whereas /etc/mtab might not be if /etc was read-only at some point that wasn't expected by the boot scripts. The format is similar to /etc/fstab.

In both files, the first whitespace-separated field contains the device path and the second field contains the mount point.

awk -v needle="$device_path" '$1==needle {print $2}' /proc/mounts

or if you don't have awk:

grep "^$device_path " /proc/mounts | cut -d ' ' -f 2

There are a number of edge cases where you might not get what you expect. If the device was mounted via a different path in /dev that designates the same device, you won't notice it this way. In /proc/mounts, bind mounts are indistinguishable from the original. There may be more than one match if a mount point shadows another (this is unusual).

In /proc/self or /proc/$pid, there is a per-process mounts file that mimics the global file. The mount information may vary between processes, for example due to chroot. There is an additional file called mountinfo that has a different format and includes more information, in particular the device major and minor numbers. From the documentation:

36 35 98:0 /mnt1 /mnt2 rw,noatime master:1 - ext3 /dev/root rw,errors=continue
(1)(2)(3)   (4)   (5)      (6)      (7)   (8) (9)   (10)         (11)

(1) mount ID:  unique identifier of the mount (may be reused after umount)
(2) parent ID:  ID of parent (or of self for the top of the mount tree)
(3) major:minor:  value of st_dev for files on filesystem
(4) root:  root of the mount within the filesystem
(5) mount point:  mount point relative to the process's root
(6) mount options:  per mount options
(7) optional fields:  zero or more fields of the form "tag[:value]"
(8) separator:  marks the end of the optional fields
(9) filesystem type:  name of filesystem of the form "type[.subtype]"
(10) mount source:  filesystem specific information or "none"
(11) super options:  per super block options

So if you're looking for a device by number, you can do it like this:

awk -v dev="$major:minor" '$3==dev {print $5}'
awk -v dev="$(stat -L -c %t:%T /dev/block/something)" '$3==dev {print $5}'
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"If the device was mounted via a different path in /dev that designates the same device, you won't notice it this way." — That is actually the case: I have the udisks symlink (in /dev/disk/by-label/...). But I can resolve to a device node using readlink -f. I like the /proc/mounts idea, I think that might be a bit more reliable than /etc/mtab. –  detly Mar 22 '12 at 23:59
@detly Or you can use mountinfo. Call stat to get the device numbers (see my updated answer, I forgot to include the command earlier). –  Gilles Mar 23 '12 at 0:04
You may need -d " " option for cut in that grep command. –  Craig McQueen May 8 at 4:47

The mount command with no arguments will list all currently mounted filesystems; you can grep that for the disk you want (or grep /etc/mtab, which is the file mount reads the information from):

$ grep /dev/sda /etc/mtab
/dev/sda3 /boot ext2 rw,noatime 0 0
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That has a lot of extraneous text though. I need to be able to pass the mount point to other commands. (Sorry, I've clarified that in the Q.) –  detly Mar 22 '12 at 7:31
Ah, grep ${NODE} /etc/mtab | cut -d ' ' -f 2 should do it. –  detly Mar 22 '12 at 7:33
Although grep ^"${NODE}[[:space:]]\+" /etc/mtab | cut -d ' ' -f 2" is much less fragile... –  detly Mar 22 '12 at 7:41

Look at this question. statseems to be a good choice for your needs.

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No, it doesn't. –  Craig McQueen May 8 at 4:07

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