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I am doing a project in which I need to mount 100+ loop devices and merge it into AUFS mountpoint As an observation, for sequentially mounting 90 loop devices, it takes 25 seconds.

I am looking for a solution which will minimize time by mounting loop devices in parallel

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So what is your current code for this? – Nils Aug 9 '13 at 10:27
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think this is obvious, but

typeset -i M=1
while [ $M -le 102 ]
    mount mysourcedevice$M targetdir$M &
    let M++

Should do the job. The wait will wait until all sub-processess are finished, before executing the next command.

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If I have to add "wait" at the end of for loop then there is no point calling mount command in background – SHW Aug 9 '13 at 12:28
@SHW The wait is outside/after the loop. The loop starts all mounts in paralell. I assume you want to do something after the parallel mounts have finished. – Nils Aug 9 '13 at 21:18
Yes...After parallel mounting,I am starting X. and to start X, all loop devices NEED to be mounted beforehand – SHW Aug 10 '13 at 7:30
@SHW This code mounts them in parallel; you can do your other stuff after the wait. There isn't anything else to be done. While a C version may be slightly faster still (lacks the overhead of calling mount command a hundred times) it's usually not practical. – frostschutz Aug 12 '13 at 11:04
agree with @frostschutz, try the C version only if performance is an issue. – Alex Aug 13 '13 at 11:59

Maybe a threaded version could be a bit faster, you've to adjust the mount() parameters yourself.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <pthread.h>
#include <sys/mount.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <errno.h>

#define DEVS 100

static void *mountt(void *d)
    int i = (int)d;
    char loop[48], mp[48];

    snprintf(loop, 47, "/dev/loop%d", i);
    snprintf(mp, 47, "/mnt/%d", i);

    if (mount(loop, mp, "ext2", MS_MGC_VAL | MS_RDONLY | MS_NOSUID, "") < 0)
        fprintf(stderr, "mount[%d]: failed: %s\n", i, strerror(errno));

    return NULL;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    int i;
    pthread_t tt[DEVS];

    for (i=0; i<DEVS; i++) {
        if (pthread_create( &tt[i], NULL, mountt, (void*)i) != 0)
            fprintf(stderr, "thread create[%d] failed: %s\n", i, strerror(errno));

    for (i=0; i<DEVS; i++)
        pthread_join(tt[i], NULL);

    return 0;

gcc -O2 -Wall -o mountt mountt.c -lpthread

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Thnx. I Will check first and then update you – SHW Aug 12 '13 at 9:24

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