The basic problem is that in the GUI shows a directory name with no space but when I cd to it in the terminal, the directory name has a space in it. What would cause the names to be different?

The full story is:

I have been trying to backup my computer to a WD hard drive that I was previously using when I used Windows. When I initially mounted the hard drive it named itself "My Book". I changed the name of the mounted file to MyBook through GParted as explained on Ubuntu Wiki. I also reformatted the hard drive file system to ext3. I navigated to the media directory where it is now mounted, and the directory name was still "My Book". So I changed the name from the command line with (also according to the instructions on Ubuntu Wiki). The directory name still has a space in the terminal but not in the GUI.

I am using Ubuntu 14.04.

More info:

I ran the 2 commands requested by mikeserv.

~>$ lsblk -f

├─sda1                     /
└─sda5                     [SWAP]
└─sdb1                     /media/cynthia/MyBook
sr1    udf    WD SmartWare /media/cynthia/WD SmartWare

~>$ findmnt

TARGET                        SOURCE                           FSTYPE   OPTIONS
/                             /dev/disk/by-uuid/1871174a-d18f-4f97-921c-428a917e4851
                                                               ext4     rw,relat
├─/sys                        sysfs                            sysfs    rw,nosui
│ ├─/sys/fs/cgroup                                             tmpfs    rw,relat
│ │ └─/sys/fs/cgroup/systemd  systemd                          cgroup   rw,nosui
│ ├─/sys/fs/fuse/connections                                   fusectl  rw,relat
│ ├─/sys/kernel/debug                                          debugfs  rw,relat
│ ├─/sys/kernel/security                                       security rw,relat
│ └─/sys/fs/pstore                                             pstore   rw,relat
├─/proc                       proc                             proc     rw,nosui
│ └─/proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc  binfmt_misc                      binfmt_m rw,nosui
├─/dev                        udev                             devtmpfs rw,relat
│ └─/dev/pts                  devpts                           devpts   rw,nosui
├─/run                        tmpfs                            tmpfs    rw,nosui
│ ├─/run/lock                                                  tmpfs    rw,nosui
│ ├─/run/shm                                                   tmpfs    rw,nosui
│ └─/run/user                                                  tmpfs    rw,nosui
│   └─/run/user/1000/gvfs     gvfsd-fuse                       fuse.gvf rw,nosui
├─/media/cynthia/WD SmartWare /dev/sr1                         udf      ro,nosui
└─/media/cynthia/MyBook       /dev/sdb1                        ext3     rw,nosui
  • 2
    Which filesystem is this? NTFS? Can you do the following two commands in the terminal and paste their output into the question please?: lsblk -f; findmnt
    – mikeserv
    Aug 19, 2014 at 11:32
  • please give us more data.... Aug 19, 2014 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


If you are using a GPT partition table, there are two labels involved and different filemanagers may show either label:

Partition Label

parted /dev/sdb name 1 MyBook

will rename the first partition on /dev/sdb to MyBook.

Filesystem Label

e2label /dev/sdb1 MyBook

will rename the filesystem label on ext2/3/4 installed on /dev/sdb1. Different utilites are needed for other filesystems.

MSDOS partition tables only have filesystem labels though.

  • GPT partitions have names, but old-style PC partitions don't. Aug 19, 2014 at 22:32
  • I received this error when I entered the parted /dev/sdb name 1 MyBook command. Error: msdos disk labels do not support partition names. Aug 21, 2014 at 7:45
  • As Giles mentions in the comment above, MSDOS partition tables do not support labels. The lsblk output you added to your post suggests it's a MSDOS table, which explains why you won't be able to add/change the partition name with the parted. Aug 21, 2014 at 8:07

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