The search results that I've turned up have either been about determining whether a filesystem is mounted at a particular path or whether a particular path is being used as a mount point. I am looking for a way to determine whther or not a given device or file (i.e., a filesystem image) is mounted at all. This solution should be able to handle spaces in the path to device/file.

These, which I have seen in my search results, are NOT solutions:

  • mountpoint -q "${PATH}" only tests if ${PATH} is a mount point.
  • Applying grep -q "${PATH}" to some output may not work because ${PATH} may have spaces in it and the output of commands like mount has spaces in it.

Additionally, it should return WHERE a file/device is mounted to.

  • The difficult part it is handling a mount point with space. So I would put such important point also on the title of thew question. Oct 19, 2016 at 15:04
  • Did you try to grep through /proc/mounts ? It should have all informations you need.
    – Kalavan
    Oct 19, 2016 at 15:16
  • @Kalavan If the source is something /home/user/fs, but another file/device is mounted at /home/user/fs_mnt, then grep is pretty useless.
    – Melab
    Oct 19, 2016 at 15:23
  • @Melab That's why you grep for the device name, not the mount name. /etc/mtab (for RH and similar systems) stores the mount information for all currently mounted filesystems. So you grep for the device name in /etc/mtab. See the answer provided by a0f3dd13.
    – Jeter-work
    Oct 19, 2016 at 15:32
  • @Xalorous Except if /home/user/fs is a device name…
    – Melab
    Oct 19, 2016 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


You can consult the file /proc/self/mounts (or /proc/mounts), in this file spaces are encoded using \040 (octal value):

Example, /dev/sda1 is mount in /mnt/mount sda1

grep '/dev/sda1' /proc/mounts | cut -d ' ' -f 2

Return: /mnt/mount\040sda1

grep "$(echo '/mnt/mount sda1' | sed 's/ /\\\\040/g')" /proc/mounts | cut -d ' ' -f 1

Return: /dev/sda1


/etc/mtab, /proc/mounts and so on do not display the source file path.

mount commands does and formats its output.

So you could try to:

mount | egrep "${file_path=} on /"

export file_path="/home/kalavan/Downloads/debian 6.0.10-amd64-netinst.iso"

mount | egrep "${file_path=} on /"
/home/kalavan/Downloads/debian 6.0.10-amd64-netinst.iso on /mnt/pc75 type iso9660 (ro,relatime)

In opposite to

mount | grep debian               
/home/kalavan/Downloads/debian 6.0.10-amd64-netinst.iso on /mnt/pc75 type iso9660 (ro,relatime)
/home/kalavan/Downloads/debian 6.0.10-amd64-netinst.iso_somethingelse on /mnt/projekte type iso9660 (ro,relatime)

The risk of mistake is much smaller then. One could also try to match rest of line pattern wit a regexp.

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