On a remote, embedded linux box (ubuntu, 5.4+ kernel), I have a mission critical USB flash drive storage device mounted by fstab.

How can I config fstab to mount (to the same mount-point) an attached but unmounted alternate USB flash drive in case the primary flash drive fails to mount during bootup?

Using a generic dev name (e.g. /dev/sdc) is doable but I would really prefer use the respective UUID.

1 Answer 1


You might try

UUID="the-uuid" /path-to/mountpoint fstype defaults,auto,nofail 0 2

Do the same for the other UUID

  • is this a guess or do you KNOW if that works? I've tried that and didn't work for me.
    – codechimp
    Aug 8, 2020 at 4:01
  • @codechimp - It should, and (not as usual) the last win.
    – user4089
    Aug 8, 2020 at 7:24
  • This does not work for me. In fact, it did WORSE the not work. In the absence of the primary device, the system hangs during boot up. And if inserted AFTER bootup, doing anything with secondary device (e.g. manually mount, fsck, fdisk) the command freezes until I unplug the offending secondary device and returns "... is not a valid block device"
    – codechimp
    Aug 9, 2020 at 17:48
  • My apologies, if that is the case then I would probably just write a shell script wrapper to check to see if the other device is active and throw that in cron with @reboot if you have cron installed as this may be the best solution.
    – linuxgeek
    Aug 10, 2020 at 16:44

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