I'm a Linux newbie and I was in the process of understanding the filesystem and mountpoints after installing Arch Linux. I could not understand why, after the installation process, the home and root partitions which were mounted in /mnt/home and /mnt (during the installation as of the Arch wiki) now appears respectively in / (root) and /home, shouldn't they remain in /mnt? Just like any other partition mounted afterwards in /mnt?

I understand that the root directory has to be the topmost but why the we have to mount in into in /mnt and not / directly?

1 Answer 1


You can't mount the "future" root filesystem to / because the Live CD you are installing from already has it's own root filesystem mounted to /.

During the installation you mount the filesystems you created for your new system temporarily to /mnt, copy the system to it, switch to it using chroot and do the configuration which includes configuring the /etc/fstab and bootloader configuration to make sure the newly created filesystems are mounted to / and /home after the reboot.

Btw. if you are new to Linux, I suggest not starting with Arch, but rather with some more "user friendly" distribution like Ubuntu, Mint or Fedora. (Installation on these work the same way but the graphical installer hides those parts.)

  • Ok thank you, so this whole process of mounting temporarily to /mnt is only for the installation right? Any other drive mounted on /mnt will stay there?
    – Andrea
    Dec 10, 2020 at 17:40
  • 1
    If you mount a drive manually it will stay mounted until you unmount it or until it is unmounted automatically during shutdown. If you want a drive mounted automatically during boot, you need to put in fstab. Dec 10, 2020 at 18:02

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