I have a simple embedded setup as follows: x86 target, kernel and root file system built using buildroot. Syslinux is the bootloader configured to boot with an initramfs which points to a .cpio file generated from the buildroot generated root file system. My system boots and works as I am expecting, but I am confused as to what happens with the entries contained in /etc/fstab. I would like my system to be able to mount the /var directory as a partition on an attached compact flash device for various reasons (mainly because I want to be able to store and run an application on the compact flash and additionally store log data here). Is it possible to use an initramfs and yet mount /var on device outside of RAM? If that is the case, is /etc/fstab the correct place to configure this?


Any directory path can have any (valid) volume mounted to it. Whether or not /etc/fstab is the correct place to put it depends on whether or not your embedded setup even uses it.

  • Thanks for your answer. Is there an easy way for me to find out if /etc/fstab is being used by my setup? I am not an expert in linux unfortunately. – mathematician1975 Jan 25 '13 at 18:42
  • Nope. You'll need to investigate the startup scripts to see how they use mount to bring filesystems up. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 25 '13 at 18:45
  • @mathematician1975 I dare say the easy way to find out is to add something to /etc/fstab and see if it works. – derobert Jan 25 '13 at 19:37
  • @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams Ok I will try that. Thanks very much for your help. – mathematician1975 Jan 25 '13 at 20:48

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