Adventures in a New Ubuntu 6.10 Clean Install: Day 3

Day 3

How to Mount a FAT32 Drive/Partition with Read and Write Access for All Users

The next step I tackled in my sexy, shiny, and sultry Ubuntu 6.10 was to mount my FAT32 Data Partition so I can read and write to it and access my previous Ubuntu 6.06.1 backups, along with all my other data, of course.

Since the Disks applet (I think that’s what it was called in 6.06.1) is no longer available in Gnome because it is unmaintained, I would have to manually edit my /etc/fstab file. For those who don’t know, this file mounts the partitions, CD/DVD Roms, floppies, etc, of your file system.

Before you edit this file, you should do a backup of it:

sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab_backup

Here is what my fstab file looks like:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
#
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda1
UUID=21b32fac-8d97-4ee0-89e7-bbf3dc146ec8 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda5
UUID=fd07dad2-18d3-4ad2-9a19-b9801d056927 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdd /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom1 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0
/dev/ /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

I figured that mounting my FAT32 Data Partition would be easily done by adding the following line at the end of my /etc/fstab file:

/dev/hda5 /data vfat iocharset=utf8,umask=000 0 0

…and then do a: sudo mount -a #Mounts everything in fstab

It worked, but the root of my My Documents folder on that partition wasn’t writable. Some other folders at the root level were writable and others weren’t. Also, some folders within My Documents were writable and some weren’t, like My Music, My Pictures, and others. Seemed like the “Windows-related” folders weren’t writable. But folders within those folders were writable.

It’s odd.

I figured I could just do a sudo chown -hR leonivek:leonivek /data but I would only get an “Operation not permitted” error.

After searching on the Ubuntu Forums, this post explained that I would still need to change the actual permissions of that mount point. To do so, I had to do this:

sudo chmod a+w -R /data

Bingo! Now everything is accessible — read and write — for all users.

If you need some help with your fstab and mounting drives, I recommend reading the following pages:

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