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Thread: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ubuntu Development Release

    GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    Storage Device Manager - Fstab Configuration
    NOTE: pySDM has been around a while and is getting dated. An alternative which does much the same thing is Mount Manager (although even it is getting older, as it uses HAL, which is no longer required by Ubuntu). You can install it with "sudo apt-get install mountmanager". Start it via System > Administration > MountManager. If you use it, make sure you make a backup copy of your current /etc/fstab file before making changes with Mount Manager.

    Storage Device Manager provides an GUI method to make changes to mounting options without manually editing any files. It is a bit old and fails to take advantage in improvements to the linux filesystem, such as using UUIDs and labels to identify partitions. Even when using this app, the user will need to make some changes to /etc/fstab to incorporate these improvements. It can serve as the basis for creating a new line in your /etc/fstab file but it isn't the complete solution it used to be. ntfs-config is an excellent and much simpler tool for creating a new fstab listing for NTFS partitions, which is the formatting used by Windows. It is discussed later. Users are encouraged to use the "5 Minute Guide" and reference the remainder for background information or if clarification is desired.

    Note that pySDM does not make a back up copy of the /etcfstab file!
    Before proceeding, please note that there are some excellent references for further information regarding fstab located at the bottom of this guide.

    Users may also wish to consider the KDE application mountmanager, which is similar to PySDM but has greater capabilities and has been updated more recently. Here is one link to a site discussing mountmanager.

    5 Minute Guide --- Installing & Starting --- Fstab Backup --- Using PySDM
    When You Will Need Fstab --- Notes --- Partition Commands --- Links
    The 5 Minute Guide - I Don't Have Time for All The Rest of This Stuff !

    Stop the Presses! If you only need to configure an NTFS drive, have you considered ntfs-config? "sudo apt-get install ntfs-config", then start it via System Tools, NTFS Configuration Tool. This app will set up NTFS partitions to allow read/write access, if that is all you are looking for. Now back to our regular programming...

    If you run into problems, read the rest of this guide. Let's get started:

    A. Permanent Drives
    1. Install Storage Device Manager (pysdm) via Synaptic or : sudo apt-get install pysdm
    2. Make a backup of fstab (you may be in a rush, but you aren't reckless!): sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bak
    3. Start PySDM: System > Administration > Storage Device Manager or gksu pysdm &
    4. The devices are listed in the left panel (sda, sdb, etc). If you click on the white triangle to the left of one of the devices (sda, sdb, etc) it will expand to show each partition on the device (sda1, sda2, etc).
    • Expand the device by clicking the white triangle to the left and select the partition you wish to set up. If there is no previous SDM setup for this partition, a 'Configure Now' window appears. Select 'OK' to continue. Hit 'Refresh' if you don't see the device. If it's an external drive there is a good chance it will be listed last. If you aren't sure, see Section 5 for some hints for locating the correct partition.

    5. Type the name of a mountpoint in the 'Name' window. The mountpoint you name will create and/or select your mountpoint in /media
    • Example: If you enter my-data in the window, it will be mounted on /media/my-data
      If you want a mountpoint other than /media, click on the 'folder' icon and select another folder.

    6. Into the Options window, copy/paste the bold portion of the applicable line (there should be no spaces). The copy/paste information replaces the default entry of Defaults
    • ext2/3 data partitions:
      root partition ( / ):    relatime,errors=remount-ro
      home partition (/home):  nodev,nosuid,relatime
      other partitions:        defaults,users
      After mounting, if necessary you can run chown and chmod on mounted ext3 mountpoints.
      • sudo chown -R username:groupname /media/yourmountpoint
        • Example: sudo chown -R drs305:mygroup /media/my-data
      • chmod -R 755 /media/yourmountpoint (Run previous command first or preceed command with 'sudo')
        • chmod -R 755 /media/my-data

    • ntfs/vat partitions :
      • uid 1000 is owner - 1000 is the first user (created at install). Adjust to another uid if desired.
      • group is uid 1000's group (rw for directories, r for files), others have no access. Group id can be set to any existing group. Common groups include 0 root, 46 plugdev (removable drives), 100 (often set to 'users'), and 100X (1000 is normally first user's group, 1001 second, etc).
      • Ownership of ntfs and fat32 partitions is set at mounting - chown and chmod will not 'stick'.
      • NTFS Note: An ntfs partition fstab entry should work with a simple 'ntfs-3g defaults' entry. The mountpoint will be owned by root, as will subfolders and files. However, the user can write and save these files. If the uid/gid etc are added to fstab, the mountpoint will still be owned by root but the subfolders and files will show they are owned by the user (uid=).

    7. Click on "Assistant" and uncheck "Mount file system in read-only mode".
    8. Hit 'Apply'. Fstab has just been updated.
    9. Hit the Unmount, then Mount Button. The device/partition should now reflect your selections.
    10. Done.

    Note: Fsck will not be run on this partition. Consider editing fstab to add this option for ext2/3 partitions. See Section 4.

    B. Removable Drives. (Skip this paragraph if you are trying to keep under 5 minutes! ) These drives should work without an entry in fstab. They are not mounted automatically but are mounted by going to Places > Removable Media and selecting the removable device you wish to mount. There is a reason these devices are not normally listed in fstab - their designations are dynamic. As an example, the same removable device could be sdc one time and and sdg another. Fstab would not recognize the changed designation.

    If you want to include a removable or external drive in fstab:
    Since their designations (dev/sdXX) are not fixed entering them in fstab takes a little more work. Your fstab entry should identify the device with either a UUID or a label. This ensures that the fstab setting will still be valid whether the device is mapped as sdc, sdh, etc. Create the fstab entry via SDM (steps 1-8), then manually edit fstab to 'lock in' the device label by replacing the sdXX with either a label or UUID.
    • By UUID:
      Find the UUID: sudo blkid | grep 'UUID'

    • By Label:
      Check for a label: sudo blkid | grep 'LABEL'
      If no label exists there are several options for labeling a partition. It can be done from within Gparted (Partition, Label) or via Ubuntu's "Disk Utility" (System, Administration, Disk Utility: Edit Filesystem Label in lower right).

      You can also use the command line for labeling linux partitions using "tune2fs" or, for other formats, install labeling apps: sudo apt-get install ntfsprogs e2fsprogs
      If making a new label, save yourself some trouble by NOT using a label name with spaces! (my-data or my_data, not 'my data')
      • ntfs: sudo ntfslabel /dev/<device> LABELNAME Example: sudo ntfslabel /dev/sdg1 my-data
        ext2/3: sudo tune2fs -L <label> <dev> # Example: sudo tune2fs -L /dev/sdg1 my-data
        fat32: Labeling a fat32 device with data on it will put us over 5 minutes -sorry. Go to Label fat partitions

    Run Steps 1-9 above. When you have completed Step 9 the fstab file will be updated to include the partition. However, it will be defined as /dev/sdXX. You now must change this designation to a label or uuid listing:
    • Open fstab: gksu gedit /etc/fstab
      Change '/dev/sdXX' to 'LABEL=LABELNAME' or 'UUID=123-abc'
      Example of change:
      /dev/sdg1 /media/my-data ... to UUID=123-abc /media/my-data ...
      LABEL=LABELNAME /media/my-data ...
    1. Installing & Starting Storage Device Manager (PySDM)
    Storage Device Manager is accessed via System > Administration > Storage Device Manager. From the command line, start it with "gksu pysdm". Root privilege is required since PySDM makes changes to system files. gksu is the cousin of sudo and should be used with graphical apps.

    If Storage Device Manager is not in your menu, install it via synaptic ( System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager ). If you don't see 'pysdm' listed in synaptic or the following command line method is not successful, go to Synaptic > Settings > Repositories > Ubuntu Software and make sure the 'universe' repository is checked. Hit the 'Reload' button to refresh the package list and then select pysdm. You can also install it via command line with:
    sudo apt-get install pysdm
    2. Backup Fstab
    Before modifying any system file, it is good practice to make a backup copy. If you intend to make multiple changes
    within a short time, I'd recommend assigning each backup a unique number (fstab.bak1, bak2, etc). To make a backup:
    sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bak1
    3. Using PySDM
    The PySDM interface consists of 3 sections: the Partition window for selecting the partition, the General Configuration window for setting fstab options, and the Dynamic configuration rules window for modifying hot-plug device and removable settings.

    Partition List
    When Storage Device Manager starts, it reads the devices/partitions available to it and displays them in the far left window. Starting with Hardy, Ubuntu no longer refers to devices as hda even for IDE drives.

    Select the partition which you want to mount by expanding the drive (sda, sdb, etc) and clicking on the triangle to the left of the individual partition (sda, sdb, etc). Until you select a partition the right side of PySDM will be grayed out and unavailable for input. If you don't know which partition you want to select, go to the Which Partition? section at the bottom of this page for help. The first time PySDM works with a partition, even if an entry already exists in fstab, it will ask 'Configure Now? - click OK.

    General Configuration
    • Name
      Name is the mountpoint you wish to use, by default a subfolder of /media and named the same as the partition (e.g. 'sda3'). You can choose a more descriptive name, such as 'my-data' or whatever you wish. The folder will be created if it does not exist. The folder created and/or selected should be empty - do not select a folder already containing files or subfolders.
    • Mountpoint
      If you do not want to use /media as the base mountpoint you can choose a different folder by clicking on the folder icon and navigating to another folder. If you wish to make a new folder while navigating your system, click the 'new folder' at the top right of the navigation window. If you get 'lost' while navigating the folders, 'File System' in the left window will get you back to / .
    • Type
      Take a breath and relax - you don't have to make a decision here. Type is just informing you the type of partition you are working with (e.g. ext3, ntfs, vfat).
    • Options
      Here's the meat of the program. Initially 'Options' is set to 'defaults'. Clicking the 'Set Defaults' button also resets this window to 'defaults'. Selecting 'defaults' sets the following options: rw, suid, dev, exec, auto, nouser, async. Starting with Hardy, 'relatime' is also a default on native linux (i.e. ext2/3) partitions. For information on each of these settings, refer to the links at the bottom of this guide. If you add or change any options, 'defaults' will not be shown but will apply to any setting not overridden. One other note, in addition to automatic entries, anything you type in this window will be input in the options section of fstab. For instance, there is no option to set dmask or fmask but you can add them to the options line and they will be applied along with the other settings. All options are joined by commas with no spaces in the entire section.
    • Assistant
      This section could also be called 'More Options' since it is the section in which you can change settings from 'defaults'. Most of the settings are self-explanatory. The setting options presented vary with the type of partition selected (ext3, ntfs, fat32, etc). I will comment on a few of the options you may wish to consider changing. Any change you make in these sections will remove the 'defaults' option from the main window and non-default options will be displayed. Default settings will still apply to those settings which are not overridden.

      Auto-selected items are colored blue. Black Bold items are the actual designations that appear in the fstab options section when selected. Default options are underlined. They will NOT appear in fstab but apply unless the associated non-default option is entered.
      * Items which should be considered. Author recommendations are listed in green.
      • Mounting Tab
        • * Mount read-only *. ro The Read-Only option is OFF (rw) for linux ext2/3 partitions and ON* (ro) by default for VFAT/NTFS partitions. For VFAT/NTFS partitions, this option must be unchecked to enable read/write. For non-linux partitions, the PySDM umask (and dmask/fmask manual entries) setting can allow RW access for non-linux partitions even if RO is enabled.
        • Allow group mount. group= Allow any group member to mount. Enter group id.
        • * Allow any user to mount. users Normally the option would allow a user to click on a partition icon or use the 'mount /dev/sdXX' option to mount the partition without root privileges. If this option doesn't work for NTFS partitions try mounting via terminal. If you get an 'Unprivileged user' message, see the section at the bottom of the page on NTFS-3g errors.
        • * Allow a user mount. nouser/user
        • File system mounted at boot time. auto/noauto
        • Owner of device can mount. owner
        • Owner user of filesystem . uid= Enter uid in window. Whoever mounts the device owns it. Your uid is normally 1000 if you are the primary user. To check, run the following command in terminal: id. You may wish to select this option.
        • Support extended attributes. --/user_xattr (Linux partitions only).
        • * Check file system on mount time. (Linux partitions only). This command is no longer supported and may produce an error message. Do not select it. Fsck checks are no longer included in the options section; they are now handled by the last digit on the line (normally 0, 1 or 2).
        • * Umask. 000 (Non-linux partitions only). This is an entire subject in itself. The PySDM menu does not offer dmask and fmask value inputs for ntfs/fat partitions. You can manually enter them them in the Options window if you wish.
          On NTFS partitions, if the fstab options are left at "defaults" the mountpoint and all folders/files will be owned by root but readable/writable by the user. If uid/gid options are used, the mountpoint is still owned by root but all subfolders and files are owned by the user specified by "uid=".
          Refer to the Permissions link at the bottom of the page for more information. Here are some common umask settings you may wish to consider:
          000 (Permissions 777) - Default PySDM setting. Anyone can do anything!
          022 (Permissions 755) - Owner read/write/execute (rwx), group (rx), others (rx).
          027 (Permissions 750) - Owner rwx, group rx, others can't access partition.
          077 (Permissions 700) - Only the owner can rwx, group and others cannot access partition.
          * Instead of umask, dmask & fmask can be used but must be entered manually on the Options line. Two useful settings would be:
          dmask 027,fmask137 - Owner has rwx for directories, rw for files. Group has rx for dirs and r for files.
          dmask 000,fmask111 - Owner rwx dirs, rw files. Group rwx dirs, rw files. Others rwx dirs, rw files.
          Deselect umask if dmask/fmask settings are entered in the Options window.
        • Owner group of filesystem. gid=

      • Special Files
        • Permit execution of binaries. exec/noexec If unchecked, this option prevents execution of program files within the partition. This may be desirable for a storage or data partition which nevertheless contains executable files. Unchecking this box will also disable the warning message in nautilus and other applications which asks if you want to run the file or open it. If not checked, the file will open without the query.
        • Permit executables to change user/group identity. suid/nosuid Relates to scripts. Note: If you need to know about this, you probably don't need PySDM!
        • Interpret character or special block devices. dev/nodev See note in previous entry!

      • Journaling (Linux partitions only)
        • Specify a journaling mode. /data= Ordered, journal or writeback.
        • Update journal or specify the inode where it is. journal=
        • Do not load journal on mounting. noload

      • Performance
        This section deals with recording data access times and synchronization matters. User input is not normally required. Many items apply to linux partitions only.
        • Update directory time for each access. diratime/nodiratime
        • I/O to file system should be done synchronously. async/sync
        • All directory updates should be done synchronously . nodirsync/dirsync
        • Update file time for each access. atime/noatime
        • Specify what to do in case of errors=. remount-ro/continue/panic Really, panic is an option..
        • Do not attach buffer_heads to file pagecache.
        • Get group id from the directory for a new file.
        • Synchronize data and metadata every specified seconds. commit=
        • Use a especific block as superblock. sb=
        • Use old new inode allocator.

      • Miscellaneous
        This section deals with network file systems, default character encoding, UFT-8 file name conversion, upper/lower case interpretation, and escape sequences. The default character set is the older iso8859-1. If your system is having trouble reading the directory or file names, changing these settings may help.
        • File system requires network. _netdev
          Linux partitions (ext2/ext3) only:
        • User allowed to use reserved space. resuid=
        • Group allowed to use reserved space. resgid=
        • Support POSIX access list.
        • Disables 32 bit user and group id.
        • Print debugging info.
        • Minix behavior for stat information.
          Non-Linux only:
        • * Character set to use for file names. nls=iso8859-1 The english-speaking standard of iso8859-1 is the default and checked, The mount man page uses the iocharset=8859-1 . If this is listed in the Options window, I recommend changing nls= to iocharset= I personally turn it off by deselecting it..
        • * Use UTF-8 for converting file names. utf8 Select this for ntfs and vfat (fat16/32) partitions.
        • Update file time for each access. posix
        • Use escape sequences for unknown characters. uni_xlate=

    • Mount Button
      You can mount and unmount the selected partition by clicking on this button. Cycling Unmount > Mount will allow the options you have designated to take effect. It is equivalent to running the 'sudo umount' and 'sudo mount' commands on the particular partition.
    • Apply Button
      Finallly! Clicking this button applies the changes. In fstab, the revised or new entries are placed at the bottom of the file. PySDM at present does not use UUID's or LABEL designations. If you have entries in fstab that use either of these designations, they will either remain unchanged or become comments. The '/dev/sdXX' line generated by PySDM will appear below previous entries in the /etc/fstab file. In this case, even though there are multiple entries for the same partition, the PySDM lines will be loaded last and thus will take precedence over earlier lines.

    Dynamic Configuration Rules
    This section enables you to set udev rules. Click on the 'New' button and you can set the conditions of Name, Model, Vendor, and bus type.
    After setting specifications to identify the device, you can set the user, group, device file name, and specify user's rights. You can also create a link with a name of your choosing. The settings are stored in /etc/udev/user.rules. For more information about udev configuration refer to the man page ( man udev) or the link at the bottom of this guide.

    4. When You Will Need Fstab (and How to Do It)
    While PySDM offers an easy and safe way to change or create partition mounting instructions, there are several reasons why you might wish to edit fstab manually. Before modifying any system file, it is good practice to make a backup copy.
    sudo cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.bak
    gksu gedit /etc/fstab
    • Refer to the instructions in the '3 Minute Guide' Removable Drives section for how to make the following changes.
    • UUIDs. PySDM currently does not use UUIDs. If your fstab contains a UUID entry and you attempt to create a new listing for the same partition PySDM will create a "/dev/sdXX" entry at the bottom of the file. PySDM will either place a comment (#) symbol at the start of the original line and/or will override the UUID entry by placing the PySDM-generated entry at the bottom of fstab. A technique if you would like to retain the UUID entry would be to generate an fstab entry with PySDM, copy the options to the UUID line, and then delete the remainder of the PySDM entry. Remember that since PySDM does not use UUIDs, it will not update them if they are changed due to repartitioning.
    • LABELS. PySDM currently does not use labels. Read the previous entry on UUIDs. The same technique applies for labels.
    • /dev Designations. Some users prefer not to use /dev designations. In the past some updates/upgrades changed the letter designations of partitions. Since Hardy now uses the /dev/sdXX designation, there should be no more unrequested changes from /dev/hdXX to /dev/sdXX or vice versa. If you don't want to use the /dev designations run PySDM and then replace the /dev/sdXX designation with the UUID or label. (see commands below for determining these)
    • FSCK Entries. The last digit in an fstab entry is provides instructions for fsck (disk checking).
      The last digit relays the following instructions to fsck:
      0 - Do not check. (This should always be the setting for non-linux partitions.)
      1 - Check first. (Root)
      2 - Perform check with a lower priority than 1 (when running during the same session).
      PySDM always creates a listing with the FSCK option set at '0'. If you want to change this you will need to edit fstab and change the setting.

    5. Notes & Additional Information

    How Do I Know Which Partition to Choose?
    When adding a new device or after partitioning a drive, you may not be sure which partition you want to select. One method you can try is to watch the list as the device is plugged in. If it may be mounted, run "sudo umount -a". There will be some busy messages but it won't hurt anything. Then plug in the device and see if it mounts by watching the Partition List window to see if it appears. Normally PySDM will place this 'new' device at the bottom of the list, even if the letter designation is lower than some already displayed. You can use some of the commands listed later in this section to help you investigate your system's partition information. Some of the following characteristics may help you determine the partition:
    • Size - Approximate size of the partition: df -h
    • Formatting - Type of formatting: df -T | grep "/dev/"
    • Bootable - Bootable Partitions: sudo fdisk -l | grep "*"
    • View Everything - sudo fdisk -l && sudo blkid && df -Th && cat /etc/fstab && mount

    'Unprivileged User' NTFS Errors
    NTFS-3g was incorporated in Hardy and is enabled by default. Nevertheless, it is possible to get an error message when trying to mount an NTFS partition as a specific user. The error message is:
    • Unprivileged user can not mount NTFS block devices using the external FUSE library. Either mount the volume as root, or rebuild NTFS-3G with integrated FUSE support and make it setuid root. Please see more information at
      To correct this condition:
      sudo chown root $(which ntfs-3g)
      sudo chmod 4755 $(which ntfs-3g)

    6. Useful Partition Commands (Results in italics)

    What partitions are currently mounted?
    /dev/sda5 on / type ext3 (rw,errors=remount-ro)

    What is contained in my fstab (to exclude commented lines, add [ | grep -v "#" ]?
    cat /etc/fstab
    # Entry for /dev/sda5 :
    UUID=4d33bfe6 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1

    What is the UUID / LABEL of my partition?
    sudo blkid -c /dev/null
    /dev/sda1: UUID="CEECFF9EECFF7F51" TYPE="ntfs"

    What partitions are on my computer (note the switch is a small L)?
    sudo fdisk -l
    /dev/sda5 * 2804 4078 10241406 83 Linux

    How much space do I have on my partitions?
    df -Th
    /dev/sda5 ext3 9.7G 3.9G 5.4G 42% /

    How do I make a label for my NTFS partition? (Install ntfsprogs first)
    sudo ntfslabel <device> <label>
    sudo ntfslabel /dev/sda5 MYLABEL

    How do I make a label for my ext2/3 partition? (Install e2fsprogs first)
    sudo tune2fs -L <label> <dev>
    sudo tune2fs -L MYLABEL /dev/sda5

    How do I make a label for my fat32 partition?
    Warning: This overwrites any data on the partition.
    sudo mkfs.vfat -F32 -n <label> <device>
    sudo mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n MYLABEL /dev/sda5
    sudo mkfs.vfat -F32 -n /dev/sdc 1 usb.5

    7. Links

    Ubuntu Community Related Links
    Introduction to Fstab
    RenameUSBDrive (Really - How to Label Any Format)

    Other Links
    Understanding fstab How to edit & understand /etc/fstab Understanding & Using File Permissions
    PyGTK Storage Device Manager
    Writing udev Rules
    For KDE users or those wishing to install the KDE dependencies, mountmanager is said to be a comparable application with more advanced features than PySDM. It is available in the "universe" repository.

    What's With the Name PySDM?
    PySDM runs a PyGTK graphical interface = py for the python wrapper and GTK for the Gimp Tool Kit.
    Last edited by drs305; February 9th, 2011 at 08:02 PM. Reason: MountManager Alternative

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    Moved to Tutorial & Tips. Looks like a nice guide.

    You may consider adding links to some of these wiki guides where appropriate, since they are relevant and on topic:
    -> community/MountingWindowsPartitions/ThirdPartyNTFS3G
    Last edited by Rocket2DMn; July 28th, 2008 at 12:36 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    Thanks for the input.
    Last edited by drs305; July 29th, 2008 at 06:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    California, USA

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    I really like the idea of a GUI for modifying fstab, but I have few questions about pysdm:

    1. I'm just wondering why doesn't pysdm make a backup of fstab itself? Why does the user need to do that manually? Or couldn't that be added as an option somewhere that the user could choose?
    2. As you mention in your "How Do I Know Which Partition to Choose?" section, pysdm doesn't presently offer any way of helping the user determine which partition to choose; the user is left with going to the CLI again, which seems to undermine the idea of using a GUI to begin with. Are you by chance planning on incorporating this functionality into maybe a future release?

    Anyway, I like your program and think it has alot of potential, but it still is not quite "GUI enough" yet for a true noob. What do you think about this and do you have future plans for incorporating more features into pysdm?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    Quote Originally Posted by caljohnsmith View Post
    I really like the idea of a GUI for modifying fstab, but I have few questions about pysdm:

    1. I'm just wondering why doesn't pysdm make a backup of fstab itself? Why does the user need to do that manually? Or couldn't that be added as an option somewhere that the user could choose?
    2. As you mention in your "How Do I Know Which Partition to Choose?" section, pysdm doesn't presently offer any way of helping the user determine which partition to choose; the user is left with going to the CLI again, which seems to undermine the idea of using a GUI to begin with. Are you by chance planning on incorporating this functionality into maybe a future release?
    I agree. I am not associated with the program. It's been around several years but I just stumbled across it after another user mentioned it.

    I was thinking the same thing about making a backup. You shouldn't have to go to the command line at all. In fact, your observation prompted me to get into /etc to make sure it didn't make a backup. There is a remnant .swp backup but nothing else You could always make a backup with through a file manager but a few lines of code in the original app would have made things a lot easier... One solution would be to make a launcher which included a command to backup fstab.

    There are a couple of other major things needing updating: allowing labels and uuid's being two of them.

    Here are some of the deficiencies. They are more annoyances except for # 3:
    1. No automatic or selectable backup of fstab.
    2. No recognition or use of labels or UUIDs.
    3. Uses defunct Options setting of 'Clean' presumably for fsck checking, but this will now produce errors if used.
    4. Uses nls for language support rather than more commonly used iocharset.
    Last edited by drs305; July 31st, 2008 at 02:22 AM.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    drs305, thank you for writing this excellent guide!

    One small question: should gid=1000 in this line?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    Quote Originally Posted by unutbu View Post
    drs305, thank you for writing this excellent guide!

    One small question: should gid=1000 in this line?

    You will find many different gid id's used in examples. Here are some of the more common groups:
    0 root
    46 plugdev (group for removable drives)
    100 users
    110 admin
    1000 first user's group

    So in the cited example, the group id of 100 is for members of "users". In many ubuntu/linux examples gid=100 is equated with the group "users" and this is what is referenced in this thread's examples.

    The gid can be set to any group you feel appropriate - you could assign it to your group (normally 1000), a 'removable drive' group - plugdev - (46), or a new group you create to allow only certain users access to the partition. Groups can be created with the command "addgroup" or via System > Admin > Users and Groups, where you can assign the actual gid name AND number.

    Thanks for asking the question - I will elaborate a bit on the group id's in the main text.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 with kernel
    Linux D630 2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Wed Aug 20 17:53:40 UTC 2008 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    I'm trying to set up ntfs-3g so that I can mount an ntfs partition as a user. When I mount, I get the error everybody reports. i.e.,
    Unprivileged user can not mount NTFS block devices using the external FUSE
    library. Either mount the volume as root, or rebuild NTFS-3G with integrated
    FUSE support and make it setuid root. Please see more information at

    Your post says to fix this, chown root /bin/ntfs-3g and chmod 4755 /bin/ntfs-3g. But when I do this, I get the following error message:

    Mount is denied because setuid and setgid root ntfs-3g is insecure with the
    external FUSE library. Either remove the setuid/setgid bit from the binary
    or rebuild NTFS-3G with integrated FUSE support and make it setuid root.
    Please see more information at

    All the posts say to rebuild ntfs-3g with integrated FUSE support but
    a) i don't know how to do this
    b) I believe with Ubuntu 8.04 this is standard
    Help would be ost appreciated.

    This problem is now SOLVED, though I don't know how to mark it as such in the proper way. Thanks to PM help from drs305, I edited the options column of my /etc/fstab to the following
    defaults, umask=007, uid=1000
    for the two ntsf partitions that I was trying to mount. They were mounted at boot time, but now when I log in as a user I, rather than root, own the mounted directories! No idea how it worked, but heh it worked so I'm happy. Thanks to drs305.
    Last edited by Leo Simon; October 10th, 2008 at 11:27 PM. Reason: SOLVED

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    I hope that eventually network mount support can be added to this program. Getting reliable and decent performing network mounts is harder than ever these days due to GVFS regressions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: GUI Fstab Editing with PySDM

    I've just installed pySDM. if I start it either through System->Administration->Storage_Device_Manager or with Alt-F2->"gksudo pysdm &" I get the window but clicking on sda (which is the only option on left, OK I have only one disk, no partition (out of 3) are shown ...) produces nothing. whole right part is grayed. what am I doing wrong? it did not offer any configuration and I've tried to log-out and log-in as a root but everything is the same. it was installed through synaptic without problems, from repositories.
    Last edited by zika; February 9th, 2009 at 04:06 PM.

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