How to Mount External USB Drive in Debian Linux

Written by kristen waters
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How to Mount External USB Drive in Debian Linux
(Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When you plug in an external USB device into a computer running Debian Linux, you must tell the operating system to "mount" the drive. This makes the drive accessible to a the user. Some versions of Debian will automatically mount the disk as soon as it is plugged in. If the disk is not automatically mounted, you must use the "mount" command to manually access the drive. The "mount" command requires a mount point for the drive. This directory is used to access the contents of the drive.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click on the main "Debian" menu.

  2. 2

    Choose the "XShells" sub-menu.

  3. 3

    Choose the "Xterm" option to open a terminal window.

  4. 4

    Type the command "su" to switch to the root user. Type the root password, when prompted.

  5. 5

    Type the command "fdisk -l" to list the drives that are attached to the computer.

  6. 6

    Locate the USB drive in the list and make note of the device name. The device name will look like "/dev/sdc."

  7. 7

    Type the command "mkdir /mnt/USB_drive" to create the mount point for the USB drive.

  8. 8

    Type the command "mount -t ext 3 /dev/sdc /mnt/USB_drive" to mount the drive. Replace "ext3" with the name of the filesystem on the USB disk. Replace "/dev/sdc" with the device name that you located in step six. Replace "/mnt/USB_drive" with the name of the directory that you created in step seven.

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