Re: About /etc/mtab and /proc/mounts

DervishD (
Sun, 2 Mar 2003 14:04:30 +0100

Hi J.W. :)

jw schultz dixit:
> The idea of storing the list of mounted filesystems on a
> mounted filesystem is a bad idea from the get-go.

I'm with you on this, with an exception. It's a bad idea provided
you have some way to know what filesystems are mounted, together with
the options, etc... /bin/mount knows all those options, obviously,
and the kernel not always (AFAIK). Don't know why.

> Let the data reside in the kernel and have a procfs or sysfs
> entity for it. A symlink from /etc/mtab can keep the old
> tools happy.

That's what I propose, too. Even if this lead to technical
difficulties, /etc/mtab is, IMHO, obsolete and a better solution
tried instead. Obviously I don't have such a solution, but I think
that a procfs based solution and a symlink for mtab will work quite
good. I know: some systems don't have procfs, but I think that those
systems will have a read-only /etc anyway... Other solution is to
link /etc/mtab to a point at /var. If 'mount' treats specially the
mtab if it is a symlink... well, IMHO this is not correct. Yes, this
can lead to an attack, but: 'mount' is a setuid program, and only
root can symlink /etc/mtab, true?

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