What's the difference between mountall and mount -a? (Ubuntu, perhaps others)

by Johannes Ernst   Last Updated October 10, 2017 21:00 PM

The mountall man page says "this is a temporary tool until init(8) itself" can do it, basically. Why not just use mount -a? Is there a difference between the two, and if so, which should I use for what?

Answers 2

According to the man page, the ubuntu version of mountall does the following :

  • reads fstab(5)
  • calls fsck(8)
  • calls mount(8)
  • and calls swapon(8)

Canonical does not provide much information on the reason why they had to build a "temporary tool".

According to mount manual, mount -a "[...] causes all filesystems mentioned in fstab to be mounted[...]".

Anyway, I advise you to use mount -a as it works on most unices.

September 17, 2012 21:29 PM

mountall helped me when I got an upgrade error where I was unable to mount the filesystem in r/w. falling back to a shell, mountall mounted the fs and was able to proceed with the upgrade ...

until I hit the next issue, but that is another story

October 10, 2017 20:59 PM

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