symlink to /proc/mounts

Seth W.Klein sk at
Wed Jan 1 19:24:50 PST 2003

Greg Schafer <gschafer at> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 01, 2003 at 08:13:04PM +0100, Andries.Brouwer at wrote:
> >     From gerard at  Wed Jan  1 19:48:16 2003
> > 
> >     > Creating the mtab symlink
> > 
> >     It's been a source of controversy.
> > 
> >     Basically, if your personal uses warrant not using a symlink, then don't.
> > 
> > If the symlink is not necessary for the setup as used by LFS,
> > the instruction should be removed or be made optional.
> I agree with this statement.
> FWIW Gerard, I was a fan of the symlink when it was first introduced. But
> now that I've used it for a year or so, and have discovered all the
> disadvantages, I've moved back to the old method (or to be more accurate,
> I've employed the steps as outlined in the mtab hint - which basically boils
> down to a simple modification of the bootscripts)
> I believe that in the interests of correctness, it should be the other way
> around:-
>   - make /etc/mtab a real file as the default method in the book
>   - offer the symlink option as a separate hint (noting the disadvantages)
> Also, the fact that Andries (the mount maintainer) has taken the time out to
> make comment on the issue, well, that says it all for me.

Andries, Greg, thank you for supporting /etc/mtab as a file. Please
mention the patch when you do so. This patch is (i have been led
to believe) pending inclusion in the book and has been debugged on
this list since mid November. It is at:

On a side note, i'd like to mention that a symlink to /proc/mounts
is not the best way to handle /etc/mtab on systems with a read-only
root. The mtab hint mentions the most technically sound method that
i know. If there is better, i would be very interested to hear of it.

Seth W. Klein
sk at                   
Maintainer, LFS FAQ       
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