In my previous post, I blogged about mounting an NTFS volume in FreeBSD. Now I decided to make the process easier by using the /etc/fstab file. I thought this would be a pretty straightforward process, but it took a while to figure out so I decided to put my notes here. First figure out what is the device identifier of your NTFS disk. For example:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo camcontrol devlist
<TEAC CD-224E K.9A> at scbus0 target 0 lun 0 (cd0,pass0)
<SanDisk 1.26> at scbus2 target 0 lun 0 (pass1,da0)

I was actually using a USB disk, so my device is /dev/da0. Then figure out which partition corresponds to your NTFS partition:

elatov@freebsd:~>gpart show /dev/da0
=> 63 15633345 da0 MBR (7.5G)
63 1985 - free - (992k)
2048 15631360 1 ntfs (7.5G)

In the above output we can see it’s the first one. So I will be mounting /dev/da0s1. Here is the entry I had to put into my /etc/fstab file to get the mount point to work:

elatov@freebsd:~>grep da0 /etc/fstab
/dev/da0s1 /mnt/usb ntfs rw,mountprog=/usr/local/bin/ntfs-3g,uid=500,gid=500,late 0 0

With above setup, I could type ‘mount /dev/da0s1’ or ‘mount /mnt/usb’ and my disk would mount with the appropriate permissions. Here is how it looks like when it’s mounted:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo mount /mnt/usb
elatov@freebsd:~>df -h | grep usb
/dev/fuse0 7.5G 3.3G 4.1G 44% /mnt/usb

Next I actually wanted to label the disk so the entry in the /etc/fstab file didn’t depend on the device identifier/node. I got most of the information regarding labeling from “Labeling Disk Devices”. So first un-mount the disk:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo umount /mnt/usb

From the above page:

During system initialization, the FreeBSD kernel will create device nodes as devices are found. This method of probing for devices raises some issues, for instance what if a new disk device is added via USB? It is very likely that a flash device may be handed the device name of da0 and the original da0 shifted to da1. This will cause issues mounting file systems if they are listed in /etc/fstab, effectively, this may also prevent the system from booting. … …

A better solution is available. By using the glabel utility, an administrator or user may label their disk devices and use these labels in /etc/fstab. Because glabel stores the label in the last sector of a given provider, the label will remain persistent across reboots. By using this label as a device, the file system may always be mounted regardless of what device node it is accessed through. … …

There are two types of labels, a generic label and a file system label. Labels can be permanent or temporary. Permanent labels can be created with the tunefs(8) or newfs(8) commands. They will then be created in a sub-directory of /dev, which will be named according to their file system type. For example, UFS2 file system labels will be created in the /dev/ufs directory. Permanent labels can also be created with the glabel label command. These are not file system specific, and will be created in the /dev/label directory.

So there are a couple of ways to label a disk: newfs, tunefs, and glabel. Unfortunately the first two tools are file system specific and will work with ufs. The glabel tool doesn’t depend on the file system. From the man page of glabel:

DESCRIPTION The glabel utility is used for GEOM provider labelization. A label can be set up on a GEOM provider in two ways: “manual” or “automatic”. When using the “manual” method, no metadata are stored on the devices, so a label has to be configured by hand every time it is needed. The “automatic” method uses on-disk metadata to store the label and detect it automatically in the future.

This class also provides volume label detection for file systems. Those labels cannot be set with glabel, but must be set with the appropriate file system utility, e.g. for UFS the file system label is set with tunefs(8). Currently supported file systems are:

o UFS1 volume names (directory /dev/ufs/). o UFS2 volume names (directory /dev/ufs/). o UFS1 file system IDs (directory /dev/ufsid/). o UFS2 file system IDs (directory /dev/ufsid/). o MSDOSFS (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) (directory /dev/msdosfs/). o CD ISO9660 (directory /dev/iso9660/). o EXT2FS (directory /dev/ext2fs/). o REISERFS (directory /dev/reiserfs/). o NTFS (directory /dev/ntfs/).

Support for partition metadata is implemented for:

o GPT labels (directory /dev/gpt/). o GPT UUIDs (directory /dev/gptid/).

Generic labels are created in the directory /dev/label/.

So first let’s check if our disk already has a label:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo glabel dump /dev/da0s1
Can't read metadata from /dev/da0s1: Invalid argument.
glabel: Not fully done.

That looks good (since I didn’t have a label on the device), next label the disk:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo glabel label usb /dev/da0s1

Now check to see if the label is there:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo glabel dump /dev/da0s1
Metadata on /dev/da0s1:
Magic string: GEOM::LABEL
Metadata version: 2
Label: usb

Lastly check if the device has been created:

elatov@freebsd:~>ls -l /dev/label/
total 0
crw-r----- 1 root operator 0, 105 Oct 21 16:41 usb

Also a more concise view would look like this:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo glabel status
Name Status Components
gptid/676a5c5d-0a0b-11e2-aca4-00c09f41c5fa N/A aacd0p1
label/usb N/A da0s1

Now edit your /etc/fstab to look like this:

elatov@freebsd:~>grep label /etc/fstab
/dev/label/usb /mnt/usb ntfs noauto,rw,mountprog=/usr/local/bin/ntfs-3g,uid=500,gid=500,late 0 0

Finally, mounting worked without any issues:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo mount /mnt/usb
elatov@freebsd:~>df -h | grep usb
/dev/fuse0 7.5G 3.3G 4.1G 44% /mnt/usb

and now I don’t have to worry about the order that I plug in the device. You can also use the ntfslabel tool to label at the file system level:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo ntfslabel /dev/da0s1 usb_ntfs

You can check with the same tool to see if it worked:

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo ntfslabel /dev/da0s1

or you can check with the glabel

elatov@freebsd:~>sudo glabel status
Name Status Components
gptid/676a5c5d-0a0b-11e2-aca4-00c09f41c5fa N/A aacd0p1
label/usb N/A da0s1
ntfs/usb_ntfs N/A da0s1

So now we have a file system label and a device label. I went ahead and plugged in the disk to my Fedora laptop and here is what I saw:

$ sudo ntfslabel /dev/sdb1
$ blkid | grep usb
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="usb_ntfs" UUID="218F49247215AD83" TYPE="ntfs"

Now I can create an entry on my Fedora laptop in the /etc/fstab file, like so:

LABEL=usb_ntfs /mnt/usb ntfs noauto,uid=500,rw 0 0

and then I can mount the disk, like this:

$ sudo mount /mnt/usb
$ df -hT | grep usb
/dev/sdb1 fuseblk 7.5G 3.4G 4.2G 45% /mnt/usb

Of course the Windows machines mounted the device just fine as well.