System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Chapter 14 Guidelines for Using CDs and Diskettes (Overview)

This chapter provides general guidelines for using diskettes and CDs in the Solaris environment.

This is a list of overview information in this chapter.

Where to Find Managing Removable Media Tasks

Use these references to find step-by-step instructions for managing removable media.

For information on using removable media with File Manager in the Common Desktop Environment, see Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

Removable Media Features and Benefits

The Solaris environment gives users and software developers a standard interface for dealing with diskettes and CDs. Referred to as Volume Management, this interface provides three major benefits:

Comparison of Automatic and Manual Mounting

The table below compares the steps involved in manual mounting (without Volume Management) and automatic mounting (with Volume Management).

Table 14-1 Comparison of Manual and Automatic Mounting


Manual Mounting 

Automatic Mounting 

Insert media. 

Insert media. 

Become superuser. 

For diskettes, use the volcheck command.

Determine the location of the media device. 

Volume Management automatically performs many of the tasks previously required to manually mount and work with CDs and diskettes.

Create a mount point. 


Make sure you are not in the mount point directory. 


Mount the device using the proper mount options.


Exit the superuser account. 


Work with files on media. 

Work with files on media. 

Become superuser. 



Unmount the media device. 



Eject media. 

Eject media. 


Exit the superuser account. 


What You Can Do With Diskettes and CDs

Essentially, Volume Management enables you to access diskettes and CDs just as manual mounting does, but more easily and without the need for superuser access. To make diskettes and CDs easier to work with, they are mounted in easy-to-remember locations.

Table 14-2 How to Access Data on Diskettes and CDs

To Access ... 

Insert ... 

And Find the Files In ... 

Files on a diskette 

The diskette and enter volcheck


Raw data on a diskette 

The diskette and enter volcheck


Files on a CD 

The CD and wait for a few seconds 


If your system has more than one diskette or CD-ROM drive, see the table below for their access points.

Table 14-3 Where to Access Diskettes and CDs

Media Device 

Access File Systems On ... 

Access Raw Data On ... 

First diskette drive 



Second diskette drive 



First CD-ROM drive 



Second CD-ROM drive