System Administration Guide, Volume 1

The Virtual File System Table

It would be a very time-consuming and error-prone task to manually mount file systems every time you wanted to access them. To fix this, the virtual file system table (the /etc/vstab file) was created to maintain a list of file systems and how to mount them. The /etc/vfstab file provides two important features: you can specify file systems to automatically mount when the system boots, and you can mount file systems by using only the mount point name, because the /etc/vfstab file contains the mapping between the mount point and the actual device slice name.

A default /etc/vfstab file is created when you install a system depending on the selections you make when installing system software; however, you can edit the /etc/vfstab file on a system whenever you want. To add an entry, the main information you need to specify is the device where the file system resides, the name of the mount point, the type of the file system, whether you want it to mount automatically when the system boots (by using the mountall command), and any mount options.

The following is an example of an /etc/vfstab file. Comment lines begin with #. This example shows an /etc/vfstab file for a system with two disks (c0t0d0 and c0t3d0).

$ more /etc/vfstab
#device         device          mount           FS      fsck   mount  mount
#to mount       to fsck         point           type    pass   at boot options
/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 /          ufs     1       no      -
/proc           -               /proc           proc    -       no      -
/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s1 -                -            swap    -       no      -
swap            -               /tmp            tmpfs   -       yes     -
/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s6 /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s6 /usr       ufs     2       no      -
/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s7 /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s7 /test      ufs     2       yes     -

In the above example, the last entry specifies that a UFS file system on the /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s7 slice will be automatically mounted on the /test mount point when the system boots. Note that, for root (/) and /usr, the mount at boot field value is specified as no, because these file systems are mounted by the kernel as part of the boot sequence before the mountall command is run.

See Chapter 36, Mounting and Unmounting File Systems (Tasks) for descriptions of each of the /etc/vfstab fields and information on how to edit and use the file.