[svlug] question re: label ext3 external drive using tune2fs

Robert Citek robert.citek at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 06:03:11 PST 2008

On Dec 29, 2007 8:33 PM, Darlene Wallach <freepalestin at dslextreme.com> wrote:
> My question was in regards to this specific part of tune2fs:
> -L volume-label
> Set  the volume label of the filesystem. ...
> The volume label can be used by mount(8), fsck(8), and
> /etc/fstab(5) (and  possibly  others) by specifying
> LABEL=volume_label instead of a block special device name
> like /dev/hda5.
> Does that specific feature of labeling a drive make sense
> to use?

Yes, especially for removable drives.  However, I would use e2label
instead of tune2fs:

$ e2label /dev/sdc2 MyLabel

> i.e. what does it do in regards to mount(8),
> fsck(8), and /etc/fstab(5)?

It allows you to use the label instead of the device name.

> What would I type to take advantage of the above described
> feature of "-L volume-label"?

$ fsck LABEL=Mylabel
$ mount -L MyLabel
$ mount -l

Gnome makes use of labels when mounting removable drive.  For example,
instead of finding your device at /media/sdc2, it will be at
/media/MyLabel.  At least that's been my experience with Ubuntu.

You can also use labels in grub.  That's a real convenience when
booting from removable media, e.g. external USB drives.

In addition to labels, all those commands can use UUID=, which works
the same way as a label except it has a defined structure.  To
generate a UUID you can use uuidgen.  For example,

$ tune2fs -U $(uuidgen) /dev/sdc2
$ tune2fs -U random /dev/sdc2

Good luck and please let us know how things go.

- Robert

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