How to automount hard disks on boot in Ubuntu

Automount the partitions at startup to avoid manual intervention

Internal and external hard disks, including partitions connected to the Ubuntu PC, should get automounted, meaning they should be accessible after the system startup without having to go to the file manager to mount manually.

For some reason, if it’s not happening automatically by default settings, there is a fix for it. Let’s take a quick look at the steps needed.

Automounting hard disks and partitions in Ubuntu

This guide is tested to be working 100% in Ubuntu 18.04, but you should have no problems what-so-ever in Ubuntu 17.10 and above.

Step 1) Go to “Activities” and launch “Disks.”

Launching Disks from App Menu
Launching Disks from App Menu

Step 2) Select the hard disk or the partition in the left pane and then click on the “Additional partition options,” which is represented by the gear icon.

Hard disk Settings
Hard disk Settings

Step 3) Select “Edit Mount Options…”.

Partition Settings menu
Partition Settings menu

Step 4) Toggle the “User Session Defaults” option to OFF.

Step 5) Check the box “Mount at system startup.” Make sure “Show in the user interface” is also checked.

Partition Mount Options
Partition Mount Options

Step 6) Click “OK.”

That’s it. Next time you boot the computer, you should see the partition automounted.

Adding additional authorization to mount

In case you wanted a layer of security and would like to set up authorization for mounting a hard disk or a partition, you can do that too from the “Disks” utility.

While in the “Mount Options” menu, check the box “Require additional authorization to mount.” You must enter a password to complete the setup.

Mount Options - Setting Authorization
Mount Options – Setting Authorization

Note that this authorization is only applicable to non-administrators of the PC. Admin users will be able to mount the partition without needing to enter the password. This also means that if there is only one account in your PC, which implies it’s that of the administrator, this setting does not affect.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

9 COMMENTS

  1. Does not work for encrypted drives on 18.04.1. It really annoys me as this worked perfect in 16.04. I have my steam library on a second drive and now that it don’t automount anymore Steam ain’t able to locate my library before I first open Files, select “Other locations” and then click on my drive. And all has to be done before opening Steam. It’s so annoying as it worked flawlessly on 16.04 :/

  2. I’m so happy, figured out why it did not work!

    For anyone else having trouble…
    Follow the guide as above, but you have to do this additional step:
    – In the Mount Options click “Identify As” and select the line that starts with “LABEL=”

    If you want to do it manually, here’s a copy of my etc/fstab line for reference:
    LABEL=Mydisk /mnt/Mydisk auto nosuid,nodev,nofail,x-gvfs-show 0 0

    (replace “Mydisk” with the name of your mounted drive)

    Works flawlessly for me again!

  3. Hello Friends,
    my desktop on 18.04.2 LTS died an untimely death. It had one separate 1 TB HDD (‘MyFiles’) as backup. It was not automounted. I used to manually mount when required. I removed this HDD and plugged through USB 3.0 adapter on my new Dell desktop with factory installed Ubuntu 16.04.12 LTS. It is showing mounted, but displayed ” This location can not be displayed. ** You do not have the permission necessary to view the contents of ‘MyFiles’.”
    Can you please tutor me how to own back this HDD on my current desktop?
    Best wishes. Hug and love. 🙂
    P.S. The HDD is on ext4 and has no partition.

  4. Kiran what do you mean by “activities” in Step 1) Go to “Activities” and launch “Disks”.?
    I find no menu in Ubuntu 18.04 called activities nor is the command “activities” recognized on command line.
    What is this? Something you installed?

  5. Recently i installed on my new laptop which have SSD drive, Endless OS 3.7.3. Later I put my old llaptop SATA HDD and formatted it. But I turned out that every time I had to enter my password to work with it. The above guide helped me solve the problem. Now I open Files and i have access to the disk, and without any problems I saving in it any information. Thank You Kiran Kumar!

  6. This solved an annoyance for me on Debian 9 with the MATE user environment. Even though MATE doesn’t have an “Activities” menu, I was able to start the Disks utility from the Run button on the panel, or by typing “gnome-disks” in a terminal window. Thereafter, procedures were the same as described in this article. Now the second hard drive auto-mounts and I don’t have to keep mounting it manually, supplying the root password each time. I also changed the mount point from “/mnt/a6d0a81c-292d-4d76-8cf6-7c5a5752fcde” to “/mnt/drive1” so that it is easier to refer to the second drive in scripts. To make it easier to identify in the GUI file manager, I gave it a meaningful, short name in the “Icon name” box, too.

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