After a filesystem has been created, you will probably want to use it. The process is different from that of other operating systems, such as Windows, where all available filesystems are automatically loaded. In Unix, a filesystem has to be mounted by the operating system. Mounting is the process where the root of the filesystem is attached to your system's file hierarchy by associating it with a directory. This may seem like an archaic way of accessing your data, but it does provide you with a transparent way of accessing all the data (local and remote) under a single administrative domain.
The filesystems that you can access from a Linux system can be grouped into two general types — local and remote. Local filesystems are filesystems that are located on storage devices that are directly connected to a particular Linux system. Remote filesystems are those that are attached to other Linux systems but that you can access from your system by using a networked filesystem protocol such as the Network File System (NFS), which is the most common network filesystem on Linux and Unix systems.
r ■ -, r ■- — ■ For more information about NFS, see Chapter 22.
Filesystems can be mounted either manually or automatically when your system boots. Mounting filesystems automatically is discussed later in this chapter, in the section "Mounting Filesystems Automatically." Filesystems are mounted manually by using the mount command. The mount command attaches a filesystem to the filesystem hierarchy and allows you to pass parameters to the filesystem driver that specify how it should use the filesystem. Issuing the mount command with no arguments will result in a list of all of the filesystems that are currently mounted on your system, as shown in Listing 3-10.
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