Updated: 6/16/03

Supermount-NG HOW-TO


Supermount is a filesystem to make the insertion and removal of media such as cdrom's and floppys much simpler for day to day use. It performs similar to the well known automount program, but is much better as it will mount and unmount by simply loading and unloading media through use of the external eject button. It was originally written for the 2.0.x kernel and has been ported to every version that I am aware of since. I can not answer why it is not included into the main linux src tree as the functionality on a desktop computer is benefited greatly by it. The patch for 2.4.x kernels is considered stable now and will be what this document coveres. The Supermount home page can be found here.


You can download the patch from sourceforge.net or the Kernel patch homepage of Con Kolivas if your like Con Kolivas's patch's for desktop linux as I do.

I would suggest starting with the default stable linux kernel(2.4.21 as of this writing) which can of course be obtained at kernel.org as heavily patched kernels included in some distros may cause problems. Although there has been a patch released especially for Mandrake Linux 9.1 (kernel 2.4.21-0.13mdk), sourceforge.net

Unpack the patch with bunzip2 or gunzip(depending on the format you downloaded it in) and place the patch in your linux source tree. A simple patch -p1 < (patch name) will patch it into the source tree.

Using xconfig or menuconf add support under the File Systems menu: <*>Supermount removable media support

Build kernel, Install and reboot. If all goes well you should now have Supermount support in your kernel.


Assuming that your kernel is up and running with supermount support, you can now enable it from the command line or your fstab file which we will discuss below.

From the command line the syntax is:
mount -t supermount -o (superfs-options),--,(subfs-options) none (mount point)
superfs-options Default Available Options Description
dev=option none, mandatory (block device) ie.. /dev/cdrom, /dev/hdc
tray_lock=option onwrite always,onwrite,never When tray will be locked and able to open with external cdrom button
debug[=option] no debug (bitmap) Enable debugging code in the supermount filesystem. see readme
subfs-options Default Available Options Description
fs=option auto udf, iso9660, ext2, vfat, msdos or auto specifies the file system type, auto tries in order shown to left, You can also give lists separated by : ie.. fs=ext2:vfat

So given the command syntax and table above I can execute the command:
mount -t supermount -o dev=/dev/sr0,--,fs=auto none /mnt/cdrom
Because on my computer /dev/sr0 is the block device for my cdrom and /mnt/cdrom is my mount point.

Here is what that line in my fstab would look like:
/dev/sr0     /mnt/cdrom    supermount  dev=/dev/sr0,--,fs=auto  0    0

Supermount can of course be used for other media such as floppys. More information can be obtained from the readme.

Questions, Comments, Concerns, Complaint Department

Feel free to contact me with comments, questions or suggestions; mail to : capaman at gawab dot com