Please Mister Postman…

So, I followed my own advice. I copied all of the Evolution mail folders to the /thunderbird directory of my NTFS data partition, booted up Ubuntu 10.04, ran Thunderbird, and… no mail folders!

“Mister postman look and see
If there’s a letter in your bag for me” 

With The Beatles (1963)

Then, I realized that the data partition – /media/DataDisk/ – isn’t mounted by default when Ubuntu boots up. I usually have to go to the bookmark in “Places” in order to access the files in this folder. Thunderbird couldn’t load the mail folders from the /thunderbird directory, because the partition, and hence the file directory, hadn’t been activated.

Clearly, this isn’t desirable for use as an E-mail folder. I want to have the folder accessible as soon as Ubuntu boots, since checking E-mail is always the first thing I do. So, I need to have DataDisk automatically mount on boot-up.

The first thing to do is to find out how Linux specifies the data partition. In the past, I have used Boot Info Script (http://sourceforge.net/projects/bootinfoscript/) to identify specific partitions and, using this utility, I can determine that my NTFS data partition is on /dev/sda3.

Now, I need to add a line to the Linux file system table at /etc/fstab in order to assign the data partition to the /media/DataDisk/ mount point.

Using the command

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

I add the following line at the end of the file in order to include the sda3 partition:

/dev/sda3 /media/DataDisk/ ntfs-3g defaults,user,locale=en_US.utf8 0 0

When the modified fstab file is saved, and the computer is rebooted into Ubuntu 10.04, the DataDisk icon is displayed on the screen showing that the partition has been auto-mounted and is ready for use.

Sure enough, when I fire up Thunderbird, all of my mail folders are now listed. Perhaps I should now send a celebratory message to Paul, George and Ringo…

References:

Mounting Windows Partitions in Ubuntu
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/mountwindowsfstab

HOWTO Automount in Hardy
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=802699

How to edit and understand /etc/fstab
http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/fstab.html

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