Newbie Advice Required

Hello. I’m a recent full time Linux user following a lifetime with Windows and Manjaro is my chosen home. :slightly_smiling_face:

But, I think I may have misunderstood something.

I have a 2TB music collection which resides on an external drive. That drive is copied to a NAS which serves various Sonos items around the home. So throughout the year as I add to my collection I would copy music to the external drive then sync that to the NAS.

The external drive mounts and is accessible and I’ve mounted the NAS shares via ‘fstab’ successfully.

What I’ve found though is I now have a copy of all my NAS shares in the folders I set up to mount them. Therefore I now have 2TB of music sitting on the external drive, plus the NAS share plus the mount folder.

What am I missing here? All I wanted was be able to access and link the external drive to the NAS but I seemed to have created another backed up copy!

Sorry this is so basic but any pointers to the error of my ways would be much appreciated.



Do you really?
If you unmount the external drive, is the data still present on the internal NAS drive?

Hello Strit, and thanks for the prompt reply.

I’ve just disconnected the external drive and checked to content of the ‘Share’ folder and the NAS and they’re both showing similar amounts of data.

From a newbie point of view - what (if anything) should be in that folder I set up to mount the NAS drive?

Thanks again.

Martin were did you mount the NAS via fstab? Did you put a symbolic link to this device for ease of use, that‘s what i do.
Its a bit if topic, but you might want to look into rsync for the updating of your NAS.

you copied it to the NAS?
or you just mounted the external drive and made it accessible via NFS?
It seems you synced it - so it is on the NAS as well.

maybe it’s just me, being thick, but I don’t know what

shares in the folders I set up to mount them


Hi Martin0,

It sounds like you haven’t fully understood what ‘mounting’ a drive via NFS means.

What happens is that the NAS drive is mounted onto your Manjaro filesystem so that it looks like its part of your Manjaro system even though in reality it is in a remote location.

Note: If you add/remove files to the mounted folder on your manjaro sytem it will actually add/remove files on your NAS drive (not your manjaro system)

Then when you plug in the external usb drive, that also gets mounted onto your Manjaro filesystem. So you will have two folders mounted, one showing the contents of your NAS drive and the other showing the contents of your external USB drive.

Then it sounds as though you have ‘shared’ the mounted NAS folder. Sharing allows Windows systems to access that folder and will show up as a share from a ‘windows compatible network’.

So you have:

  1. Your NAS drive mounted via fstab. Whatever you do in this folder will actually happen on your NAS drive (even though it looks like it’s part of your Manjaro system)

  2. Your ‘Shared’ NAS folder which is simply a Windows-compatible method of accessing your mounted NAS drive and will show up on a Windows network. It’s not necessary unless you need to access your folder from a non-linux machine.

  3. Your external drive mounted via USB which is mounted/unmounted as any USB drive or USB key.

So (1) and (2) reference the same files and should be identical.

(3) is your external usb drive and holds a different set of files.

You can move files between your external USB drive and your NAS drive using drag-and-drop.

Does that help at all?

I had guessed that I was missing something here. So the folder to which I mount the drive is a sort of reflection of NAS?

That is exactly the explanation I needed! :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you so much - I can happily crawl back beneath my rock now…

Thanks again to all that replied.


No reason to hide under rocks, everybody had to start at one point. Would you be so kind to mark pzh reply as the solution. That way the next person searching for this topic finds this very good response.

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Sort of. The mounted folder IS the folder on your NAS drive. It just seems to be a folder on your Manjaro system.

In other words: In the linux/unix-world you see everything as one tree starting from root (i.e. “/”) - and the mount point (folder) is just a way to address the remote filesystem (equivalent to the drive letter in Windows).

If there was something stored in that folder before, you cannot access it while you have another filesystem mounted on that folder - if you look into that folder, you see the remote filesystem (or USB or whatever you mounted). Try “df -h” - it shows used and free space on all mounted filesystems.

In the Windows-world a remote filesystem (“network drive” - like your NAS) used to appear as a Drive letter (“H:” e.g.), or it was shown as “\\server\share” (otoh. some linux filemanagers can access “smb://server/share” without mounting them). More recently Windows adopted the linux way of mounting-onto-a-folder; I believe, partly because sometimes letters A: - Z: are not enough…

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