In Linux, like in UNIX, diskettes and CD-ROMs need to be mounted before they can be used. What mount does is to associate the devices (floppy or CD-ROM drives) to a mount point (a directory) in the root file system. The usual mount point for diskettes is /mnt/floppy , while the usual mount point for CD-ROMs is /mnt/cdrom. This is not to say that we need to use these specific mount points. You can get help about mount by typing man mount in a shell prompt
In a shell prompt (or shell window) you can mount a CD-ROM in /mnt/cdrom as follows:
If /etc/fstab has been modified as explained below under "Using the mount tool", then you can just type:
In a shell prompt (or shell window) you can mount a floppy diskette in /mnt/floppy to read DOS formatted diskettes or Linux formatted diskettes, respectively, as follows:
In X Windows, with any desktop (KDE, GNOME, AnotherLevel, etc), you can mount CD-ROMs and diskettes by simply typing usermount in a shell window. A graphical window will open and let you mount and unmount both type of devices.
To allow users other than root to mount and unmount devices you need to edit as root the lines in /etc/fstab corresponding to floppy and CD-ROM, respectively, to look like the following:
You can create a KDE desktop link to usermount by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting new, application. Rename Program.kdelnk to something like Mount.kdelnk and click OK in the new application dialog. A new dialog will open and you should select the Execute tab. In the Execute window type usermount, then click on the generic icon and a Select Icon window will open and let you choose an icon (like a diskette, etc) to represent the mount tool. Click OK twice and the link will be placed on the desktop.