Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Would the remount command do it if I add the option in /etc/fstab?

Is this this a good idea?

share|improve this question
Good idea? Not always. Prefer relatime where available. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 4 '12 at 2:38
@IgnacioVazquez-Abrams Why? I've equally read people saying 'prefer noatime unless you use the approximately 1 program that thinks it needs [rel]atime'. I have no reason to care about access time, so I'm turning it off. – underscore_d Jun 12 at 19:52
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Not anymore. -o remount,noatime was an effective method of disabling atime without a reboot.

I don't know that I'd say it's a good idea, but if you intend to turn atime off, I don't see what it would be a bad idea either if you have an old enough kernel. According to the man page for mount:


The following mountflags can be changed: MS_RDONLY, MS_SYNCHRONOUS, MS_MANDLOCK; before kernel 2.6.16, the following could also be changed: MS_NOATIME and MS_NODIRATIME; and, additionally, before kernel 2.4.10, the following could also be changed: MS_NOSUID, MS_NODEV, MS_NOEXEC.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the input - would I be able to remount and add "relatime" or will that require a reboot? – ckliborn Feb 23 '12 at 20:12
@ckliborn I believe you will have to reboot, but there is no harm in testing a remount just to see. – Jeff Ferland Feb 23 '12 at 20:16
I just tried it on several servers with 2.6.32 and it worked on all of them. No reboot needed. – Tobia Jul 4 '14 at 9:23

Yes, it would work.
Or you can manually add it like:

mount -o remount,noatime /dev/sd0 /mnt
share|improve this answer
With many versions of mount you can omit either the device or the mount point (your choice) and it will lookup the other. – tylerl Jan 4 '12 at 2:37
Who said anything about /mnt? OP wanted to remount their / fs. I sure hope this command would stop some theoretical naive copy-paste reader from remounting their root filesystem at /mnt and thus, presumably, killing their entire session. I'm not about to test that theory, though! – underscore_d Jun 12 at 19:55

Edit /etc/fstab and add the proper noatime entry to your / filesystem entry.

Remount the / filesystem with:

mount -o remount,noatime /

share|improve this answer
How can I verify that the noatime functionality is in place after the remount? Also do I need to worry about anything when remounting /? – ckliborn Jan 4 '12 at 5:56
You can look at /proc/mounts to see the flags currently in effect. – Simon Richter Jan 4 '12 at 7:18
Type mount. It will show the mount parameters. – ewwhite Jan 4 '12 at 9:38
@ckliborn you can also test it by yourself: 1. pick a file that is not being read or written by anybody, 2. check its atime with ls -lu and make sure it's some time in the past, 3. read it with cat or cksum, 4. check its atime again and it should not have changed. – Tobia Jul 4 '14 at 8:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.