Disabling Disk UUIDs on Debian 6.0 Onwards


Debian 6.0 onwards uses UUIDs (which are symlinks in the /dev/disk/by-uuid directory) by default instead of traditional /dev disk names. This can be awkward on a system with removable drives which get changed often.

UUIDs can be disabled by editing /etc/fstab to use standard device names. Grub also needs to be reconfigured.

With grub-pc (the default grub version) there is a line which can be uncommented to disable UUID in /etc/default/grub. Don't forget to run update-grub after making changes.

With grub-legacy, the /boot/grub/menu.lst file can be edited manually to use a standard /dev name instead of a UUID for the root filesystem. Note that every time update-grub is run this file will be rewritten with the old UUIDs, so it's a good idea to keep a copy of the edited file.

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Last updated August 18 2017