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How To Avoid the “S to Skip” Message on Boot in Ubuntu

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In this article, we will delve into the topic of how to avoid the “S to Skip” message on boot in Ubuntu. This message typically appears when the system encounters issues while trying to mount a filesystem during the boot process. While this message can be useful in diagnosing boot problems, it can be a nuisance if you’re aware of the issue and don’t want to be prompted at every boot.

Quick Answer

To avoid the "S to Skip" message on boot in Ubuntu, you can modify the /etc/fstab file by adding the nobootwait option to the relevant entry, using the noauto option, or removing the entry altogether. These changes will prevent the system from prompting you to skip the problematic filesystem during boot.

Understanding the “S to Skip” Message

The “S to Skip” message is a prompt from the system indicating that it’s having trouble mounting a filesystem specified in the /etc/fstab file. This file contains all the necessary information for the system to know which partitions to mount at boot and how to handle them. If a filesystem can’t be mounted for some reason (e.g., a removable drive isn’t connected), the system will pause the boot process and display the “S to Skip” message.

Modifying the /etc/fstab File

One way to avoid the “S to Skip” message is to modify the /etc/fstab file. Here are a few options you can try:

Adding the nobootwait Option

The nobootwait option instructs the mountall(8) program not to hold up the boot for the specified filesystem. You can add this option to the relevant entry in your /etc/fstab file. Here’s an example:

UUID=1234-5678 /osshare vfat utf8,auto,rw,user,nobootwait 0 0 

In this line, UUID=1234-5678 is the unique identifier for the filesystem, /osshare is the mount point, vfat is the filesystem type, and utf8,auto,rw,user,nobootwait are the mount options. The nobootwait option is what instructs the system not to wait if the filesystem can’t be mounted.

Using the noauto Option

Another option you can try is noauto. This option prevents the filesystem from being automatically mounted during boot. Here’s how you can use it:

UUID=1234-5678 /osshare vfat utf8,noauto,rw,user 0 0 

In this case, the noauto option replaces the auto option in the mount options. With this option, you will need to manually mount the filesystem after logging in.

Removing the Entry

If the above options don’t work or aren’t suitable, you can remove the entry for the problematic filesystem from your /etc/fstab file. This will prevent the system from trying to mount the filesystem during boot. However, you will need to manually mount the filesystem after logging in.


The “S to Skip” message on boot in Ubuntu can be avoided by making changes to the /etc/fstab file. Depending on your needs and system configuration, you can add the nobootwait option, use the noauto option, or remove the entry for the filesystem. Always remember to back up your /etc/fstab file before making any changes, as errors in this file can prevent your system from booting.

What is the purpose of the `/etc/fstab` file in Ubuntu?

The /etc/fstab file in Ubuntu is used to specify which filesystems should be mounted at boot and how they should be handled. It contains information such as the filesystem type, mount options, and mount points for each partition.

How can I locate the `/etc/fstab` file in Ubuntu?

The /etc/fstab file can be found in the root directory of your Ubuntu system. You can navigate to it using the file manager or by opening a terminal and typing sudo nano /etc/fstab to open the file in a text editor.

Can I edit the `/etc/fstab` file without root privileges?

No, editing the /etc/fstab file requires root privileges. You can use the sudo command before the text editor command to open and edit the file with root privileges, e.g., sudo nano /etc/fstab.

How can I find the UUID of a filesystem to use in the `/etc/fstab` file?

You can find the UUID of a filesystem by using the blkid command in the terminal. Simply type sudo blkid and press Enter to see a list of all connected filesystems along with their UUIDs.

What should I do if I accidentally make a mistake in the `/etc/fstab` file?

If you make a mistake in the /etc/fstab file and it prevents your system from booting, you can use a live USB or recovery mode to access the file and correct the error. It’s always a good idea to create a backup of the original /etc/fstab file before making any changes.

Will modifying the `/etc/fstab` file affect my existing filesystems?

Modifying the /etc/fstab file can affect how your existing filesystems are mounted and handled during boot. It’s important to make sure you understand the changes you are making and their potential impact on your system. Always proceed with caution and create backups before making any modifications.

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