After installing a custom ROM (Onecosmic's ICS 4.0.3 rc1) on my Samsung I9000 Galaxy S, the external_sd symlink is broken. So, I wanted to get this symlink back. I used the following code in Terminal Emulator (yes, I am rooted with SuperUser):

su (superuser asked for rights, allowed)
cd ./mnt/sdcard
ln -s ./mnt/emmc external_sd

But I got the following error:

Operation not permitted.

How can I create the symlink now?


2 Answers 2


What's the partition format of the SD card? FAT does not supports symlinks, although I believe it should be possible to create a symlink in ext3 that points to a FAT directory.

Also, there are operations that even root are not allowed to do, such as writing to a read-only drive or writable drives that are mounted read-only. What's the output of 'mount' command?

Also, your command looks fishy; try using absolute path (i.e. do not prepend the path with ./, instead prepend with /):

$ su
# ln -s /mnt/emmc /mnt/sdcard/external_sd
  • mount says both sdcard and emmc are vfat. And obviously, the main storage is read/write. Are there any options for me? How could there be a symlink in the beginning? Or is that coded in the software? Because during the upgrade to the new rom, nothing was formatted. Jan 4, 2012 at 0:36
  • Btw, yes I did try to use your command, gave same output. Oh and yes the external_sd folder is deleted (to prevent problems with overwriting (read that at least in bash symlink doesn't overwrite)) Jan 4, 2012 at 0:45

The problem is not related to the FAT filesystem. On a EXT4 filesystem, for example, you can create links to FAT32 mounted partitions on linux as well as you do with links to EXT4 partitions, because the partition in which the link would be created (ext4) does support links.

The problem is that Android mounts its internal storage partitions with tmpfs. It uses fuse or something like that. If you type mount then you'll see that /mnt, /storage, /storage/emulated and others are mounted as tmpfs which does not support links. The correct message should be "operation not supported".

Unless we get a way to mount (or the path to the ext4 mountpoint to) these partitions without using the tmpfs, it won't be possible to create links like those.

There's a way to create links. Apps like Link2SD do that. But I still don't know how!


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