I'm in the beginning of Android kernel study and I'm looking at every directory in rooted Android.

I realized that the same directories were in those two: /mnt/sdcard and /sdcard. What's the difference between them?

(The directories that I found were:

Alarms,Android, Audio, Books, DCIM, Download, Images, LOST.DIR, Movies, Music, Notifications, Pictures, Podcasts, Ringtones, Video)

I'm using Android 4.1.2.


1 Answer 1


The directory /mnt houses the mount points of different Android partitions. (hence the name mnt) Actually the "real" directory is /mnt/sdcard. /sdcard is a Symlink (short for Symbolic Link) to that directory, intended for easy of usability. (That is also explained here Are files created in "/storage/emulated/0" supposed to appear in "/storage/sdcard0"? and the answer by Izzy on that question is quite useful and detailed) It is possible to access /mnt/sdcard by ADB or a well designed file manager. /sdcard directory serves as a way for normal apps/users to interact with that data.

You can read more about Symlinks here. This article (also the source of some facts I stated above) may be useful for a basic understanding about the Android filesystem. (It is/may be outdated for current Android versions, but you are using an old Android version, so it may still be useful for you)

  • Though I never can remember which is the original: /mnt/sdcard or /storage/emulated/0 (or /storage/sdcard0? :)
    – Izzy
    Jan 4, 2019 at 20:12
  • I didn't find any source connecting /mint/sdcard to the other two directories, and for some reason I can't open /storage/emulated directory on my unrooted device. :D
    – Supersonic
    Jan 5, 2019 at 3:02
  • 1
    No, that requires root. One is the original mount point (only accessible for root), one the the FUSE mount, one is the "convenience entry" for the user. I always lose track of which is which.
    – Izzy
    Jan 5, 2019 at 11:53

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