"Dependent on the physical support (hard disks, floppies, cdrom,
...) and/or the operating system, the process of writing of data
(not its meaning) is different : this is what we call file system
(I hope experts and purists will forgive me for the short cuts ;-)
The /etc/fstab file holds the hard mount points to be installed at
boot time. Each point corresponds to a place and to a file system
(for example, one of your hard disk partitions). Later on, if you
want to access other points, only root can use the mount (unless
the special option "user" is provided in /etc/fstab) command. As
root, you must specify the mount point, what you want to mount and
possibly, the file system and some options. A common user not
having, (fortunately ;-) the same rights, won't be able to access
all the data."
"Mount and fstab man pages give a more accurate and complete
description of these commands and concepts."
"Both (automount, autofs) allow the administrator to
configure all file systems a machine can access, the same way he
would using mount. The user can then access these systems in a
fully transparent manner, without worrying about how the kernel
will answer his request."