Mounting of USB sticks (not formatted as FAT32/NTFS)
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I've noticed that when the stick is formatted as ext3/4, reiserfs etc, that read/write is possible only as root.
i aint got that problem. but my wm (e17, fluxbox...) doesnt do automounting the way you described (might be one may set it that way, for me it doesnt).
therefor i dont think much about it an am not that sure bout the following "internals" of mounting:
user is member of plugdev?
you have tried pmount?
have you tried mounting it in the users /home-directory?
making an entry in fstab, commenting it out and mounting the ext3/ext4 usb-stick after uncommenting the line with mount -a would be an option/possible at all?
for following posts you might tell which OS and which window-manager/desktop-environment you are using.
The usb stick was formatted with: mkfs.ext4 -L label /dev/sdd (tried it both in Fedora and Arch Linux)
I've tried on:
Laptop - Debian Sid (32-bit) and Gnome (Automount)
Desktop - Debian Sid (64-bit) and KDE (Click the File Manager icons that appears)
Desktop - Arch Linux (64-bit) and KDE (Click the File Manager icons that appears)
Desktop - Fedora 12 Beta (64-bit) and KDE (Click the File Manager icons that appears)
MythTV - Debian Testing (32-bit) and Gnome (Automount)
In all of them, after it mounts, a non-root user cannot write to it. And cannot read files that are copied onto the stick by root.
I use ext2 (not ext3) with no trouble and no fstab entry. But previously, when I used the default MS formating, I often had a read-only mount occurring: this was always due to some fault having developed in the filing system. So, try fsck and see if that helps.
Now I like to consider myself as an accomodating kind of guy. So i thought I would go looking for this LiveCD for the distro called "in a god damn". I trawled the internet without much luck. So eventually I settled on a PCLinuxOS LXDE LiveCD (I hope this will not be an issue for you).
So I put that stick in. Fired up the LXDE file mananger (pcmanfm). It recognised it. Clicked on it. It showed the files on the stick. Tried to copy a file onto it. No go.
So then I did the following while in the LiveCD environment
mke2fs 1.41.6 (30-May-2009)
/dev/sdd is entire device, not just one partition!
Proceed anyway? (y,n) y
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
62976 inodes, 251904 blocks
12595 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=260046848
8 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
7872 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
32768, 98304, 163840, 229376
Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (4096 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done
This filesystem will be automatically checked every 20 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.