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Old 07-24-2008, 07:22 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: boston, ma
Distribution: fedora, ubuntu, slack, arch
Posts: 30

Rep: Reputation: 15
Unable to mount USB HDD as normal user

i just installed Arch on an intel core 2 quad. i chose arch because you are dumped into a bare bones system and can start bolting on only the parts you need from there, resulting in a sick-fast system while gaining experience about how it all works.

so far i've got network, video drivers, alsa sound, and installed xfce4.

i also have a 320G external HDD formatted to ext3 that i use across a few computers (works fine in fedora, opensuse, etc).

logged in as a normal user running xfce4, i plug in the HDD:

it shows on the desktop, but as xfce tried to auto-mount i got an error about not having the correct C compiler, defaulting to fallback... no good.

<i'll add the error word for word here when i get home tonight>

hal and dbus run at startup...

so i grabbed a terminal and as root executed:

# mkdir /media/usb
# mount -t ext3 /dev/sdb1 /media/usb
mounted great, everything there, wonderful.

i have since tried editing fstab to:

/dev/sdb1   /media/usb   auto   rw,user,auto,unhide   0   0

/dev/sdb1   /media/usb   ext3   rw,user,noauto,unhide   0   0
the error just changes to:

wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdb1,
missing codepage or other error
so that got commented out for now...

i have a feeling i need to add my user to a group allowing access to auto-mount these usb devices. (the arch guide instructed <gpasswd -a USER optical> to allow access to the cdrom/dvd drive)

i was advised against adding any fstab lines for USB devices. there may be a solution out there but my various google syntaxes keep yielding close-but-not-quite threads with solutions that don't work.

a link, or any advice would be much appreciated

tonight or over the weekend i will better document the error messages and check the dmesg logs while trying to mount as user.

thanks in advance.

*constantly edited for clarity

Last edited by brisbin33; 07-24-2008 at 10:05 AM.
Old 07-24-2008, 10:24 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Ottawa
Distribution: Arch, OpenBSD
Posts: 123

Rep: Reputation: 17
Maybe just a small thing, but have you tried with "users" instead of "user"?
Old 07-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: boston, ma
Distribution: fedora, ubuntu, slack, arch
Posts: 30

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
thanks for the reply, i did try a few combinations with both user and users, but i don't think i was methodical enough and probably missed the one that i need...

tonight i plan to make sure i go through all possibilities; i think ext3 rw,users,noauto,unhide is the way to go, if i take the fstab route...

i remember reading somewhere that
gpasswd -a USER plugdev
would be a good idea but that returns no such group on my machine... am i missing a package somewhere? that might be the root of the trouble. i'd rather not maintain fstab entries for every USB device i try to connect.

we'll see.
Old 07-25-2008, 06:10 AM   #4
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: boston, ma
Distribution: fedora, ubuntu, slack, arch
Posts: 30

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
[SOLVED] mounted via udev ONLY

see lanrat's comment (3rd down) here i tweaked it a little to get rid of the symlink to /mnt etc

all-in-all an awesome, easy, and logical solution. and, you have access to USB HDDs in all run levels as any user


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