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Mounting USB Flash Stick by Hand

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By Phillip Hamilton-Wilks

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Posted: 12 Nov 2004
 

Applies to: SuSE 9.1

You plug in your usb memory stick as a user but somehow you cannot write to it. Here's the solution.


/My stick is recognised as /dev/sda and I want to access it as phill 
in the folder /mnt/flash/

phill@localhost:~$ whoami
phill
phill@localhost:~$ mount /dev/sda
mount: can't find /dev/sda in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

/so nothing has been entered in fstab and you cannot mount it 
anyway.
switch to root and make a folder for the stick if it is not there 
already./

phill@localhost:~$ su -
Password:
localhost:~# whoami
root
localhost:~# mkdir /mnt/flash/
localhost:~# ls -al /mnt

total 12
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Sep 16 23:16 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 Sep 20 20:18 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Sep 16 23:16 flash

/so when nothing is mounted the folder flash as read for everyone.
Now mount the stick manually as root./

localhost:~# mount -t vfat /dev/sda /mnt/flash
localhost:~# ls -al /mnt

total 30
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Sep 16 23:16 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 Sep 20 20:18 ..
drwxr--r-- 7 root root 22016 Jan 1 1970 flash

/No, it is only accessable for root.
Unmount the stick because we want a normal user to be able to mount it/

localhost:~# umount /mnt/flash
localhost:~# ls -al /mnt
total 12
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Sep 16 23:16 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 Sep 20 20:18 ..
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Sep 16 23:16 flash
/
all users get read access again.
Check it anything is already in /etc/fstab. Hmmmm Nothing./

localhost:~# cat /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# 
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hda5 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda3 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto rw,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdc /cdrom iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0

/open /etc/fstab and add a line (the last one here) so otto normal 
users can mount it. Note: "users" not "user" is entered./

localhost:~# vim /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# 
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hda5 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hda3 / ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto rw,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdc /cdrom iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/sda /mnt/flash vfat users 0 0

/logout and become otto normal user/

localhost:~# exit
logout
phill@localhost:~$ whoami
phill

try to mount

phill@localhost:~$ mount /mnt/flash/

/Yippeeeee. Quick check of rights on the mount. 
Look phill is now the stick owner./

phill@localhost:~$ ls -al /mnt/

insgesamt 30
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 2004-09-16 23:16 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 2004-09-20 20:18 ..
drwxr--r-- 7 phill phill 22016 1970-01-01 01:00 flash

/attempt to write a file on the stick./

phill@localhost:~$ cd /mnt/flash/
phill@localhost:/mnt/flash$ touch cheesepie.txt
phill@localhost:/mnt/flash$

/do not forget to cd out of the flash folder before you unmount it.../

If you have any questions you may contact Phillip at wilks@fischerpanda.de


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