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Mount/Unmount USB disks (Linux)

USB disks can be mounted and unmounted by users logged into the console on Narrabri Linux computers in the Observers Area (not allowed for users logged in remotely however) using the pmount and pumount commands.


  • Plug in device into USB a port, these are on the front of the computer though some monitors are setup to act as USB Hubs
  • After a minute or so enter the dmesg command in a terminal
  • You should see something like the following
  • The disk has been detected and has been assigned an ID of /dev/sdd,
  • Enter command /sbin/fdisk -l to see partition structure e.g.

  • the existing partition (sdd1) can be mounted using pmount, note that devices may be assigned other ID's /dev/sdc, /dev/sde etc
  • In this case the syntax is pmount /dev/sdd1 or /usr/bin/pmount /dev/sdd1
  • The device will mount under /media/sdd1 (this depends on partition ID, e.g pmount /dev/sdd1 would be mounted under /media/sdd1 and so on) and should be visible using commands like df or mount e.g.
  • The device can be unmounted using the pumount command e.g. pumount /dev/sdd1 or /usr/bin/pumount /dev/sdd1
  • pmount man page
  • pumount man page
  • dmesg man page
  • fdisk man page

  • Original: Brett Lennon (20th Jun 2011), modified: Brett Lennon ()