USB storage devices

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This document describes how to use the popular USB memory sticks with Linux. However, it is also valid for other devices such as digital cameras that act as if they were just a USB storage.

If you have an up-to-date system with the standard Arch kernel, udev and a modern Desktop Environment your device should just show up on your desktop, no need to open a console.

Otherwise see Manual mounting below.

Auto-mounting of USB devices

See Udev:Auto mounting USB devices

Manual mounting

Note: Before you decide that your Arch Linux doesn't mount your USB device, be sure to check all available ports. Since some might not share the same controller, and will then not be able to mount the device.

Getting a kernel that supports usb_storage

If you do not use a custom-made kernel, you are ready to go, for all Arch Linux stock kernels are properly configured. If you do use a custom-made kernel, ensure it is compiled with SCSI-Support, SCSI-Disk-Support and usb_storage. If you use the latest udev, you may just plug your device in and the system will automatically load all necessary kernel modules. Older releases of udev would need hotplug installed too. Otherwise, you can do the same thing manually:

# modprobe usb-storage
# modprobe sd_mod      (only for non SCSI kernels)

Mounting USB memory

In order to mount the device you need to know the path to the device node, there are at least two ways of finding out:

Note: If you can't find your device you can use lsusb to verify that it is indeed recognized by the system.

You also need to create the directory in which you are going to mount the device:

# mkdir /mnt/usbstick

Finally you can mount the device as root with this command (don't forget to replace device_node by the path you found):

# mount device_node /mnt/usbstick

If Template:Codeline does not recognized the format of the device you can try to use the Template:Codeline argument, see Template:Codeline for details.

Note: If mounting your stick doesn't work you can try to repartition it, see Format a device.

Mounting the USB stick as normal user

If you want non-root users to be able to mount a USB memory stick, add the following line to your /etc/fstab file:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/usbstick vfat rw,noauto,async,user 0 0
Note: Where /dev/sda1 is replaced with the path to your own usbstick, see Mounting USB memory.

Now, any user can mount it with:

$ mount /mnt/usbstick

And unmount it with:

$ umount /mnt/usbstick

Mounting the USB stick with flush option

The flush option for mounting vfat has been added since kernel 2.6.19 as a replacement to async. It basically makes data to flush more often, thus making copy dialogs or progress bars to stays up until things are on the disk. [1]

/dev/sda1 /mnt/usbstick vfat rw,noauto,flush,user 0 0