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Re: Automounting experiments

John O'Hagan schrieb:

Then I upgraded udev and hal, and suddenly pmount needed to be called manually.
Which raised the question, how was it working in KDE without g-v-m,...
If someone could figure out what those changes were, and how to make them (optionally) permanent, KDE's device automounting would be improved.
Any thoughts?
I think USB mounting is one of the greatest quagmires Linux has to offer; I don't know how much of this is due to - or on the other hand corrigible by - KDE. The mounting of USB-devices seems to involve too many competing systems and I havn't found a document which describes which methods are compatible and which are obsolete. E.g. I just read in LinuxUser that with hal, hotplug is no longer required. Yet Kubuntu, the only distribution I have tried which really works regarding with USB semi-automounting, still has hotplug.

hotplug, automount, pmount, udev, hal and many more: this is a real mess only comprehensible to people who live and breathe Linux. Users who simply want to read and write their data are put off. I have spent hours trying to sort these out and many kind people on this list have given useful advice. I had to install a new kernel to even use pmount, which killed my sound and I havn't been able to get this back even with the help of experts on the debian-kernel list and have gone back to my old kernel.

There seem to be (say) three generations of USB mounting systems:

1) The good old way: USB partitions showed up in /proc somewhere, e.g. /proc/partitions and one had to write an entry line in /etc/fstab and then mount manually as root or create a desktop icon which mounts and opens the device in konqueror. Problem: the partition labels change with different devices, so you need to either do a bit of detective work occasionally or maintain a whole zoo of /etc/fstab entries. (Completely manual mounting without going through /etc/fstab often doesn't work because often the file system type is unknown. In this case the only thing I have found which will even find the partition is QTparted, a super partitioning tool which is unfortunately incomplete and buggy and no longer maintained or even part of Debian, as far as I can tell.)

2) The semiautomatic way: detective work as above in 1), then use pmount /dev/sd<xy>. Device will show up in /media/sd<xy> and even on the desktop if you have "show devices" activated in KDE. Problem: needs a modern kernel.

3) The modern way: device icon appears automatically (unmounted) on desktop. Clicking mounts it in Konqueror. Right-clicking allows safe removal. Problem: requires modern kernel and lots of other things. Only few distributions (e.g. Kunbuntu) seem to have gotten this right, certainly not Sarge.

I note that even 3) isn't true automounting, so maybe there is a 4).

My personal solution is to forget about USB-mounting in my Debian system and to use a Kubuntu Live-CD whenever I need to use USB.

Theo Schmidt

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