Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How do I authorise my non-root user to manually mount/unmount ALL media on my desktop. I always get denied permission.

Media refers to all mountable USB devices and other partitions on my HDD as well.

share|improve this question
You become root. – rozcietrzewiacz Oct 1 '11 at 22:56
(Or if it is (hopefully) not what you want, think it over and describe once again, what type of media you want to be allowed to mount.) – rozcietrzewiacz Oct 1 '11 at 22:58
@roz: I interpreted “myself” as “my (non-root) user”, and “media” as “removable medias”. ptrcao, could you confirm this and maybe improve your post? – Stéphane Gimenez Oct 1 '11 at 23:18
@rozcietrzewiacz - sorry if I wasn't clear. Stéphane's interpretation is correct, except I would extend "media" to include other partitions on the same HDD as root as well as USB devices. – ptrcao Oct 2 '11 at 4:06

Pmount is the command-line tool that I always recommend. It is a policy-based mounting program that does not require any sudo. It is useful especially for media such as USB disks, because, by default, it recognizes removable media and allows normal users to mount them. You can also extend its functionality to devices whitelisted in a configuration file.

For suggestions on automated mounting solutions, have look at this question.

share|improve this answer

have you tried adding the 'user' key to the options portion of the relevant lines in /etc/fstab?

/dev/cdrom      /mnt/cdrom  iso9660         noauto,ro,user  0  0

that would allow regular users to be able to mount cds or dvds.

just add similar lines for your thumbdrives or USB disks. arg1 can be a UUID too, if you have multiple devices of the same type with different filesystems.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Tim, unfortunately, this approach is too tedious. I am not able to anticipate and add every possible USB device. Also, the /dev/... location varies drastically and changes every time I insert a new USB device. I just want a sweeping solution that automatically grants permissions and mounts everything in a plug-and-play fashion... – ptrcao Oct 2 '11 at 4:09
@ptrcao You will find a variety of items under /dev/disk that you may want to take a look at. Combine this with automount and I think you will have what you are looking for. – Kevin M Oct 2 '11 at 23:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.