I have an external hard drive (WB My Passport), connected via a USB port. My OS is Elementary OS Freya on a Dell Vostro 1510.

Currently, in order to mount the drive, I have to open the file manager, and then click on its icon.

However, I would like this external hard drive to be mounted automatically when plugged in or when booting up.


Most of the modern Window Manager include an option in the File Manager (nautilus, caja, etc) to automatically mount the external hard drives.

In my example (Linux Mint with MATE) going to the System Preferences, File Manager, there is a section called "Removable Drives and Media" where you can enable / disable automatic mounting of external devices.

Also, you can do it this manually by editing /etc/fstab file and adding a line to automount the disk based on the UUID or LABEL of the filesystem. I can provide details if you're interested, but your Windows manager should be able to provide you a simple way of doing this.

Best regards,

  • With regard to Elementary OS (Freya) the File Manager doesn't have any option (at least no GUI access to such options). So an alternative would b welcome. Thanks. – Benjamin Apr 19 '15 at 18:38
  • Then mount your external filesystem and use (as root) the "blkid" command to get the UUID of your external disk. Then you can edit the /etc/fstab file and add an entry like "UUID=the-uuid-of-your-fs /your/mount/point ntfs auto,defaults,user 0 0" – sromero Apr 19 '15 at 18:59
  • Added to /etc/fstab entry: UUID=4E1AEA7B1AEA6007 /dev/sdb1 ntfs auto,defaults,user 0 0 but then the drive isn't detected at all. – Benjamin Apr 22 '15 at 16:58
  • Hi. The second parameter in your line is wrong, instead of /dev/sdb1 you have to put there the mount point (example: /mnt/mydrive). Create the directory first with mkdir -p /mnt/mydrive. Your drive is already identified by the UUID string, you don't need to identify it with the device filename /dev/sdX (and that device name will change to sdc if you plug another usb device first)... This fstab line is used when the system boots to automount the drive. If you want to automount it when you plug in while the system is started, then check "udev" / "automount". – sromero Apr 22 '15 at 21:25
  • 1
    If your Window manager does not provide the facility to automount any new drive present in the system (as does GNOME, KDE, MATE, XFCE, etc), you can use systems like udev and automount (they are not Xorg apps, they are "system services") to automatically mount drives. With udev, you edit a file in /etc/udev/rules.d/ and place there "rules" that define which kind of drives should be mounted and how. Check axllent.org/docs/view/auto-mounting-usb-storage for mor information. – sromero Apr 23 '15 at 13:47

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