I have a external drive mounted to /media/usbhdd, the owner is: debian-transmission and the group is gebruikers.

In the group gebruikers i have added the person debian-transmission and pi. But when i want to change or delete something as user pi it doesn't work (i get an permission error).

my /etc/fstab looks like this:

/dev/sda1   /media/usbhdd  vfat  uid=debian-transmission,gid=gebruikers 0 0

With the command id pi i get this:

uid=1000(pi) gid=1000(pi) groups=1000(pi),4(adm),20(dialout),24(cdrom),27(sudo),29(audio),44(video),46(plugdev),60(games),100(users),101(input),108(netdev),999(spi),998(i2c),997(gpio),115(debian-transmission),1002(gebruikers)

And with the command ls -l /media/usbhdd: total 192

drwxr-xr-x 2 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Aug 30  2014 disk1
drwxr-xr-x 3 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Oct 14 11:42 Network Trash Folder
drwxr-xr-x 2 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Aug 31  2014 shares
drwxr-xr-x 3 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Oct 14 11:42 Temporary Items
drwxr-xr-x 4 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Oct 14 12:26 series
drwxr-xr-x 3 debian-transmission gebruikers 32768 Oct 14 12:26 movies 

How can i write/change/delete with user pi without changing uid in the fstab file?

EDIT This was the trick:

/dev/sda1 /media/usbhdd vfat uid=debian-transmission,gid=gebruikers,umask=0000 0 0

  • Could you edit your question to add what id pi prints? also an ls -l from some file or directory in /media/usbhdd would be useful to see what the driver sets as default rights. Anyway, plain fat file system maybe does not support everything (?) about unix-like permissions. I know vfat has no problems. Oct 14, 2015 at 12:25
  • @dave_alcarin I have added the information, it is vfat it was my bad.
    – da1lbi3
    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


As you can see in the results of ls -l inside your device, the group and "others" permissions have the "write" flag cleared. Only the owning user may write.

If you want to keep the mounting ids intact, add a proper mode mount option in your /etc/fstab to enable write permissions to the group, for example mode=0775 is rwx for user and group, r-x for others.

  • is this the way to do it? /dev/sda1 /media/usbhdd vfat uid=debian-transmission,gid=gebruikers, mode=0775 0 0
    – da1lbi3
    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:49
  • Scratch my previous comment. Remove the space after the comma. Oct 14, 2015 at 12:52
  • The command doesn't work, when i reboot the root acount is locked.. if i remove the mode it boots up normally?
    – da1lbi3
    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:58
  • If it does not work, then remove the mode option and add the rw option, or set the umask completely to 0 Oct 14, 2015 at 13:06

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