I have a computer running CentOS 7. I'm trying to set up a udev rule to automatically mount a USB drive (named 'sdb1') to /mnt/flash whenever it is connected.

The udev script was not working (see below), so I instead put my commands into a bash script and had udev run the bash script so I could see what was going on.

Problem #1: If I try to directly create /mnt/flash from my bash script, it fails due to the root filesystem being read-only. I can confirm the root filesystem is NOT read-only. My system is already booted. However, if I insert my USB drive, let udev run my script, sure enough when I run 'mount | logger' in my script it shows root is read only.

I worked around this issue by running 'mount -o remount,rw /' at the top of my script.

Problem #2: I'm able to create /mnt/flash and mount /dev/sdb1 to /mnt/flash successfully. I run 'mount | logger' after doing this and see it mounted in /var/log/messages. However, when all is said and done, /dev/sdb1 is not mounted. I even put a 5 second delay in my script and ran 'mount | logger' a second time. Both times show /dev/sdb1 is mounted to /mnt/flash. However, if I run 'mount' from a different terminal while all of this is going on, I never see /dev/sdb1 mounted anywhere.

Am I going crazy, or is udev doing some strange things to the filesystems while it runs?

udev script: /etc/udev/rules.d/99-usb-automount.rules

#Only operate on sdb1
KERNEL!="sdb1", GOTO="usb-automount-end"
ACTION=="add", PROGRAM!="/sbin/blkid %N", GOTO="usb-automount-end"

#import useful variables from blkid program
IMPORT{program}="/sbin/blkid -o udev -p %N"

#ignore anything other than vfat filesystems
ACTION=="add", ENV{ID_FS_TYPE}!="vfat", GOTO="usb-automount-end"

#remount root as read-write.  Not sure why we have to do this!
#ACTION=="add", RUN+="/bin/mount -o remount,rw /"

#mount to /mnt/flash
#ACTION=="add", RUN+="/bin/mkdir -p /mnt/flash"
#ACTION=="add", RUN+="/bin/mount -t vfat -o dmask=000,fmask=111 /dev/%k /mnt/flash"
ACTION=="add", RUN+="/root/test_run.sh", OPTIONS="last_rule"

#clean up after removal
#ACTION=="remove", RUN+="/bin/umount -l /mnt/flash"

#label for goto end

Here is /root/test_run.sh:

#!/bin/bash -x
logger "running mount"
mount | logger
logger "remounting root"
mount -o remount,rw /  2>&1 | logger
logger "remount done"
mount | logger
logger "Running script.  Adding dir"
mkdir -p /mnt/flash2 2>&1 | logger
logger "Directory added... mounting."
mount -t vfat -o dmask=000,fmask=111 /dev/sdb1 /mnt/flash2 2>&1 | logger
logger "Mounted"
mount | logger

logger "Sleeping 5 then re-checking"
sleep 5

mount | logger

Edit 1 : Disabling SELinux fixed problem #1. However, I still cannot get the /dev/sdb1 to stay mounted after udev. It still appears there is almost a second mount table that is maintained from within the udev context.

  • 1
    As to the read-only problem, check dmesg and udev's logs to make sure the file system is not being mounted read-only because it has an error, or wasn't cleanly unmounted. You might need to run the right flavor of fsck on it.
    – infixed
    Jun 6, 2016 at 13:20
  • The filesystem is only mounted read-only from the perspective of the script run by udev. When I login and view the output of 'mount' it shows as read-write. I did check dmesg and don't see any related errors.
    – KyleL
    Jun 6, 2016 at 14:24
  • its almost like devmapper is running your commands within a container.
    – Otheus
    Jun 6, 2016 at 15:37
  • It does seem appear to be something like that. Is that possible? I haven't modified much on my CentOS 7 distro. It is running KDE instead of the default gnome, however.
    – KyleL
    Jun 6, 2016 at 18:34
  • 1
    try testing with selinux disabled setenforce 0
    – Peter
    Jun 7, 2016 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


Problem #1 was caused by SELinux. Since I don't need it for this system, I simply disabled it.

Problem #2 was caused by a udev setting (specified in systemd script) that makes the udev namespace keep a 'slave' copy of the mount flags. Changing this to 'shared' fixed the problem. See a more detailed answer here: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/154318/41988

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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