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In for example Thunar I can just click on an external USB drive to mount it under /run/media/$USER/[something]. The fact that the mount point is created dynamically is a great side effect. But for any drives which are on the SATA bus I'm told

mount: only root can do that

or

Not authorized to perform operation.

How do I configure internal drives to work like USB drives in this respect?

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I don't think you can mount internal devices as a normal user in Linux.

I had a similar problem, wanting to make an internal disk available to a normal user in NixOS. The answer How to auto mount / permanently mount external devices on NixOS explains how to do auto mounting by mounting manually as a superuser, and running nixos-generate-config and nixos-rebuild switch.

Then using chown user:group /my-mount-point I was able to permanently configure the disk to be available to my user. Hope it helps.

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