Web search finds info only on drives which get mounted. How about other non-mounted devices? E.g. web cameras, keyboards, microphones, etc. Is it completely ok just to pull them out (unplug)?

Eject USB drives / eject command says:

I know that the eject command can be used to eject almost any hardware component attached, but can it be used to eject USB drives?

However man eject:

eject - eject removable media

That is media, not devices, AFAIK it is different terms, please correct me if I'm wrong here.

Added 1:

Maybe power-off would be correct term to address my concern. Having realized that found via web search Turning off power to usb port. Or turn off power to entire usb subsystem, looking into it. The benefits of doing power-off before unplug are not completely clear to me, the question stands open.

  • why would the ejection of a camera be required?
    – jsotola
    Jan 3, 2022 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Writable USB storage needs to be ejected properly because operating systems have a concept of dirty buffers, i.e. they don't necessarily write everything to the storage right away to speed up things.

This does not apply to all other devices which can be ejected pretty much any time you want. I probably won't unplug a USB DVD/CD drive when it's reading data however because it doesn't have a mechanism to park the reading head like HDDs do.

Also, unplugging other USB devices while you're communicating with them might lead to consequences, so as a rule of thumb you need to stop using them and then unplug.

  • "while you're communicating with them might lead to consequences": I don't communicate with them directly. Therefore I have incomplete info on whether OS / drivers stopped that communication - that is why I asked the question. Jan 3, 2022 at 23:19
  • Most USB drivers must be coded such a way the removal of devices shouldn't affect the running OS. Again there's no "safe" removal for them, just remove and that's it. Even for storage devices safe removal is not strictly a necessity. Jan 3, 2022 at 23:33
  • Thank you, I see your point. Maybe I'll investigate a little more to be on a safe side just in case... Jan 3, 2022 at 23:39

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