[PC-BSD Testing] Automounting of USB drives - Why is it a problem?

Jarrod Lee Petz petz at nisshoko.net
Fri Apr 17 05:56:56 PDT 2009

> Arthur wrote:
>>>> Hello List,
>>>> For some time now, I have been baffled by one thing: Mac OS X somehow 
>>>> has FreeBSD under the hood. When you connect a USB stick (flash disk, 
>>>> external drive) to a Mac, it gets automounted, yet the same does not 
>>>> happen on FreeBSD.
>>>> I have seen several questions being asked on this list about this 
>>>> feature, but the answer is neither here nor there.
>>>> There is even a port (sysutils/automounter) that I believe is supposed 
>>>> to help towards this, but again it's not as easy as it seems to be.
>>>> Now my question is just one: Why should it be this difficult for 
>>>> FreeBSD to have the automount feature within the base system?
>>>> If OS X is doing it, Linux is doing it, FreeBSD can do it.
>>> Mount usb dev, work with it somehow ( copy there or from), and then NOT 
>>> umounted it, remove it.
>>> You'll probably get kernel panic and system crash. This happen in almost 
>>> all cases.
>>> While BSD -Stable didn't merge new USB stack, which would behave normal 
>>> in such situation, auto-mount not good idea.
>>> That's my IMHO :)
>>> Sure, but you haven't seen a Mac OS X panic so far, right? Perhaps you 
>>> haven't seen/used any Mac, so you are not to blame:-)
>>> All I am wondering about is why it cannot happen in FreeBSD world?
>> I have not had any issues with USB drives auto-mounting on my PC-BSD 
>> installs ever.
>> Arthur
> I have seen my Wife's system crash once in a blue moon, after removing an 
> unmounted USB stick. I think the long-term solution is going to be when we 
> switch over to the new USB2 stack in 8.0. Its being actively developed 
> now, and I know it fixes a lot of issues with my USB keyboard / mice 
> working on some of the latest GigaByte motherboards.
> -- 
> Kris Moore
> PC-BSD Software
> http://www.pcbsd.com


I get the same behaviour out of the FreeBSD 7.0 kernel on my Gigabyte 
motherboard. I took me a while to work out that the only way to get the 
Keyboard and mouse working is to
    - Unplug my keyboard and mouse and plug them back in after the system is 
    - Use only the front USB ports instead of the one on the back of the 
motherboard for the Keyboard and mouse.

I can also confirm the new USB stack in FreeBSD 8.0 (200902 snapshot)makes 
everything better. Alas I am a noob and no to good at compiling KDE and so 
forth. Needless to say I can't wait for the early PC-BSD alpha or betas 
based on FreeBSD 8.0. I hope youll kick one out soon even if its very rough 
around the edges.

Regards Jarrod 

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