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

Kris Moore kris at pcbsd.com
Fri Apr 17 06:52:15 PDT 2009

Jarrod Lee Petz wrote:
>> 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
> Kris,
> 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 
> up.
>     or
>     - 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 

Yep, thats the exact same issue I've seen here on several of my newer 
systems. Its dang annoying, and I don't think its going to be fixed in 
7.x, since the USB2 stack probably wont be backported. However it does 
work on 8-Current here as well, so I'm eager to get some early snapshots 
of 8 building in the next few weeks.


Kris Moore
PC-BSD Software

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