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

doverosx at gmail.com doverosx at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 15:52:26 PDT 2009

Jeff wrote:
> I have two different systems with fresh installs of PCBSD and neither 
> will consistently automount any USB device including thumb drives, and 
> an external HD.  One is a seven year old Gateway and the other a four 
> year old Dell.  Both have the device notifier widget.  The USB devices 
> do show up in the info center USB section and the HD additionally in 
> the SCSI list.
> The Dell will recognize some thumbdirves but neither will mount the 
> HD.  In PCBSD 1.5.1, I was able to read the HD which was formatted for 
> Windows.
> Something screwy with hal.  (Hal: What are you doing Dave?)  [For 
> anyone who remembers 2001, Space Odyssey; Dave is slowly pulling 
> memory modules out, so at least he recognized auto unmount...]  Hal of 
> course, is IBM minus 1.  I'm dating myself.  Ahem...
> --- On *Wed, 4/15/09, Arthur /<a-koziol at neiu.edu>/* wrote:
>     From: Arthur <a-koziol at neiu.edu>
>     Subject: Re: [PC-BSD Testing] Automounting of USB drives - Why is
>     it a problem?
>     To: "PC-BSD Testing list" <testing at lists.pcbsd.org>
>     Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 7:00 PM
>>>         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
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Perhaps it is a hardware incompatibility? I know that OEMs tend to take 
compatible chipsets and "modify" them, sometimes making them 'better' 
and most of the time making them incompatible with every OS except for 

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