Sporadic hotplug (auto-mount) behaviour in 11.3 on a 64bit machine


I have been experiencing an interesting problem, not sure if it’s a known bug or not (if it is, it’s surprisingly hard to find anything about it online).

I have a new 64 bit workstation (Dell Vostro i7) which I usually keep running for extended periods (read; days and weeks). I have realized that the system completely ignores when I insert a USB stick (LaCie 8Gb USB Key). By ignore, I mean it doesn’t get mounted, and /media/ is empty. Interesting enough if I go into YAST and probe for Hardware Information, I find my USB stick there under the USB section.

There is no specific entry for the key in /etc/fstab by the way, as far as I know I don’t need to specify how a USB stick should be mounted. Auto-mount, when it actually works, is perfectly fine.

The problem resolves itself when/if do I restart, which gives me the idea that something gets “corrupt” over time.

Any ideas on what this could depend on?


So, if you go to the device notifier and select it, you should show all usb drives. If you select your USB key, it will be mounted in media. Besides doing a restart, you can just unplug and replug in if not mounted. The thing is, you are not mounting it in your fstab file, which is normal. So, the device is not auto mounted per say. Its just available in the device notifier where, if you elect to say open it with a File Manager causes it to be mounted in the media folder.

By the way, doing a reboot is the same as unplugging and replugging the key in. If it was normally mounted at reboot, as if your fstab, it would never lose that mounting over time. It is instead mounted from the Device Notifier. By default, it only shows removable drives. If you right click on it, you can change its settings. Which include auto mounting without selecting it from the Notifier. I don’t use that and if I really wanted a permanent mount of the key I would add it to the fstab file.

Thank You,

Thanks for the reply! I think I haven’t made my question clear enough, allow me to rephrase it:

Let’s say that the machine is on and the key is not plugged in. I plug it in and the auto-mount works fine, it mounts the key into the /media folder. I use my key, unmount and unplug it from the computer (this process could happen a number of times). Sometime later I plug it in again and it won’t auto-mount. No matter how many times I plug/unplug it doesn’t really matter. Then I check the Hardware info through YAST and there I get the confirmation that there’s nothing wrong with the USB contact and I can see the key connected. However /media is empty, nothing mounted there. The file manager doesn’t show an external storage device either. In that state if I reboot my machine the auto-mount start functioning properly again. The same key works perfectly fine on other machines or my notebook which also runs OpenSUSE (11.2 or 11.3, not sure but I can check if it makes a difference)

I hope that sheds some light over my problem.

So, based on your description of the problem, are you using the terminal command umount or selecting unmount from My Computer (Right Click) to remove the USB key? While replying to your message, I am running openSUSE 11.2, I have been able to add and remove a 16 GB key numerous times, while using both procedures. I surely don’t know if there is more to it or not, but I would try this method first. I am thinking that the Notifier may become confused without unmounting your key first.

Thank You,

I usually click on the eject button in Nautilus (File Manager).

I too have used my USB on numerous occasions without having any problems whatsoever, so I am slightly confused.

Which method were you referring to by the way?

I usually click on the eject button in Nautilus (File Manager).

I too have used my USB on numerous occasions without having any problems whatsoever, so I am slightly confused.

Which method were you referring to by the way?
When you mention Nautilus, it sounds like you are using Gnome and not KDE, but maybe I am wrong. I normlly go to the “My Computer” icon on the desktop of KDE, right click on the USB drive and pick unmount. The drive is still there, but not mounted and I just pull it out. This habit comes from my Windows days really, but should be valid still in openSUSE. As to if there might be an issue in Gnome over KDE, I am not sure. The “My Computer” icon is running the command:

kfmclient openProfile webbrowsing sysinfo:/

Which is using the application Konqueror to look at your system information and provides the ability to unmount drives, which I pick over opening a terminal session to umount the drive.

Thank You,

I have some issues with hotplugging too, see thread HAL: permission denied to automount external USB storage. I don’t know if this is the same or a similar problem. What is the message you get in /var/log/messages when it does not work?

It doesn’t look like the same problem, but interesting nevertheless…
I just got to the office, the key is plugged in so I disconnected and reconnected it, here’s the corresponding bit on /var/log/messages:

Nov 10 09:35:40 office2 kernel: [688987.410341] usb 2-1.8: USB disconnect, address 7
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.420377] usb 2-1.7: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 8
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.527052] usb 2-1.7: New USB device found, idVendor=059f, idProduct=1027
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.527059] usb 2-1.7: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.527065] usb 2-1.7: Product: LaCie iamaKey
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.527068] usb 2-1.7: Manufacturer: LaCie
Nov 10 09:35:44 office2 kernel: [688991.527072] usb 2-1.7: SerialNumber: 0370131058e443

@jdmcdaniel3: I am using Gnome, perhaps I should have mentioned it in the beginning. I’ll try to see if it has anything to do with the File Manager instead of the actual system.