XFCE: Can't give access to USB Harddrives & Flash Drives

I am having a problem give access to my USB harddrives and Flash drives. I first installed OpenSUSE 10.3 with Gnome and then Installed XFCE, but now within XFCE I can’t give premission to my external devices. Any Ideas?


Does the drive show-up when you run thunar

Are the drives mounted?

Did you try to mount the drives manually (via an xterm/terminal/konsole) ?

oldcpu, Yes, USB drives come mounted when I plug them in, but when I open them. They say premission wasn’t given.

“Did you try to mount the drives manually (via an xterm/terminal/konsole) ?”
Could you please explain on this more? Do you mean input this within the terminal (konsole isn’t that KDE??, I am under XFCE with the default of Gnome)
EX: mount /media/Enternal
It already comes mounted (sorry for restating that.)

conram, yes.


Manual mounting should be desktop/window-manager independent. It is useful to know how to do a manual mount, as it can come in handy when working in run level 3 (ie in a terminal type full screen session) and one needs read/write access to an external drive.

I can provide some example mounting commands when I get home tonight (I’m not at a Linux PC now), but for the interim, can you advise if your USB external drives are formated as NTFS or FAT32? (I assume your USB memory sticks are FAT32 or FAT16). Also, do you have fuse and the ntfs-3g libraries installed?

Alternatively, in the next 10 hours or so, someone else can give you some example mounting commands.

Maybe the good old ntfs-config tool is of help here… You can install it through software management.


Hi ocha,
You mentioned you have gnome as default.
In gnome are you not encountering the same problem if you boot in to it now?

Here are some commands you can send from a terminal/xterm from your xfce.

For the purpose of this mounting, create a directory called /windows/G which is where we will mount these drives (I picked that as an arbitrary location). You will need root permissions to create the directory, but after creating, you could also change its permissions to drwxrwxrwx and ownershp to yourself.

Open a terminal/xfce window. Plug in your USB hard drive or flash drive. You now have to try and identify it. Type “su” (no quotes and enter root password) to get root permissions, and then type:
fdisk -l #note that is a lower case ‘L’ and not a one.

From that you should be able to see if your USB drive is /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or what ever. Lets say it shows up as /dev/sdb and it is a FAT32 (ie VFAT) USB device. Try the following to mount it (from an xterm with root permissions) …
mount -t vfat -o gid=users,umask=000 /dev/sdb1 /windows/F
… you should now have read/write access to your USB device mounted under /windows/F. Those permissions are pretty sloppy, and can likely be improved.

but lets say instead it was an NTFS USB device, … in that case I recommend you type:
mount -t ntfs-3g -o rw,uid=1000,gid=100,umask=0022 /dev/sdb1 /windows/F
… you should now have read/write access to your USB device mounted under /windows/F.

when you wish to remove the device, you should first unmount it with:
umount /dev/sdb1

note, I am also assuming you have libfuse and ntfs-3g installed.

I am away from my xfce but this
steps might help
Using Removable Media

Tsandu, Last time I was able to read and write to my USB hard and flash drive within Gnome, but let me double check that…

oldcpu, Let me try this out later tonight. I will report back in.

conram, Thanks.

Sorry for this short reply, but I will report back in later.