Mounting usb sticks and external hard drives within lightweight desktops

When you are using lightweight desktops one obvious question will eventually rise: How do you mount usb sticks or external hard drives? In most cases the system will handle to mounting and the device will just pop-up as an entry within the file manager. On some distributions you will eventually realize that while you can copy things from the device easily, process might not be just drag and drop when you try to copy things to the device.

Preventing drag and drop  copying to the device can be considered as a security feature. For example, I configured Thunar to prevent direct drag and drop in my Audax Gnu/Linux distribution since I do believe that it is a good security feature to have.

So then, how do you copy your files to usb sticks and external hard drives. The process is simple and goes like described below. Note. # are clarifying comments. The steps below are usually done within a terminal client.

mkdir usb             #Creates a mount point for the device.
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 usb     #Mounts the device sdb1 to usb folder

Now the usb is basically mounted and showing up within a folder titled as usb. To copy your files to the device you can open your file manager as a root or a sudo within a terminal client.

For example:

sudo thunar

You could also use run dialogs like Fbrun and type: gksudo thunar . In Audax 0.1.4. you can alternatively just press Windows+r which will prompt you for a password and open Thunar within a root-mode.

A word of warning. Use root with caution. Root-mode can harm your system so do not do anything adventurous just for fun.

Once you are done copying your files, unmount your device by typing within a terminal client (as a root or a sudo):

umount usb

as a sudo the command would be: sudo umount usb .

All done! Your files should be copied to your device of choice.