"Error initializing camera: -53: Could not claim the USB device"

John Hupp lubuntu at prpcompany.com
Tue Sep 23 22:29:33 UTC 2014

I plugged a Kodak EasyShare C182 (supporting PTP file transfer) into a 
14.04.1 desktop today over USB and it responded with:

"Error initializing camera: -53: Could not claim the USB device"

OK'ing out of that, it then offered to open the device in the file 
manager, where it had mounted 3 devices.  One with no contents, another 
with DCIM and MISC folders, and another with something-store1 and 
something-store2 folders.  (I suppose there would be separate devices 
for internal memory and an SD card, but I don't know why there would be 
3 devices.)

It was then only possible to unmount 1 of the 3 devices.  To prevent 
corruption, I powered down the PC before unplugging the camera.

Under 13.04, it responded:

"Error initializing camera: -60: Could not lock the device"

And then it opened in the file manager, again showing 3 devices, only 
one of which I could unmount, so again I powered down to disconnect.


For a partial comparison, I plugged a Canon Powershot G1 into the 
14.04.1 desktop and there was no error, it offered to open in file 
manager, and it mounted 2 devices, both with DCIM and MISC folders. I 
was only able to unmount one of the devices and so powered down to 


Searching for non-ancient explanations (of which there are many), I did 
find this popular bug:

PTP Cameras not working on 14.04, works flawlessly on 12.04 

But that report does not reference either of these errors, and this 
machine already has the prescribed libghoto2 update that should fix the 
described bug.

There is also this Launchpad Answer regarding error -53, but it does not 
mention the unmount problem:

Unable to fetch previews from the camera: Could not claim the USB device 

The errors and the unmount problem are both troubling, but if I could 
find a manual unmount command (perhaps with gvfs?), at least I would 
have a workaround that would not involve rebooting.

Does anyone have the lowdown on all this?  What's the best available 
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