Unmounting removable devices

Matthew East mdke at ubuntu.com
Tue Nov 11 08:25:27 GMT 2008


On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 10:22 PM, James Westby
<jw+debian at jameswestby.net> wrote:
> Currently I find unmounting removable devices in GNOME is less than
> optimal for a couple of reasons.
> Firstly, I don't think I should have to open nautilus or go to the
> desktop to do this, though it's not the end of the world. Secondly,
> there is no notification when you just yank out a removable device, and
> no real indication that you should unmount before doing so, so it's not
> obvious to new users.


> I have two questions. Firstly, the technical one of what needs to
> happen. Is nautilus the correct place for this? If not, what should be?
> The second is the more philosophical one, should we be doing this?

I think it's a good idea. Whether they use Windows or Ubuntu, new
users (at least those I know) hardly ever get to know that they should
unmount removable devices before unplugging them.

> If so, what should it look like? Panel applet? Notification icon?
> Something else?

There are already notification popups which appear when a removable
device is unmounted properly, so I guess this could be extended to the
situation where a removable device is removed without unmounting.
Equally, a message could popup when a device is connected which
explains that it should be unmounted before unplugging it.

But I guess the only way to provide a simple way to unmount the device
would be to ship the applet you refer to in our default panel, and
hide it when nothing is plugged in.

Matthew East
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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