I encountered a horrible experience with Nautilus and GParted

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 18:22:23 BST 2008

Today I needed to reorganize the partitions on a MicroSD card. I found
that the best solution was GParted, so pulled that open to reformat the

I needed to unmount its two partitions first (a FAT32 and an ext3).
Okay... did that through GParted since the option was there. NOTHING
Happened; Nautilus mounted the disk again "automatically". How nice of

Unmounted through Nautilus. Now it /stayed/ unmounted.

GParted got as far as deleting the partitions. Now, whenever it starts
work on creating them, Nautilus decides to mount the disk again and
GParted errors out. This can't be good for the partition table, and it
is definitely not good for my head.

Before, there was an option under Removable Drives and Media for "Mount
removable drives when hot-plugged", which would have remedied this
stupid problem (albeit in a user-hostile way). Nope, it isn't there any
more because Nautilus has now taken over the role of mounting devices,
as if drawing the desktop image, being a shell and managing files was
not enough for it. In the bizarrely placed new Media tab under File
Management Preferences, there is no such option.
In short, I cannot find an obvious solution. Of course I can kill
Nautilus, but I generally refuse to employ "geeky" solutions to these
problems. GParted is a sort of a power-user tool, but this is a serious
usability problem.

Is there data that Nautilus should be paying attention to which says
when a disk is OK to mount? How is Nautilus tracking new devices? It
strikes me as totally bizarre that it will mount a device again just
because it was not the program to unmount it. Actually, that behaviour
seems the precise opposite of the Unix "do one thing well" philosophy
since it conflicts with other applications doing anything reasonably
related. (Although I suppose this isn't surprising given that file
managers in general can't resist doing every file-related task under the

My thought is that this is a new bug in need of serious fixing before
something bad happens. (Like someone relies on a deployed GNOME desktop
running above a huge file server?).
The reason I am not jumping at Bugzilla is because this could also do
with some discussion. Is anyone else able to reproduce this? Is the
current behaviour desirable in other cases?

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