Yet another mount utility

This is a re-posting. It was originally posted on Feb. 2, 2020, on my personal web page at

This is yet another wrapper around the mount command. It works in Debian Linux on a PC, and in Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi. It is not better than others around. It is the one that best suits my needs, that’s all. It is easily customizable. It is in BASH. Thanks to Rawtext for letting me host this stuff here. Much obliged, Rawtext folks.

This BASH script mounts a USB removable storage device, like a pendrive, an external hard drive or a SD card reader. It works for a user in the sudoers list. The user does not have to run the mount command, they don’t have to know the device name (/dev/sdc1 or similar), they don’t have to specify the mounting point. Just invoke the script, and it will do it all for you. It will mount the device by UUID in /media/user/uuidofdevice.

The flag -o rw,umask=0000 is the default in my version of the script, but hey, change it to whatever you like. These settings work for me.

Some utilities allow mounting removable USB drives in the userland. Usually those don’t give many privileges, like rw. Being in the userland, they don’t require a password. I prefer for the system to prompt me for my password. It is a trade-off. I’ve worked with those kinds of utilities, they are good for what they are and what they do. Mine serves sudoers. I am a sudoer in my personal PC and my personal Raspberry Pi. And my personal laptop, which also runs Debian.

This is the script:


createdirectory () {
if [ ! -d /media/$CURRENTUSER/$1 ]
sudo mkdir /media/$CURRENTUSER/$1

# check if drive is already mounted and returns boolean:
mounted () {
MOUNT=$(sudo lsblk -o UUID,MOUNTPOINT | awk -v u="$1" '$1 == u {print $2}')
[[ $MOUNT ]] && return 0 || return 1

actualmounting () {
if mounted $1
echo $1 "is mounted, moving on"
else echo $1 "is not mounted: mounting now"
createdirectory $1
sudo mount -U $1 /media/$CURRENTUSER/$1 -o rw,umask=0000

sudo blkid | sed -n 's/.* UUID=\"\([^\"]*\)\".*/\1/p' > $TEMPFILE
while IFS= read -r line
MYTEST=$(sudo blkid -U $line | grep /dev/sd)
[[ $MYTEST ]] && actualmounting $line || continue
done < $TEMPFILE

# this line displays the UUID of all devices plugged in:
# sudo blkid | sed -n 's/.* UUID=\"\([^\"]*\)\".*/\1/p'
# this other line does exactly the same but
# does not work on all Linux installations:
# blkid -s UUID -o value

I had to reach a compromise to have the exact same script to work in a PC and in a Raspberry Pi without a single modification. In a PC, the local filesystem has to be checked for mounting and skipped, and in a Raspberry Pi it will only mount devices with the name /dev/sd*. Which is the only names a removable USB drive can have, as far as I know, so you’re pretty much safe at that then.

My script does not detect when the USB drive is plugged in. I don’t like that much automation. I like to have control and give the final green light to a delicate process like mounting shit on my computer.

It would have helped having a function that accepts a UUID as input and returns a binary yes or no if it is a USB removable device or not. The command udisks --dump | less returns that info, but parsing and greping it proved to be an ordeal. I gave up. I used yellow-belly workarounds.

As a final reflection, heck, I think it should be a standard in Linux in general, for all system utilities, to return the info in one single way and format. This way, the data returned would be easy to query. XML could be implemented, or CSV, or even SQL. Making it mandatory outputing in SQLite for all Linux core apps would be awesome-sause.

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