I have tried to mount my usb floppy disk drive in 11.04 Natty. So far I have managed to use the udisks --mount/dev/sdf command in terminal, but get a message that I have not stated a filetype

john@john-desktop:~$ udisks --mount /dev/sdf Mount failed: Error mounting: mount: you must specify the filesystem type

This is the result I get when trying to mount the usb floppy disk drive. Anyone know how to proceed?


udisks is asking you to specify the filesystem format because it cannot figure it out by itself. The reason it cannot is because you are telling it the wrong device to mount. You don't actually mount disks. You mount partitions (also called volumes). So instead of running

udisks --mount /dev/sdf


udisks --mount /dev/sdf1

That mounts the first partition on the disk (assuming the disk really is /dev/sdf). It's very rare for a floppy disk to have more than one partition. If it is not partitioned at all, then you can partition it with fdisk and then format it with mkdosfs, both of which must be run as root with sudo (or do both with GParted), but if that is the case, make sure it's the right device, because if it's a different drive with important data on it, you could lose that data.


You are forgetting the part about defining the format. udisks --mount /dev/sdf --mount-fstype=vfat (or any other type).

  • Actually, the OP is forgetting to identify which partition to mount. It should be /dev/sdf1 rather than /dev/sdf. udisks only tells you that you have to specify the filesystem type when it cannot infer it itself, and when that happens it is almost always because you are trying to mount the wrong kind of device (in this case, a disk rather than a partition/volume) or the volume is unformatted, formatted with an unrecognized (and likely unmountable) filesystem, or corrupt. – Eliah Kagan May 24 '12 at 0:33
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    You might be able to force udisks to "succeed" with the --mount-fstype flag, but this would be bad, because you would be writing to the disk in a nonstandard and possibly unstable way. You'd likely lose what data you had on the disk, and whatever data you wrote to the disk afterwards would likely be inaccessible (possibly even when mounted in the same way, though this is a reasonable way to attempt to recover data written after this mistake is made). – Eliah Kagan May 24 '12 at 0:34

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