How can I trigger an automount from the command line? By "automount" I don't mean fully automatic mounting, but getting a list of available devices and then selecting one and having it end up as /media/{user}/{diskid}. This functionality is provided by Nautilus or Thunar for example, but I can't seem to find a command line tool to trigger this kind of semi automatic mount.

pmount is the closest I have found, but seems to work by completely different mechanics underneath and makes devices show up as /media/sdf or something along the lines.


You can use:

udisksctl mount -b device_name

where device_name is the name of a storage device and should look something like /dev/sdb1.

Using lsblk or sudo fdisk -l command you can find out all storage devices attached to your system.

  • 2
    Tried that, that however leads to /media/{disk}, different from what Thunar or Nautilus would give. The udisksctl command provided by udisks2 however seems to do what I want. – Grumbel Sep 6 '13 at 14:02
  • 1
    udisksctl status will give a proper list of devices and work as user. fdisk -l not only requires root, it will also fail with GPT drives. cat /proc/partitions would be a better low-level way to get an idea of partitions available. – Grumbel Sep 6 '13 at 14:43
  • udiskctl is extremely useful for mounting image disk files into loop devices without root privileges, too! – user440719 Aug 14 '17 at 22:05
  • Seems udisk was available until 14.04. – Pablo Bianchi Mar 16 at 3:31

gio mount

gvfs is now listed as deprecated (2018) and you are advised to use 'gio' which is Gnome In Out and part of Glib. See Wikipedia.

For example, to auto-mount a second drive partition; create a bash script with executable permission to run at start-up with the following command:

gio mount -d /dev/sda2

If you are owner of the partition (see chown) you won't need sudo.

To mount an ISO file located for example on ~/ISOs:

gio mount "archive://file%3A%2F%2F%2Fhome%2Fpablo%2FISOs%2Fubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso"

You could URL encode the path with Python 3 and realpath (to concatenate to archive://:

python -c "import urllib.parse, sys; print(urllib.parse.quote(sys.argv[1] if len(sys.argv) > 1 else sys.stdin.read()[0:-1], \"\"))" "file://$(realpath ubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso)"

This will mount on /run/user/$(id -u)/gvfs/ .

As an alternative gnome-disk-image-mounter will moount on /media/$USER/.

To unmount use gio mount -u /run/user/$(id -u)/gvfs/archive* (or /media/$USER/, depending the way you mounted).


Listing available devices:

udisksctl status

Mounting is done via:

udisksctl mount -b /dev/sdf


udisksctl mount -p block_devices/sdf

Unmounting is done via:

udisksctl unmount -b /dev/sdf


udisksctl unmount -p block_devices/sdf

The object-path can be found out by doing:

udisksctl dump

Object of type org.freedesktop.UDisks2.Block seem to be valid as object-patch, the /org/freedesktop/UDisks2/ prefix has to be cut from the path for udisksctl to accept them.


Listing available devices can be done with:

gvfs-mount --list

Mounting them can be done with:

gvfs-mount -d /dev/sdf

Unmounting is possible via:

gvfs-mount --unmount /media/user/01234567890

One remaining problem is that I have no idea how to use the gvfs-mount --list output in a mount command, as --list won't show block device names and trying to use the device names it prints in a mount will result in:

Error mounting location: volume doesn't implement mount


While both gvfs-mount and udisksctl will work for the tasks, their interface is impractical as they don't provide human readable status of the disks available, just an overly verbose info dump.

  • 1
    Could you extend your answer including how to mount an iso with gio mount? On 18.04 with Archive Mounter gio mount -l return Type: GDaemonMount but I couldn't mount it via CLI (maybe an issue?). – Pablo Bianchi Jan 17 at 5:44

A simple solution that works as required (mounts to /media/{user}/{diskid}) except that it can not list devices but needs to be given the exact, case sensitive, volume label as argument $1

To mount:

DEVICE=$(findfs LABEL=$1) && udisksctl mount -b $DEVICE

To unmount:

DEVICE=$(findfs LABEL=$1) && udisksctl unmount -b $DEVICE
  • Nice. Or, just : udisksctl mount -b $(findfs LABEL=<label>) – Brent Faust Mar 31 '18 at 19:06

Just ran into the issue myself, and found the following solution:

udisksctl mount -b /dev/disk/by-labels/$LABEL

It will ask for the user password, even if it's you and you're already logged in.


I wrote this Bash script to work around this problem, but be aware that I'm a scripting newbie. All suggestions welcome! Usage and description follow below the script.

# umanage.sh
# 2014-05-05

RESULTS=$(udisksctl dump | grep IdLabel | grep -c -i "$1")

case "$RESULTS" in

0 )     echo "Nothing found."

1 )     DEVICELABEL=$(udisksctl dump | grep IdLabel | grep -i "$1" | cut -d ":" -f 2 | sed 's/^[ \t]*//')
        DEVICE=$(udisksctl dump | grep -i "IdLabel: \+$DEVICELABEL" -B 12 | grep " Device:" | cut -d ":" -f 2 | sed 's/^[ \t]*//')

        if [[ -z $(mount | grep "$DEVICE") ]]
                echo "Found unmounted $DEVICE partition."
                echo "Do you want to mount it in $DEVICEPATH?"
                select yn in "Mount" "Ignore"
                        case $yn in
                        Mount )         udisksctl mount -b "$DEVICE"
                        Ignore )        exit
                echo "Found $DEVICE partition, currently mounted in $DEVICEPATH."
                echo "Do you want to unmount it?"
                select yn in "Unmount" "Ignore"
                        case $yn in
                        Unmount )       udisksctl unmount -b "$DEVICE"
                        Ignore )        exit

* )     if [ $# -eq 0 ]
                echo "No argument supplied"
                echo "$RESULTS possible results. You may be looking for:"
                udisksctl dump | grep IdLabel | grep -i "$1" | cut -d ":" -f 2 | sed 's/^[ \t]*//' | sed '/^$/d'
                echo "Please refine your search."



  • save the script as umanage.sh
  • make it executable: chmod +x umanage.sh
  • run it: ./umanage.sh YourDeviceLabel

The script accepts as an argument the label of the partition you want to mount and looks in the udisksctl dump for corresponding entries.

If a partition is found and it's not mounted, device name and path are shown and you're offered to mount the partition. The script searches for partial labels too, and it won't care about upper or lower case (useful when you don't remember the exact label).

./umanage.sh PASSPORT
Found unmounted /dev/sdf1 partition.
Do you want to mount it in /media/pixel/My Passport?
1) Mount
2) Ignore

If a partition is found and it's already mounted, you're offered to unmount it:

./umanage.sh passp
Found /dev/sdf1 partition, currently mounted in /media/open/My Passport.
Do you want to unmount it?
1) Unmount
2) Ignore

If your argument matches more than a result, the script shows you the matching partition labels and asks you to refine the search:

./umanage.sh SS
2 possible results. You may be looking for:

My Passport

Please refine your search.

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