Ubuntu uses at least three different icons for identifying USB storages. What are the criteria used to diferentiate those?

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For instance, I have two nearly identical Sandisk Cruzer Blade USB drives, one 4 GB and other 8 GB. (The output of lsusb is the same for both: Bus 001 Device 009: ID 0781:5567 SanDisk Corp. Cruzer Blade). On Linux, one is displayed with the flash drive icon and other with the generic USB storage icon. Sometimes a third, purple icon is used too.

What is the cause of this behavior? Are there other icons? What are the rules for Ubuntu picking different USB drive icons and what do they mean?

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    Please be more specific with your question. – user278630 May 7 '14 at 17:19
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    How much more specific could he be? Anyway, I'm curious as to the answer to this question, also... – Gregory Opera May 15 '14 at 8:20
  • Here's a quick thought: Why not simply locate the path of all different "external media" icons, then pick on and replace all the other you don't know or like. That might not answer your question perse, but it's a way to go! Also that way you simply can compare the icons names and maybe make sense of their meaning. – v2r Jun 29 '14 at 12:50
  • @v2r I don't particularly dislike any icon, I just want to figure out what are the differences and how (or if) Ubuntu treats those external storages differently (mounting, caching, removal, any other aspect). Good idea on locating the icon paths, how do I proceed? – That Brazilian Guy Jun 29 '14 at 16:10
  • The location depends on the icon theme you use, which might be default or custom. Check in the folder(s), called "devices" in /usr/share/icons/Humanity/devices/ and/or under ~/.local/share/icons/SPECIFIEDTHEM/devices. I found a visual match here /usr/share/icons/unity-icon-theme/places/svg/devices.svg and /usr/share/icons/Humanity/devices/48 – v2r Jun 29 '14 at 17:23

Ubuntu differentiates between filesystem builds (ISO formats) and displays the relevant icon.

The standard USB icon is for generic removable media devices. The one with the purple usb stick is for UDF filesystems (Info here). The larger icon is for mass storage devices.

You may come across any of these depending on the hardware specifications of the device.

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