Taking this question and it's answer into account What is the difference between "Unmount", "Eject", "Safely Remove Drive" and the eject icon? I ask:

Why do both options appear if they are the same.

Is there some kind of difference in regards to how they unmount the unit (Just in case they changed their functionality in the latest Ubuntu versions) and if they are the same, would it be possible to remove one of them.


umount removes the device from the file system (mount point).

Eject and Safely remove both do basically the same thing on a flash drive.

sync the data , then un-mount (remove the drive from the file system).

In addition, eject would eject the media (think CD/DVD).

It is sort of a bug that both these options show with flash drives.

The expected behavior would be

Safely Remove - USB/Flash drive - sync data && unmount ; user then physically removes the drive

Eject - CDROM/DVD - unmount && eject physical media

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    Upstream bug : bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=598690#c5 – Panther Dec 7 '11 at 23:49
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    Your explanation about Safely Remove for USB/Flash Drives and Eject for CD/DVD Units is good. It actually makes more sense for the names like that but would it not be easier to have a single Eject or Safely Remove that depending on the unit it would unmount/eject of sync data/unmount. – Luis Alvarado Dec 8 '11 at 0:46
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    I agree, it would be nice to see this bug resolved. – Panther Dec 8 '11 at 0:55
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    Excellent answer. As fars as I understand, the choice of words is not exactly the best on these menu items. "Eject" itself shouldn't even be displayed for flash drives. As for the other two, "Safely Remove" could be better understood as "Power off device", and should only be displayed in a context where you select the DEVICE, not individual mounted partitions. That would leave "Unmount" in its obvious place, when user selects an icon that represents an individual partition. The whole thing is a mess today and the discussion on the link shows that pretty clearly. – JulioHM Nov 7 '12 at 1:22

Eject unmounts the file system and ejects the CD but in the case of a flask media drive, it is still connected to the system (ie. can still be re-mounted or re-accessed and is still connected to the hub's 5V supply).

Safely Remove unmounts and disconnects the drive from the hub (ie. in enabled hubs it will remove power from the device). In this case, the only way to remount it is to unplug/re-plug the device for the hub to re-enable it.

For removal purposes, Safely Remove is the best option. Eject is useful to unmount the file system so Gparted or another program can access the device directly.


One further nuance for choosing between them:

If you have one of those built-in sets of slots for SD/SDHC/MicroSD cards then using Safely Remove will remove power to the device, rendering it useless until the computer is re-booted.

It is better to use Unmount which will allow the slot to be used again.

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