System specifications:

  • Ubuntu 16.10
  • Unity
  • Nautilus file browser
  • External 1TB USB hard drive


I envision to click on the external hard drive icon on the Desktop and have a context menu entry to safely remove it.

Related information:

I can safely remove the drive in question by opening the file browser and clicking on the unmount icon in the sidebar. But it defeats the purpose as I want to implement this into the context menu of the Desktop for quicker access.

enter image description here

  • ...Should not be too difficult, but have to run. I will look at it if no one answered already. – Jacob Vlijm Jan 9 '17 at 9:34
  • 1
    Which flavour of Ubuntu are you running, and how is the USB HDD mounted? Which desktop environment and file browser are you using? I get an eject symbol in my Lubuntu 16.04.1 LTS system (in the left panel of the file browser). – sudodus Jan 9 '17 at 9:48
  • I addressed all your comments in my edited question. – orschiro Jan 9 '17 at 12:10
  • I'm on it, can be done – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jan 9 '17 at 12:13
  • Hi @orschiro strange... I have the option in my right-click menu (16.04)... – Jacob Vlijm Jan 9 '17 at 13:00

The script presented below must be placed into ~/.local/share/nautilus/scripts and changed permissions to executable (via command-line with chmod +x or via right-click in Nautilus). The script performs unmounting and powering-off of a drive for safe ejecting.

Also available on GitHub.

#!/usr/bin/env python3
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import sys
import os
import subprocess
import urllib.parse
import dbus

def get_dbus( bus_type, obj, path, interface, method, arg):
    """ utility: executes dbus method on specific interface"""
    if bus_type == "session":
        bus = dbus.SessionBus()
    if bus_type == "system":
        bus = dbus.SystemBus()
    proxy = bus.get_object(obj, path)
    method = proxy.get_dbus_method(method, interface)
    if arg:
        return method(arg)
        return method()

def get_dbus_property( bus_type, obj, path, iface, prop):
    """ utility:reads properties defined on specific dbus interface"""
    if bus_type == "session":
        bus = dbus.SessionBus()
    if bus_type == "system":
        bus = dbus.SystemBus()
    proxy = bus.get_object(obj, path)
    aux = 'org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties'
    props_iface = dbus.Interface(proxy, aux)
        props = props_iface.Get(iface, prop)
        return props
        return None

def get_mountpoint(dev_path):
        contents = [
            'system', 'org.freedesktop.UDisks2', dev_path,
            'org.freedesktop.UDisks2.Filesystem', 'MountPoints'
        data = get_dbus_property(*contents)[0]

        return None
        if len(data) > 0:
            return ''.join([chr(byte) for byte in data])

def find_partition(selected):

    contents = [
        'system', 'org.freedesktop.UDisks2', '/org/freedesktop/UDisks2',
        'org.freedesktop.DBus.ObjectManager', 'GetManagedObjects', None
    objects = get_dbus(*contents)
    for item in objects:
            if 'block_devices' in str(item):
                mountpoint = get_mountpoint(item)
                if not mountpoint:
                mountpoint = mountpoint.replace('\x00', '')
                mp = str(type(mountpoint))
                if selected == mountpoint:
                    return  '/dev/' + item.split('/')[-1]

        except Exception as e:

def main():

    uri = os.getenv("NAUTILUS_SCRIPT_SELECTED_URIS")
    uri_decoded = urllib.parse.unquote(uri)
    mountpath = uri_decoded.replace('file://','').strip()

    part = find_partition(mountpath)

        unmount = ['udisksctl', 'unmount', '-b', part ]
        subprocess.check_output(unmount, stderr=subprocess.STDOUT)
    except subprocess.CalledProcessError as e:
        subprocess.call([ 'zenity', '--error','--text', e.output.decode()])

    # Try to power off the drive ( this is for ejecting USBs)
    # If it's a hard-drive with more than one partition in use, disk
    # won't power-off
        poweroff = ['udisksctl', 'power-off', '-b',part]
        subprocess.check_output(poweroff, stderr=subprocess.STDOUT)
    except subprocess.CalledProcessError as e:

if __name__ == '__main__' : 
    except Exception as e:
  • Excellently working script! :-) – orschiro Jan 9 '17 at 14:32
  • Nicely done, nicely done (had to make it twice to make it enough characters). – Jacob Vlijm Jan 9 '17 at 14:34

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