I have an issue with Ubuntu 11.10 automounting USB HDDs where the permissions for all files on the mounted volume are set to -rw-r--r-- and I can't change them with chmod.

I don't have the same issue automounting under Mint, all permissions come up as -rwxr-xr-x

which is what I want.

running mount -l from the terminal reveals that the only difference between the Ubuntu and Mint USB HDD mounts is showexec

So I think this is where the issue lies. I have no idea how to modify what Ubuntu does when automounting USB drives, but if I could somehow get it to include the showexec command line option then maybe this would fix the problem?

Possibly a modification to /etc/fstab?

Any pointers gratefully received.

  • 1
    Seems like this answer indirectly covers what you need: askubuntu.com/a/24409/34265 Feb 15, 2012 at 13:08
  • It seems odd that there isn't a simple defacto means of controlling the auto mount options in ubuntu - all I've found are hacks. Some even suggest modifying and recompiling the kernel - seems crazy! All I want is for Ubuntu not to apply the showexec option when performing an auto mount. The fstab route seems popular but its not really what I want to do which is change the generic auto mount process
    – bph
    Feb 15, 2012 at 13:21
  • The kernel can stay. You might, however, have to patch/recompile "udisks", since it has the default options hardcoded. (It might be that Mint packagers did just that.)
    – user1686
    Feb 15, 2012 at 14:28
  • the mint distro just has a different fmask hard-coded (which happens to suit my needs)
    – bph
    Feb 15, 2012 at 15:10
  • i've worked around by just writing a script to unmount the auto mount then remount it manually specifying a suitable fmask. I still think changing the automount options is an obvious thing to want to do with no easy way of doing it?
    – bph
    Feb 15, 2012 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


You are correct when suggesting on your question the use of /etc/fstab to auto mount a USB HDD device.

You haven't provided your USB HDD device specifications, its location or the desirable mounting point, but, here's an example:

/dev/sdb1 /media/Test ntfs-3g defaults,user,exec,uid=1000,gid=100,umask=000 0 0

With this configuration added to my /etc/fstab file, I've mounted the device having all privileges over its files. So, every time my system boots, Ubuntu will auto mount the device, or issue a warning if the device isn't found.

  • Replace /dev/sdb1 with your device location:

    To find out your USB HDD device location, you can use at your terminal:

    sudo blkid
  • Replace /media/Test with your target directory:

    The target directory must exist, create it beforehand, using the terminal:

    mkdir /media/Test
  • Replace ntfs-3g with your USB HDD device file system:

    Refer to the Fstab :: File System Type for further specifications.

Related reading: Fstab - Community Ubuntu Documentation

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