I want to assemble a Linux machine with an SSD Drive for the root filesystem. Another, larger internal hard disk is also attached, but will only be used few times a week/month, for backups, storing larger image sets etc.

To save energy and reduce noise from the computer, I want to auto-spin down the disk drive - that is easy to do if the device is not mounted using hdparm.

I could manually mount/unmount from the command line, but this IMHO not a good UI experience. I'd rather have the internal drive be treated like an usb drive. In modern distros (I am using ubuntu with gnome3) the disk will show up in nautilus, and upon clicking, it will be mounted under /media. I can also unmount the drive by clicking the eject icon in nautilus, which is very used friendly.

So here's the thing: How can I make the internal drive to be "usb like". Is there some udev magic rule that will do that?

  • If your primary goal is to reduce the power consumption and noise level, you might prefer to put the drive into standby mode (possibly in addition to what you're asking). Have a look at hdparm -S (note: this is different from hdparm -s!). – user Jan 9 '14 at 12:16
  • I know of hdparm, however if its mounted it will randomly spin up if I don't double check for background services (updatedb/locate, zeitgeist and so on) – Dynalon Jan 9 '14 at 12:54
  • Yes, but if you don't explicitly set the disk to standby, suspend or idle mode, it will keep consuming power at approximately the same rate as normally. While HDDs consume slightly more power while actively working, a large fraction of the power consumption is to simply keep the platters spinning. – user Jan 9 '14 at 12:56

Easy edit /etc/fstab and add noauto to the mount option disk that you don't want to autoload.


/dev/cd0               /cdrom          cd9660  ro,noauto       0       0
  • Just tried it on an Ubuntu 12.04.2 machine with a loopback setup, and it worked like expected. I also had to add users to the fstab option list so that the user can mount the drive without root privilege. And then it works flawlessly by just clicking on the drive in nautilus. – Dynalon Jan 9 '14 at 13:06

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