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Chapter�8.�Multimedia With KDE

Removable Disks

Edward Haven

For KDE to use any device, removable or not, the device must first be mounted. When a device is mounted, KDE gets all the needed information about the device: how to read it, how to write information to it, and much more.

The use of a device is controlled by the operating system and it is important your operating system has tools for managing these devices. KDE can also auto mount devices, working with HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). Your distribution should have set up HAL automatically; if not, consult the documentation provided by your distribution.

There are several ways to find the list of media devices: use whichever one suits you best:

  • Enter media:/ or system:/media into the Konqueror location bar.

  • Navigate to it by clicking on the Services tab in Konqueror's Navigation Panel, then selecting Storage Media .

  • Select Go -> Storage Media from the Konqueror menus.

  • Click the System desktop icon, then from the window that appears, click on Storage Media .

The Storage Media location (also known as the media:/ protocol) will show all devices which are recognized by KDE, including the hard drive and CD and DVD drives, as well as USB and Firewire devices, provided that your distribution is set up correctly to tell KDE about them.

You can also setup KDE to display a device icon on the desktop. To start or configure this feature in the KDE Control Center go to Desktop + Behavior and select the Device Icons Tab. The device icon action can be used to show both mounted and unmounted devices, or to only create an icon when media is detected and automounted (only if automount is properly configured), by not checking the unmounted boxes.


With KDE 3.5 and newer, devices can be automounted, meaning one only has to insert the removable disk. KDE will then open an automount prompt asking the user “What do you want to do?” with the media. To configure the list of options prompted for devices open the KDE Control Center and navigate to Peripherals + Storage Media Here you can add and remove programs from the list of devices.

The automount feature will only work if dbus, hal and udev are installed and the kernel is properly configured. To find out if they are running on your system check the Process Table in KSysguard for: hald , dbus-deamon , and udevd . KDE does not provide any of these components. You must check with you distribution.

Related Information


If your system does not automount KDE is configured to mount and unmount devices which the current user have permission to mount. If a device is mounted as the root partition (i.e. /), and you login to KDE as a user, KDE can not mount or unmount it without being given a higher permission. To check a devices mount permission see the /etc/fstab file.

To mount and unmount devices manually in KDE one only has to right mouse button click the device icon in media:/ or on the desktop and select Mount or Unmount , for removable devices one can also unmount with Safely Remove . KDE still requires the device to be setup in /etc/fstab.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire