Linux: Mounting a USB Drive Manually

Here’s my notes on mounting a USB drive that for some reason fails to mount automatically on Ubuntu.

This would be the case if you plugged in the usb stick and it has not appeared in the “places” tag in the menu bar.

Open a terminal. If you are running in the Gnome GUI you can do this with crtl-alt-t but use whatever method you like.


In the terminal window type:

sudo lshw | less

(less allows you to scroll up/down. less opens the file read only so you cannot damage it)

Scroll down through the displayed data until you find the usb mass storage or memory stick.

lshw output for usb stick

If it is not there then you may well have an issue with the stick itself which is (I know) bad news.

If you find it pick out the logical name. It will be something like /dev/sdb

Then go to where you want to mount this thing. Lets say that is in the /media directory.


cd /media

then we need to create a mount point (or something to mount the usb stick over) we do this by creating a directory

sudo mkdir myusbstick

Now we manually mount the usb stick over this directory as so:

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb2 /media/myusbstick

Than that’s it. After mounting a USB drive you can access it by navigating to:

cd /media/myusbstick

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