USB flash drives become read-only

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nix666
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USB flash drives become read-only

Post by nix666 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:34 am

Hi there Mint users

There is an issue with Mint 17 Cinnamon, where every now and again I try to copy paste from another drive to a USB stick - Nemo gives the error :
Error while copying to "USB stick". The destination is read-only.
What I know already :

1. This happens only in the Cinnamon edition.
2. I've tried multiple USB sticks from different manufacturers - same result.
3. I use the USB image formatter and writer tool to format and make bootable sticks.
4. The stick does infact not become read-only , because I can write / copy to it via the command line without issues.
5. I have had suggestions that this has to do with Nemo - Therefore only happens in Cinnamon.

Can anyone shed some light on the issue ? I would like to get the attention of Clem and the team on this, so if anyone knows
about an existing bug report/ thread on this, please advise.

Thanks in advance
Last edited by nix666 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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gtsfer
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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by gtsfer » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:42 am

nix666 wrote:3. I use the USB image formatter and writer tool to format and make bootable sticks.
4. The stick does infact not become read-only , because I can write / copy to it via the command line without issues.
5. I have had suggestions that this has to do with Nemo - Therefore only happens in Cinnamon.
If you are making bootable sticks on one OS (then booting from it into another) it sounds more like a permissions or ownership issue. Your copy may work because, perhaps you are using "sudo" on the command?

Nemo in Cinnamon doesn't allow some things that say, Caja in Mate would very easily and it could be all related to this. It is more stringent on file permissions and doesn't allow an easy "open as administrator" like Caja does for instance. Try "sudo nemo" from a terminal and see if you can copy/paste without trouble.
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nix666
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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by nix666 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:48 am

Thanks for the reply , got a reply on Github , Clem says it is indeed a Nemo issue.
So he knows about it.

So meanwhile , I guess I'll use a different file manager until it gets fixed.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by appalbarry » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:23 pm

This is a rather longstanding problem. Just installed Mint 17 Cinnamon. Same problem.

Formatted a USB drive using the right click menu in Nemo.
Accepted the FAT32 defaults for everything.
Find that I can't actually use it as it's "Read Only".

This is seriously idiotic. If I, as a regular non-SU user format the damned thing, then I, as a regular non-SU user, should be able to write a file to it.

It's insane that I need to open Nemo as SU in order to just copy a file onto a USB stick.

This bug has been here since more than year ago - probably longer.

Maybe it will help if you jump over and add your comments to the bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/1218076

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by jahid » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:16 am

I always use the "Disks" application to format usb sticks and never had any problem like this.
My current distro: LM 17 cinnamon 64 bit
file manager: nemo
jahid@HP ProBook 440 G1 Laptop

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by twodogs » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:57 am

jahid wrote:I always use the "Disks" application to format usb sticks and never had any problem like this.
My current distro: LM 17 cinnamon 64 bit
file manager: nemo
Same here. :wink:

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by cogier » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:33 am

I too have suffered with this problem. I have found that Nemo seems to be the culprit even if run as Superuser. If I switch to Nautilus the problem does not occur.

I am using Mint 17 Cinnamon 64.

nix666
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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by nix666 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:47 am

Yes , the issue is Nemo indeed, Clem confirmed this on github.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by desQEDo » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:51 am

I just found this thread after trying to access multiple external USB HDDs, all formatted using GParted. This is on a fully updated LM17 64 bit MATE 1.8.1 using Caja. Kernel Linux 3.13.0.24-generic. I can access the drives as admin, otherwise they are read only. With the same drives neither Dolphin nor Krusader had this problem.
That suggests it's not limited to Cinnamon nor to Nemo.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by Pieter vd Westhuizen » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:18 pm

nix666 wrote:Hi there Mint users

There is an issue with Mint 17 Cinnamon, where every now and again I try to copy paste from another drive to a USB stick - Nemo gives the error :
Error while copying to "USB stick". The destination is read-only.
What I know already :

1. This happens only in the Cinnamon edition.
2. I've tried multiple USB sticks from different manufacturers - same result.
3. I use the USB image formatter and writer tool to format and make bootable sticks.
4. The stick does infact not become read-only , because I can write / copy to it via the command line without issues.
5. I have had suggestions that this has to do with Nemo - Therefore only happens in Cinnamon.

Can anyone shed some light on the issue ? I would like to get the attention of Clem and the team on this, so if anyone knows
about an existing bug report/ thread on this, please advise.

Thanks in advance

I also had the same problem and somewhere on google this guy wrote that this command will fix it:
"su -c "nano /etc/fstab/dev/sdc /mnt/usb auto user" And it did.

Thanks

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by ddreamer » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:39 am

I am using Cinnamon 2.4.5 with Nemo 2.4.4. It's too bad that the bug has persisted for so long. It is just the bug with Nemo, which is showing improper permission error message even though the permission setting is alright. The alright permission setting is evidenced by the successful running of "cp" command.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by northern drifter » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:18 pm

its not that i have a solution to this problem, i dont. but i noticed one thing: after i installed v-box guest additions to my new install( i installed a new 17.1 cin and hdd to usb worked) hdd to usb stopped working and gave the error messsage: error : Error while copying to "USB.
So i (as a user , not an expert) have got to point the finger to v-box and guestadditions on an adroid install in vbox. This post desearves a reply because a lot of us us v-box. if anyone wants snapshots of the screen i will post them, if you want CLI stuff i will do my best but dont blame me if it ties your mind in knots. i cant even spell comand line.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by northern drifter » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:36 pm

Just to update: I have searched online for an answer to this problem, even searched ubuntu sites, cant seem to find one. I did have success with mint 17.1 kde though. it would let me transfer files to the usb, but xfce will not . It behaves just like cinamin.
I have not tryed mate yet, when I can afford the extra data I will give it a try( unless I get really lucky and sombody posts an answer to this problem, I for one am a regular mint user and would really appreceate a sulution. ) Thanks in advance.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by MoonSweep » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:18 pm

No solution either, but just to help narrow down the problem: same behavior on Debian Jessie/Sid with Caja. USB drives (either regular external HDDs or flash sticks) are mounted correctly by clicking on them in Caja's sidebar, but can't be written to by regular users.

Note that they're not mounted read-only, they're indeed mounted read-write but only root have write access:

Code: Select all

raph@arche:~$ mount | grep usb
/dev/sdb1 on /media/usb0 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime,fmask=0022,dmask=0022,codepage=437,iocharset=utf8,shortname=mixed,errors=remount-ro,user)
raph@arche:~$ touch /media/usb0/foo
touch: cannot touch '/media/usb0/foo': Permission denied
raph@arche:~$ sudo touch /media/usb0/foo
[sudo] password for raph: 
raph@arche:~$ rm /media/usb0/foo
rm: remove write-protected regular empty file '/media/usb0/foo'? y
rm: cannot remove '/media/usb0/foo': Permission denied
raph@arche:~$ sudo rm /media/usb0/foo
raph@arche:~$ 
EDIT:

Maybe I was wrong after all. My problem came from an entry for /dev/sdb1 in /etc/fstab (that I must have added a looooong time ago for whatever reason and forgot about) which handled the mount instead of udsisks. I found it weird that my NTFS WinXP partition (which is on the first disk, sda) was correctly mounted by Caja and writable by my user as expected; it had "uhelper=udisks2" mentioned, unlike my USB stick:

Code: Select all

raph@arche:~$ mount | grep sda1
/dev/sda1 on /media/raph/winxp type fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=0,group_id=0,default_permissions,allow_other,blksize=4096,uhelper=udisks2)
Now that I removed the faulty entry from /etc/fstab, USB disks/sticks are correctly mounted and writable as expected.

So, it was probably not the same problem that the one you all encounter with Mint Cinnamon, but nevertheless, it could be useful to check how the device was mounted by Cinnamon: type "mount" in a terminal and check for the relevant line; does it have a "uhelper=..." attribute ? It should have one, indicating udisks/udisks2. If not, then something else is handling the mounting task, which is probably the root of the problem.

It could also be useful to check your /etc/fstab, a typical desktop installation should only have lines for the system partitions (/ and swap) and maybe one for the cd drive, that's it. All dynamic mounts should be handled by udisks.

Hope it helps.
Last edited by MoonSweep on Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by Welly Wu » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

I get the same exact problem. I'm using Linux Mint 17.1 "Rebecca" 64 bit GNU/Linux and Nemo 2.4.5. USB thumb drives show up as read-only when I try to copy folders and files to them using Nemo. I can invoke the sudo cp command to write data to USB thumb drives successfully. I only have one PNY USB 3.0 16.00 GB thumb drive so I thought that this problem was localized to me only, but it seems others are experiencing it. I think that Nemo's limitations are showing up weekly. Should I install Nautilus? How do I do that? Do the cut, copy, and paste features work in Nautilus as well?

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by nix666 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:00 am

As a temporary workaround , you can install Thunar or Nautilus . Yes the copy paste works as usual.

To install nautilus : sudo apt-get install nautilus
thunar : sudo apt-get install thunar

Also running a fully updated Rebecca - problem persists when using Nemo.Thunar works fine.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by Ansmann » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:38 pm

Hello!

I'm not shure if I'm talking about the same problem, but I had an issue with my USB flash drives too. When I plugged them in, I got the message
Could not display "/media/USERNAME/USB-DRIVE".
The location is not a folder.
I could open the drive as root though and write files to it. The problem was not solved by formatting the drives. When I looked for a solution, I found this topic here and thought my problem was not as easy to fix, as I first believed. Anyway the solution is fairly simple and can be found here: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 8&t=184846

So everything needed to fix the issue is to execute:

Code: Select all

sudo chmod 777 /media/USERNAME
Hope it helps!

Edit: I'm using Mint 17.1 Cinnamon

Edit: According to juanmafont (see below) you have to reboot the system after doing so.
Last edited by Ansmann on Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by leona » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:26 am

Hi

I had this problem too. I got an error while copying to my usb stick, I am using Mint 17.1 cinnamon, kernel 3.13.0-43 with caja file manager.
When I looked at the media directory in terminal 'dir /media' I saw that the layout has changed, normally you expect to see the drives listed here, but now they are listed under your username, and guess what? That username has only ROOT permissions, so what I did was to type 'sudo chown [username] /media/[username]' and 'sudo chgrp [username] /media/[username]' where you replace [username] with your user name, removed the usb stick, waited and then put it back in, problem solved, I can now write to it!

Hope this helps.

Leona.
Kind Regards

Leona
--------
PC: Intel I3-3225, Zalman CNPS8900 cooler, MSI H77MA-G43 M'board, 8Gb DDR3-1600 Corsair XMS3 RAM, Sandisk SDSSDP064G 64Gb SSD (/ /root) WD WD20EA 2Tb Green HDD (/home), LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM Drive
OS: Mint 18.2 64Bit Cinnamon

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by northern drifter » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:44 pm

I have a question I think is related to this topic: I am V-box user ( or I had VirtualBox installed and was using it on my main computer when the usb issue popped up) What I did to fix my problem with tranfering files to and from usb stick to computer was to do a complete fresh install of cinamin 17.1 and not load VirtualBox up on the main computer. As some of you know V-box comes with guest additions that lets you use the usb's and be able to use things like printers and scanners and other tools that are normally attached to the host machine. All the mint os's I have used from 13 on up to 17 cinamin have worked with v-box and having v-box is a real plus to test out new distros . I can live without v-box but really like it. This being my most powerful computer it can spare the ram and the harddrive space for the extra operating systems. has anybody else used vbox and had trouble with memory sticks like this?

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Re: USB flash drives become read-only

Post by Cosmo. » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:36 pm

I did not have problems with USB sticks in conjunction with VB - out of a simple reason: I do not use USB-sticks with VB guests.

The reason is, that this is potentially unsafe. If you connect an USB-device with a guest, it gets necessarily disconnected from the host. But any kind of mass storage, connected via usb, has to get safely unmounted before. This is impossible with VB, because if you unmount it in the host, you cannot mount it in the guest, if you connect with a guest it is the same, as if you would pull out the stick out of the connector without un-mounting it before. This can go well for the one or other time - until it does not. Following Murphy's law it always fails in situations, when critical data get lost.
In the help file of VB you find a warning about that in chapter 3.10.1.

For other kind of USB devices connecting with a guest machine is OK.

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