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The gvfs-udisks2-volume-monitor process is responsible for the disks,
media, mounts and fstab entries shown in the desktop user
interface. In particular, the Desktop Shell (gnome-shell), the Files
application (nautilus) as well as any other application using the GLib
APIs, is using information from this process.
In general, disks or media with mountable filesystems are shown, as
are fstab entries. These are collectively referred to as "devices" in
the following.
A device is either mounted (in which case its directory is known) or
it's not. If the device is not mounted, then its directory is known
only if it's referenced in the /etc/fstab file. Similarly, the options
for a device is either the options the device is currently mounted
with, or if not mounted, the options from its /etc/fstab entry, if
If the directory for a device is known and outside /media, $HOME
(typically /home/foo) or /run/media/$USER then the device is not shown
in the user interface. Additionally, if any of component directories
in its directory starts with a dot ("."), the device is not shown
either. This policy may be overriden by use of the options x-gvfs-show
and x-gvfs-hide.
The name, icon and symbolic icon to use for a device is chosen
according to certain heuristics - for example, if a device has a
filesystem label, it is used - if not, some other characteristic is
used. The options x-gvfs-name=<value>, x-gvfs-icon=<value> and
x-gvfs-symbolic-icon=<value> can be used to override this policy with
<value> being an URL-encoded string. For icons, the Icon Naming
Specification is used.
Users are advised to use (stable) symlinks in the /dev/disk/ hierarchy
for /etc/fstab entries instead of the kernel names sda, sdb and so
on. See udev(7) for more information about this.
The Disks application provides an user interface to easily edit
/etc/fstab entries including these options, see the "Mount and
encryption options" paragraph in this blog entry
In a multi-seat system, only drives assigned to the seat the session
is running on is shown.
# forcibly hide device in user interface
/dev/disk/by-id/ata-HITACHI_HTS723232A7A364_E3834563KRG2HN-part1 /home/davidz/Data auto defaults,x-gvfs-hide 0 0
# forcibly show device in user interface and with name "My Movies"
/dev/disk/by-uuid/4CAE8E5B5AF47502 /Movies auto defaults,x-gvfs-show,x-gvfs-name=My%20Movies 0 0
# the same, but also with custom icons
/dev/disk/by-uuid/4CAE8E5B5AF47502 /Movies auto defaults,x-gvfs-show,x-gvfs-name=My%20Movies,x-gvfs-icon=folder-videos,x-gvfs-symbolic-icon=folder-videos-symbolic 0 0
# forcibly show NFS mount in user interface /mnt/Filer nfs4 default,users,noauto,x-gvfs-show 0 0
Note that it's also possible to influence what is shown (and if it's
shown) using udev properties. While the udisks(8) man page, see
is the authoritative source for the supported properties, we mention
specific examples here
# Don't automount USB Kingston DataTraveler devices
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ENV{ID_VENDOR}=="*Kingston*", ENV{ID_MODEL}=="*DataTraveler*", ENV{UDISKS_AUTO}="0"
# Automount this specific hard disk and don't require admin authentication
# Specify name and icon name for a specific device.
ENV{ID_MEDIA_PLAYER}=="apple-ipod", ENV{UDISKS_NAME}="David's iPod", ENV{UDISKS_ICON_NAME}="multimedia-player-ipod", ENV{UDISKS_SYMBOLIC_ICON_NAME}="multimedia-player-ipod-symbolic"
# Make sure this specific hard disk does not appear in the user interface