Ubuntu – How to disable the auto-mounting of internal drives in Ubuntu or Kubuntu 18.04


I am running Kubuntu 18.04 w/ KDE Plasma 5.12.6 off of a USB drive. This is a full install, not a Live version. The drive serves as a portable system that I can use with most physical computers.

To prevent any damage to the host computer's data. I do not want to automount any internal disk drives on boot. Even better, I'd like to completely disable those drives, so that even a normal sudo mount /dev/sdx wouldn't work, but I'll settle for disabaling auto-mounting to start.

What I've tried

  • The most commonly cited answer is to change the org.gnome.desktop.media-handling automount setting to false. I've done this using both gsettings from the command line as well as the dconf gui editor. Both automount and automount-open are set to false
  • Removing my account (and all accounts) from the plugdev group.
  • Confirming that the "Enable automatic mounting of removable media" setting in the Kubuntu Removeable Devices settings module is unchcked.

After trying all of these and rebooting, Kubuntu still mounts all discovered partitions, both those on the flash drive and any found on internal drives.

Solutions that won't work

  • The other oft-mentioned solution is to disable the auto-mounting of specific devices by adding the device fstab along with a noauto option. This solution does not help in my scenario, as I do not know what devices will be present when the system starts up. I would need to somehow configure fstab to default with a noauto for all devices.

Best Answer

  • The Auto-mounting of disks in Debian-based Linux distros (and perhaps others) comes from a service called udisks2.

    Disabling this service will prevent any disk from automatically being mounted, while still allowing manual mounting.

    Disable the service - No automatic or manual starts

    systemctl mask udisks2

    Unmask the service - Will need to either manually run it or restart the computer

    systemctl unmask udisks2
    systemctl unmask udisks2.service

    Stop the service temporarily - This will not persist across restarts

    systemctl stop udisks2.service

    Get the status

    systemctl status udisks2

    Credit to @maxschlepzig for answering a similar question about OpenSUSE.

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