[LAD] OT: mkdosfs as normal user

David M. Creswick david at multivac.gotdns.org
Wed Nov 12 05:30:26 UTC 2008

On Tue, 11 Nov 2008 09:53:17 +0700
Patrick Shirkey <pshirkey at boosthardware.com> wrote:

> Joern Nettingsmeier wrote:
> > Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> >   
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> I can't find anything online that gives me a way to run /sbin/mkdosfs as
> >> a normal user. 
> >>
> >> Is it just that I need to add the user to the mkdosfs group or something
> >> similar?
> >>     
> >
> > are you sure the program itself prevents that? my guess is it's the
> > device you want to create the file on.
> >
> > should be a matter of creating a new group disk_removable or something,
> > writing an udev rule to give it r/w access to all floppies and usb
> > sticks and add yourself to that group.
> >
> >   
> Thanks for the tip.
> I'm working on it now.
> However this seems like a major oversight from a Linux on the desktop 
> perspective that you need to be root user to format a removable disk. It 
> would make sense that Nautilus or Konqueror  would have built in support 
> by now.
> Does anyone have experience with any distros/apps allowing this as 
> normal user?
> It seems like it should be a no brainer.

I think Joern is correct in that all you need is read+write permissions
on the device node. Under debian etch, the group is set to "floppy" for
device nodes of removable usb storage devices. I imagine other distros
do something similar. So the user should just have to be a member of
the floppy (or equivalent) group to run mkdosfs on the device.

David M. Creswick

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