Autostart removable media setting

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Fri Aug 2 01:59:20 BST 2013

Kip Warner posted on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 11:02:46 -0700 as excerpted:

> On Wed, 2013-07-31 at 20:12 +0530, dE wrote:
>> On 07/30/13 06:42, Kip Warner wrote:
>> > Hey list,
>> >
>> > I looked through KDE 4.10's System Settings configuration areas and I
>> > could not seem to locate the location to enable / disable autostart
>> > for removable media, as per XDG Autostart[1]. I found settings for
>> > other user actions on removable media, but not for autostart. Perhaps
>> > it is not implemented under KDE? Any help appreciated.
>> >
>> > Respectfully,
>> This feature should be removed if it exists. Everyone know how secure
>> Windows is.
> Most major desktop environments support this, such as Gnome 3, Gnome 2,
> Unity, Xfce, etc. It doesn't mean what is on the mounted media is
> automatically executed. It just means the user will be prompted if
> they'd like to run it automatically when mounted. There is nothing wrong
> with that.

I believe the plumbing is there, but an auto-run action may not be 
configured by default.

FWIW I (being a gentooer with the choice available in the form of USE 
flags that set the appropriate pre-build configure script options) have 
most or all of that functionality (including automount itself) turned 
off, thereby eliminating a bunch of dependencies I'd prefer not to have 
installed in the first place.  Thus, I can't very easily verify my memory 
of existing behavior and the corresponding run-time options.  But that 
said, here's what I remember from when I had it available:

When media detection and actions are setup, inserting a removable media 
(be it a USB stick/drive, a CD/DVD, or whatever) triggers media detection 
via udev and udisks (I have udev installed and the USE flag on but not 
udisks, as when I investigated it's a small scripts package by itself, 
but pulls in all sorts of other deps including parted, polkit, 
consolekit, spidermonkey... and some less controversial packages too, all 
of which I'd prefer to live without in terms of sysadmin level 
complications I otherwise don't want or need).

That detection triggers a notification with various actions available.
The actions are configurable based on the type of device, etc, and by 
default include things like playing a DVD in a media player (using 
standard associations), mounting the filesystem and 
opening it in dolphin, etc.

Using that infrastructure, I believe it would be reasonably easy to setup 
an autoplay action, almost certainly reasonably easy for a competent 
system administrator[1] familiar with his[2] hardware and the distro he's 
working on.  But at least back a couple kde4 feature-versions ago when I 
last had that stuff installed here, either there was not such an action 
by default, or more likely, if there is/was, I never used it with media 
that would trigger that particular action displayed as available.

If that action isn't there by default, it may be that the 
spec for it came along after kde4 was already available and it was judged 
a feature that should wait for a major version bump, kde5/frameworks.  
Alternatively, it may be that it was judged a bit too risky, even with a 

Meanwhile, given that I don't have that feature even installed now it's 
difficult for me to check what the kcontrol module for configuring the 
media detection actions was named, but I distinctly remember such a 
module showing up in kde settings.  I checked into it at the time, and 
it's definitely possible to setup new or reconfigure existing actions 
based on various criteria such as whether the inserted media is an 
optical device, whether it has a detected filesystem on it or is simply a 
CD, etc.  That's where I'd suggest looking, as that's the mechanism kde 
uses for it.  But I don't remember the name...

[1] System administrator:  As used here, that's the person or persons 
that are responsible for choosing what OS/distro is installed along with 
optional packages, and for configuring them as necessary.  Every computer 
has at least one sysadmin, whether they choose to call themselves that or 
not, tho in the case of something like Google's chrome machines or some 
not-jailbroken smartphones/tabs, that responsibility is shared or even 
nearly entirely borne by the service provider, making the user much more 
a simple user without admin privs or responsibilities.

[2] His/he:  In context this is gender-generic, using the long 
established but now no longer "politically correct" in some circles 
convention of referring to a person of unknown gender as "he", while 
referring to a personified object such as a ship or a car or a hurricane 
as "she".

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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