compatibility usd external harddisk

Rick Stevens rstevens at
Thu Nov 15 16:51:14 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-11-15 at 17:26 +0100, bas wrote:
> I conisder buying an external usb harddisk. I searched for several hours 
> the internet, websites of western and seagate, and vendors. No one seems 
> to give a clear statement on what model/brand works on linux. So, either 
> there are no compatibility problems or there are so many problems that 
> no one knows.
> My (simple) question: can you buy without risk an extrnal usb harddrive 
> from e.g. Seagate or Western ? Are there specific details to watch for ?

Most external USB drives will work fine.  If there's a legitimate
filesystem on the drive, the system will try to automount it in the
/media directory tree.  If the filesystem has a label, the system will
try to create a mountpoint in media that's the same as the label and
mount the drive there.  Example:

[root at prophead ~]# mount
/dev/sdb1 on /media/CD-DVD-Images type ext3 (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)

[root at prophead ~]# e2label /dev/sdb1

That's a 160GB USB drive that the system automounted.

As to what to look for...try to get USB 2.0 for speed and try to get
a self-powered drive (not one that relies on the USB bus for power).
It's amazing how fast you can suck up all the power on the USB bus and
then things get flakey.
- Rick Stevens, Principal Engineer             rstevens at -
- CDN Systems, Internap, Inc.       -
-                                                                    -
-                       When in doubt, mumble.                       -

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