I’m using Ubuntu 8.10 64-bit, Intrepid Ibex, but these instructions should work for users of other distros (such as Linux Mint, Fedora, Sabayon, etc) as well.

This morning I needed to pull some images off of my camera’s SD card using my Dell Studio 17’s built-in card reader. I plugged the card in, got sidetracked for a few minutes, and then realized that I couldn’t find a mount point for my card.

Usually when I plug in the card, it is automatically identified and mounted. Then Nautilus would show a listing in the left-hand pane for the card allowing me easy access to the contents. However, that didn’t happen today.

I thought about rebooting in order to see if it was just a fluke, but I didn’t want to save all my projects, close out all my applications, reboot, and load everything back up. So, I thought I’d see about mounting the device manually. Fortunately, it wasn’t difficult at all.

Hardware Compatibility

I’m running a Dell Studio 1735 laptop. The exact card adapter that I’m using is a Ricoh R5C822. If you are not using the same adapter on the same computer, the instructions could vary greatly since the hardware configuration will be different.

To verify that you are using the same adapter, run the following command in Terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

lspci|grep R5C822

You should get output similar to the following if you have the same adapter:

03:01.1 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 22)

Of course, trying the following instructions even if your system varies is still worth a try. If you successfully use the instructions on a different system/adapter, please leave a comment about your results.

Mounting the Device

Simply run the following two commands in Terminal to mount the card to a new mount point called /media/cardreader:

sudo mkdir /media/cardreader
sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/cardreader

This should result in /media/cardreader being filled with the contents of the inserted card and by a new mounted device called cardreader poping up on Nautilus.

When you are done with the card, close out all the applications that are referring to files or folders on the card. You can then unmount it and remove the unneeded mount point by running the following:

sudo umount /media/cardreader
sudo rmdir /media/cardreader

If you need, you could create a couple of shell scripts to run these commands quickly when you need access to the card reader.

Conclusion

I still have no idea why my card reader did not automatically mount when I plugged in the card. My hope is that this is a temporary problem and not a persistent issue. I’ll test more later on. If this is more than a temporary issue, I’ll find a solution and post it here.

For right now, the card reader worked as expected after a reboot. I popped the card into the reader, and the pop-up asked me what I’d like to do with the files.

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