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Introducing udevil: Mount Without Password

A very early test version of udevil is now available. udevil is a new command line Linux program which mounts and unmounts removable devices without a password, shows device info, and monitors device changes. It can also mount ISO files and nfs://, smb://, and ftp:// URLs.

udevil is highly configurable, requires no daemon running, and doesn’t depend on udisks, gvfs, or fuse, just udev. To use it, just prefix a normal mount command with ‘udevil’. udevil can also replace udisks in SpaceFM and (soon) devmon.

IMPORTANT: The current version of udevil (0.2.0 alpha) is for early testing purposes. While I made every effort to make udevil secure and stable, it has a lot of new code in it and I am still testing it myself. I don’t expect any damage from it, but it is run suid (as root), so security precautions are advised. Until you’re comfortable with its security mechanisms, consider turning the suid bit off when not actively using it, and edit udevil.conf to make it as constrictive as possible.

You can visit the homepage and downloads, see the usage, and see udevil.conf and the README.

In addition to the tarball with build instructions in the README, udevil is available as a self-extracting installer. It’s also available in my PPA, but keep in mind that it is an alpha test version – consider this a test phase for the deb packaging too. I also added udevil-git to the Arch AUR – should work but that is untested too until I get on an Arch machine to test it.

Also be sure to review the post-installation steps.

A few notes:

  • udevil can now be used with SpaceFM 0.7.5 or 0.7.6, by setting Mount Command and Unmount Command to:
    #mount command:
    /usr/bin/udevil --verbose mount -o %o %v
    # unmount command:
    /usr/bin/udevil --verbose umount %v

    With the next release, SpaceFM will automatically detect and use udevil if installed. A future release will also add nfs://, smb://, and ftp:// support to SpaceFM via udevil. (This can be simulated now with a custom command.)

  • I haven’t tried udevil with devmon yet. I plan to modify devmon to find and use udevil. If you’d like to try it sooner, you can hack the devmon script to change /usr/bin/udisks to /usr/bin/udevil, or create a link (ln -s /usr/bin/udevil /usr/bin/udisks). That should work as udevil emulates udisks command line usage and output.
  • I have tested curlftpfs and nfs support live. ftpfs and smb mounting was tested to make sure the mount commands are correct, but have not been tested live by me (actually mounting to a network). I don’t currently have the ftpfs kernel module or a samba network to test on. I appreciate any early feedback on these. If you have trouble unmounting them, please let me know your /etc/mtab entry.
  • I don’t typically use every filesystem or network that udevil handles. If you are an experienced user of a filesystem or network filesystem, I would appreciate feedback on what you think default and allowed options should be for that filesystem. udevil.conf contains minimal options to keep things secure and provide basic functionality, but can use some additional options in some areas.
  • Currently there is no explicit support for encrypted filesystems. This is something I plan to look into later on, but feel free to give me any input on what you think would be useful in this area.
  • ‘man udevil’ isn’t yet available, but is planned.

Thanks for your patience as udevil comes up to speed. If you test, please give it a workout and especially make sure that you can’t do anything as a normal user that you think should be disallowed, and can do everything as a normal user that you think you should be able to do. If you find any problems, please report them with useful details. Thanks for testing!

For background on the ‘why’ of udevil, please see my prior article SpaceFM & Udev.

May 22, 2012 - Posted by | Software

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