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How To Remove Mounted Drives From The Ubuntu Unity Launcher

Posted by Taufiq Rohman Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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All the mounted drives (this includes USB drives, NTFS and other partitions that you set to automount, etc. - basically everything that's in /media) show up in the Ubuntu 11.04 Unity launcher by default which is usually ok if you have a big monitor or if you don't have a lot of applications pinned to the Launcher. But if you use a netbook or just want more space on your Unity launcher, here's how to change the launcher behavior so that it doesn't display any mounted drives.

But firstly, here is how to unmount external devices.

How to unmount external devices

How will you unmount / safely remove mounted external media if you do this? You have at least 2 easy options:

A. Open Nautilus, right click on the mounted device and select "Eject" or "Safely remove drive".

B. Using "ejecter", an AppIndicator available in the official Ubuntu 11.04 repositories which you can install by clicking the button below:

If the above button doesn't work for your browser, open a terminal and copy/paste the following command to install Ejecter:

sudo apt-get install ejecter


Once installed, press ALT + F2 and enter "ejecter" to run it. To run it when your computer starts, open "Startup Applications", add a new startup item and add "ejecter" for both the name and command.

There is another appindicator called "indicator-usb" but unfortunately it doesn't seem to work anymore (when running it on my Natty installation, nothing happens).

By the way, for a huge list of AppIndicators, check out this AskUbuntu question.

Now that you know how to unmount external media easily, let's remove the mounted media icons from the Unity launcher.

How to remove mounted drives from the Ubuntu Unity launcher

1. Install dconf-tools by clicking the button below:

sudo apt-get install ejecter

Or install it using a terminal:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

2. Press ALT + F2 and enter: "dconf-editor", then navigate to desktop > unity > devices and change the "devices-option" value from "OnlyMounted" to "Never".

Mounted media dconf

That's all - the mounted usb drives (or any other mounted volumes) should now stop showing up on the Unity launcher.

Extra tip: also remove mounted drives from your desktop

If you decide to keep the default Ubuntu 11.04 Unity launcher behavior and display the mounted media icons on the launcher, there's really no reason to have the mounted volumes show up on the desktop too. Really now, why both on the launcher and desktop?

You probably already know how to do this, since this is an option in Ubuntu Tweak but if you don't want to install Ubuntu Tweak just for this, to remove mounted volumes from your dekstop, press ALT + F2 and enter: "gconf-editor", then navigate to apps > nautilus > desktop and disable (uncheck the box) "volumes_visible".

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