Linux Mint – Unable to mount USB STICK – Not authorized to perform this operation

On a perfectly installed Linux Mint PC, running Ubuntu 18.04 under the hood, you suddenly get the following message when inserting a USB Stick into the computer:

Unable to mount USB STICK

Not authorized to perform operation


If it’s installed, uninstall Chrome Remote Desktop:

sudo apt autoremove chrome-remote-desktop


Why does this happen? Having reviewed our notes 20 December 2021 after being prompted by a comment, we have added this section. In all honesty, I don’t know why it happens.

Something like mounting a USB stick would be “core”, and baked into the operating system.

Something as “powerful” as Chrome Remote Desktop would take over many functions for the operating systems. For example, hypothetically, if Chrome Remote Desktop is running and the remote user wants to mount their own USB stick, perhaps Chrome Remote Desktop has some kind of passthrough.

For actual users of Chrome Remote Desktop uninstalling the software of course isn’t ideal, but having your local computer working is probably the better of two evils. If I was a Chrome developer, I would examine the source code to see hardware interactions, particular those related to the USB bus.

If anyone has any more information on what’s causing this and a less radical solution, then please leave a comment.


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14 thoughts on “Linux Mint – Unable to mount USB STICK – Not authorized to perform this operation”

  1. Rick Reinckens

    And how are we supposed to use Chrome Remote Desktop? Why did it work before WITH CRD and suddenly it doesn’t?

  2. Robert L Smalley

    Thank You ~!~ been spending multiple months tinkering with folder & file permissions to no avail.

  3. Grillmeister Chrille

    also big thanks from me – you made my day
    nevertheless I dont appreciate the missing explaination 🙂

    1. Eugène van der Merwe

      Thank you so much, that’s a very fair comment. I always try to give some kind of explanation, unless course, I don’t have any. I’ll update the post now with my thoughts.

  4. Astounding. Worked perfectly. Well done finding this solution and I hope a real “fix” is forthcoming.

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