Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ubuntu: Eject Kindle

When plugging your Kindle into your computer via USB, it shows up as a drive and shuts down the device's operating system. The screen will tell you to "eject" the Kindle from your computer in order to use it and charge the battery through the USB cable. Thus it can either act as an external drive or be usable/charging, but not both. In Windows there is the simple tray option which allows you to "Safely Remove Hardware", satisfying the "ejection".

On Ubuntu it's not so simple. Clicking the little eject-looking icon in Nautilus (file browser) just dismounts the drive mapping, it doesn't actually eject the hardware (e.g. switch it to powered-only). To do this you'll have to drop down to the terminal and run the eject command:
sudo eject Kindle
If you've renamed it then the last argument may be something different. In order to find exactly where your device is mapped to run sudo fdisk -l, output is something like this:
Disk /dev/sda: 100.0 GB, 100030242816 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12161 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xcccdcccd

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 26 204800 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 26 4182 33385472 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 4183 11522 58958550 5 Extended
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda4 11523 12161 5125680 12 Compaq diagnostics
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda5 4183 8031 30905280 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 11218 11522 2449881 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7 8031 11217 25598128+ b W95 FAT32

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/sdb: 1598 MB, 1598119936 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 48770 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 64 * 512 = 32768 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 48770 1560632 b W95 FAT32
The Kindle's file system is FAT32 and I can tell from this that it is on /dev/sdb1 meaning I can also pass that to eject:
sudo eject /dev/sdb1
Hope this helps!


Anonymous said...


Martin Ewing said...


Do you know any comprehensive techie support site for the K? I have file transfer troubles (larger files, Ubuntu 8.04 - K2), but I don't find any Amazon tech channel for bug reports or queries.


Neil C. Obremski said...

No, in fact I've considered making one since I keep looking and not finding either. It boggles my mind that no website has filled this gap; please let me know if you do find one!

Martin Ewing said...

I have found . It's not aimed at Linux techies especially, but I will give it a try. A Kindle-tech group would be welcome.

chmac said...

Top result in a search for ubuntu eject kindle, exactly what I wanted, thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this has had me confused for quite a while.

balda said...

Thank you very much. It was just what I was looking for.

Leo said...

I'm on Kubuntu 11.10. When I do "sudo eject /dev/sdc1" it acts just like I did a umount and the Kindle does not charge.

Any suggestions? Is there some option I should try with eject?

Unknown said...

I got a message that the Kindles was not charging. So I left it hooked up and went for breakfast. When I came back there was an ad up for aT&T. I unplugged and then plugged the device. I got another screen that told me to eject if I wanted to shop
or read. But what I want to do of course is charge the new device up. The current screen has a lightning bolt so I assume it
is charging. The charging light is bright yellow. I'll just wait for three hours, or until the light turns green. I use Slackware.

quabug said...

Thanks alot, this command is also work on archlinux :)