Originally Posted by marmaduke
Would the flash drive also have to be "unmounted?"
I know somewhere in Windows, there is an option to optimize a flash drive for fast removal rather than right clicking on it and stopping it and waiting for "safe to remove." Does Ubuntu have this fast removal option?
Yes, a USB drive should be unmounted before removal.
In Linux, if the filesystem is mounted with the "sync" option, then it may be safe to remove once the file operations are done. But by default, stuff gets mounted "async", which uses write caching to give higher performance and less wear on the device, but it also requires you to unmount the drive before removing it. That's to make sure the buffers actually get written to the drive/card.
To enable "optimize for quick removal", here's a method I thought up, and I only barely tested it, but it should
Start "gconf-editor" (it's like regedit on Windows). I don't think it's in the menus by default, so hit Alt-F2 to bring up a run dialog or start it from a terminal.
Navigate to "/system/storage/default_options/vfat". Right-click on the value field, next to "mount-options", and choose "Edit Key". Add "sync" to the list of options. Now, external drives with FAT filesystems (like most flash drives and memory cards) should be auto-mounted with the sync option, and will be safer
to remove without unmounting. I'd still recommend unmounting for maximum safety.
After you finish, it should look like this:
As for myself, I'm going to continue using async, because I do most of my file management from a terminal and it's easy to manually add sync behavior to any file transfer when it's needed.