I want to write a shell script that ejects all currently-connected external drives (either USB or Firewire drives). I can use the disktuil eject <disk-path> to eject a specified drive. But I still can't figure how to find out what are the external drives. For instance, /Volumes shows internal drives, external drives, and mounted images. Is there a way to identify only external drives programmatically?

2 Answers 2


Have you considered using diskutil info /dev/disk[n|s{n}] | grep Ejectable which allows you to identify whether the device (or device slice) is ejectable.

This would need to be expanded upon in a script using awk to work through each disk device that is currently attached to determine whether it can be ejected and then eject it.

  • 2
    diskutil info is exactly what I need. I can use just grep to determine a "Yes" on the "Ejectable" line Here is my script as it might be useful to others: gist.github.com/1077064
    – ejel
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 23:44

In a terminal window (bash shell)

diskutil info /Volumes/name-of-volume

will return a list of properties of the volume, including

Protocol: FireWire ... Ejectable: Yes Whole: No Internal: No

so, I suppose you could start with that. I'm not clear on what the "Internal" property implies, it might be better to look at "Protocol" if your concern is with Firewire or USB external devices.

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