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I unfortunately don't have access to a physical write blocker and am looking for a software based write blocker in Linux.

In Windows this can be achieved by modifying the registry and setting a DWORD named WriteProtect to 1 in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies.

Linux doesn't use registries but relies on files. Is there a file I can modify which will block writing to any removable drive?

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You can ro (read-only) mount removable drives.

As to how you can set automount options is answered on another question.

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