Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1231 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Curious about Yast2 Partitioner
On 3/4/2013 11:48 AM, John Andersen wrote:
On 3/4/2013 10:39 AM, Marc Chamberlin wrote:
So my question is this - Why, when there is a tool that is so much more
capable, open sourced and freely available, is Yast2 sticking to
using such a brain dead partitioning tool? Why not yank that tool out of Yast
and replace it with GParted?
Whoa, wall of text to get to this...

I think it is because most users partition exactly once, often taking the
defaults.
Gparted is mostly used for complex tasks such as growing/moving partitions,
even though it
can handle the mundane easily. Its probably not warranted for 90% of the users,
and
when you DO need it you are always always booting with a rescue CD anyway.


The user experience with yast2 is not all that bad if you ask me. And getting
Gparted to
look and flow with the rest of Yast2 would be a lot of work for very little
gain.
I suspect there would be a lot of integration effort.



Interesting reply John, and thank you for it. I am not sure I buy your claim about users, given the number of references I have seen by other users in this mail list, in regards to using the Yast partitioner, as well as references I encounter while doing internet searches. But perhaps you have access to data that I don't have that can substantiate your claims....

Where this problem is really likely to surface, is if as you say, a user installs a version of openSuSE using defaults. That is likely to set up a simple partition scheme using all available disk space. Then later, if the user wants to install a new version of openSuSE, and wants to keep the old version(s), then he/she will eventually face the situation of having to re-size and possibly move partitions around.

Be all this as it may, I regard Yast as a primary tool for users (myself for example) to start with, to accomplish a set of various and useful system maintenance tasks. In other words it is a guide as well as a collection of tools to help me accomplish these tasks. And your claim that removing the partitioner, that is currently a part of Yast, and replacing it with GParted, may be more difficult to do than it is worth, may well have merit also. What do I know? I am not a Yast developer, just a user with a suggestion on a way I thought would improve it.

I guess that what I also found to be objectionable about the Yast partitioner (besides the fact that it wouldn't re-size or move partitions) is that it lied to me when it said that a partition, that has already been created, CANNOT be re sized or moved. I felt that was not likely to be true based on my experience with Windoz partitioners, but I wasn't certain. I know Linux/openSuSE uses different partition formats but I didn't know whether such partitions have some restrictions that I am unaware of. I am not so certain other users will be able to discern this easily either. And it was only because I decided not to give up easily, and go search the internet, that I found GParted and hence thought to make the suggestion to use it instead of the one in Yast.

So, if replacing the Yast partitioner is not in the cards, then a simple solution might be to change that error message and simply tell the user that the Yast partitioner cannot handle such operations, but other partitioners, such as GParted can, and that the user should use one of those instead. In this way, the Yast partitioner can easily be modified to act as a better guide for helping (in particular beginning) users find a solution to the problem of re-sizing and/or moving partitions, without having to do major surgery to Yast itself.

Easy answer/fix and beneficial to who knows how many/few users....

Marc...

P.S. It is interesting to note that it appears that other Linux distro's ( I found references to it being on Ubunto and Debian) are using GParted as their default/supplied partitioner on their Live CDs and on their installation media. Apparently those developers feel it is a good tool for their users to have easy access to, in such situations where a Live CD is being used or an installation is being done. By using Yast, on openSuSE installation media, with it's restricted partitioner, it creates a real limitation where additional partitioning capabilities are most likely needed! Hmmmmm. If I were an openSuSE developer, I would cringe at the thought of having to tell my users that in order to install openSuSE they might have to go get some other distro's Live CD (or perhaps Live GNOME, I dunno if that comes with GParted or not, but even if so, still not a great solution) in order to solve a partitioning issue before openSuSE can be installed.....

P.P.S. I am sorry if you do not find me succinct enough and too wordy. I am trying to be thorough and careful in expressing my thoughts. Communication without error/misunderstandings is extremely difficult for me, especially when I might be treading on tender toes... I intend no harm, just wanting to understand and grok why the Yast partitioner is the way it is, and to point out that I hit a sever limitation trying to use it and had to find an answer elsewhere.

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