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Re: GUI for parted? Setting partition types

From: Andrew Clausen
Subject: Re: GUI for parted? Setting partition types
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2001 10:52:37 -0800 (PST)

Hi Martin,

> Although I think Parted is rather easy to manage I
> think it would be nice to have some basic UI.

Agreed.  There are various frontends... the
good ones tend to be in linux installers,
but also tend to be highly coupled to the
installer.  (Any exceptions?)

> Something like the text based UI of cfdisk would be
> enough as a start. I think of developing something 
> of my own, but that depends on the time I can spare
> and I have no experience in creating Linux boot
> disks and doing a GUI from a shell script or
> something like that. I want to read into that 
> bootfloppy FAQs out there. 

I doubt you can do what you want with a shell script.
Python is probably as close as you can get.
Have a look at Red Hat's parted front-end in their 7.2

> Another problem I came across. Even when I used 
> Parted to do some initial partition I had to switch 
> to cfdisk to set certain partition types, since 
> Parted 1.4.20 does not seem to allow creating a 
> partition with a type it does not support. It is 
> clear that Parted cant create a filesystem for an
> unsupported partition type, but it should be
> possible to create the partition. I am speaking of 
> virtual Amiga harddisk in a partition of type $76 
> (decimal 118) and the types that are used for QNX 
> partitions. I cant set these within Parted.

Yeah, the motivations for this are: (summary)
* setting the partition type is not straightforward
nor portable.  There are often many flags available,
and partition types may also be stored as text strings
on some architectures, etc.

* partition types aren't used very much.  In linux,
for example, everyone seems to use 0x83 (i386) for
ext3, reiserfs, xfs, etc.  Partition types are a
braindamaged idea IMHO.

This issue has been discussed a lot.  Feel free
to add to the discussion, just read the archives first

Anyway, in the long run, I think it would be useful
to add some way to set partition types (probably by
parsing a string)... we'll see.  It would be much
with an EVMS style parameter interface.

> If Parted supported this it would be possible to get

> rid of yet another tool in the partitioning and 
> installation process of AmigaOS XL and this would 
> ease this process a bit.

Or, you could just add support for QNX partitions.
(This is a useful thing to do, not just for
enabling creating, but also for rescuing deleted
partitions etc.)  It's very easy to do.

> I also found out that Parted does not display any 
> partition types it does not support.

Wrong.  It does not display partition types.

It displays the filesystem it detected with

So, reiserfs partitions labelled with 0x83
come up as reiserfs, not ext2, for example ;)


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