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bug#24502: [PATCH] libparted: Show partition boundaries in sectors by de

From: John Pittman
Subject: bug#24502: [PATCH] libparted: Show partition boundaries in sectors by default
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:25:33 -0400 (EDT)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil Susi" <address@hidden>
To: "John Pittman" <address@hidden>, address@hidden
Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2016 9:18:31 AM
Subject: Re: bug#24502: [PATCH] libparted: Show partition boundaries in sectors 
by default

On 9/21/2016 3:22 PM, John Pittman wrote:
> In parted, by default, we print disk size and partition
> boundaries in compact form.  As partition boundaries fall
> on sector boundaries, this is not useful for administration
> and should be changed.  This patch changes the default_unit

>> No?  People don't care about the exact sector; they think in GB.

At initial creation people will still use whatever unit they care about,
whether it be GB, MB, or TB (or sectors).  But they'll be specifying the units 
by hand. 
Likely not even using the print function until the end and possibly not at all 
done through kickstart)

This patch is not about creating however, it's about printing, which indicates 
a need
to "look back" at the partition structure.  Whether admins are troubleshooting 
a missing partition, a misaligned partition, the need will be to make 
adjustments in sectors, 
therefore the need will be to view the boundaries in sectors.  The operating 
system and the 
software layers atop it (clustering & lvm for example) care about sectors and 
so should we.

To have the precursory knowledge to know that one needs to manipulate a 
partition boundary 
also suggest the knowledge to know that the manipulation should be done in 
sectors.  All
else will bring unexpected results.  The majority of users of this tool are 
for servers, not desktop users (desktop users would likey use a gui tool)

> Many partition tools have already migrated to default sector
> use. It offers a 'one-stop-shop' through parted -l, and
> aligns more closely with the needs of partition
> administration activities.

>> How do you figure that?

The latest fdisk packages print in sectors by default.  They do however, similar
to my patch proposal, provide the whole disk size in B, s, and some other user
friendly unit.  My colleagues and I are all in linux storage support/maintenance
engineering; my claims regarding alignment with the needs of administration are 
based on 
direct observation of everyday administration issues as seen by our customers.

>> Nobody thinks about what sector they want the partition to start and end on.

I'd argue the opposite, if someone is thinking about partition boundaries, they 
would not be thinking about what MB boundary it falls on, at least not for long.
They'd realize quickly that they need sectors to have any certainty that the 
changes they are making are correct.

For whole disk size the compact print is great, that's why I've included it in 
the patch, 
but for boundary location printing, sectors should be used are are far more 

Additionally, we should, as people providing/supporting these products/services 
sector use, not steer users away from it.

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