Partition manager and other small suggestions

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danieldsr
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Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by danieldsr » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 pm

Hello!
I'd like to leave here a few suggestions that I consider important for people who lack any experience with linux, I noticed people asking me a lot about these things whenever I recommend them this distro.

One of the biggest problems with most linux distributions if not all in general, is that they lack an easy way to set up partitions during installation and after.
It's really confusing for people who are not that tech savvy, especially if I just want to just do simple things like dividing a HDD into two or three partitions, format another drive but install anything there.

I know you can do all of that with the GUI but it's not that user friendly (Especially if you're someone trying linux for the first time, people won't know what var, root, home, or so are). I and the people I recommended linux to, we find ourselves booting up a windows installation media just to format both the HDDs the way we want to then just plugging the linux usb and having all set to be installed.

I think it should have a quick tool that is very user friendly and with simple stuff: With visual representations like a eraser, a pencil, to format a HDD, partition and encrypt it very easilly, seeing disks represented as a drive icon and those encrypted to show with a lock next to it, then an advanced mode for those who need it. Would be nice too, some easy options to encrypt a flashdrive or external disk kind of like how bitlocker does.

I posted here two random pictures and it's much easier to tell what things do if the GUI is providing a visual representation.

https://fossbytes.com/wp-content/upload ... itions.jpg | https://www.partitionwizard.com/images/ ... -10-13.png or we can just go beyond and do it a bit like partition wizard does: https://www.lifewire.com/thmb/Lab9JieCO ... 95c4b7.png

The last two suggestions I'd like to give, is to have a "show desktop icon" that fits with the panel's theme (Like the rest of the icons there, having a monochrome style to it, or making it like on windows, a line you click at the bottom right, to look clean and to be easy for new users: https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/up ... ows_10.png )


Then to complete the last thing I think could be improved is the system monitor, should see a revamp to show threads and stuff as squares, so you can monitor how each performs in a easier way and should show the graphics card load too, if possible temperatures too. https://legitreviews.com/wp-content/upl ... ttling.jpg | https://www.windowscentral.com/sites/wp ... k=V-revNlX

Thank you and apologise for my english,It's not my first language!

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xenopeek
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Re: Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by xenopeek » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:19 pm

Welcome to the Linux Mint forums.

Below are my personal thoughts on your suggestions. Mostly trying to help make these more complete suggestions.
danieldsr wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 pm
I know you can do all of that with the GUI but it's not that user friendly (Especially if you're someone trying linux for the first time, people won't know what var, root, home, or so are).
Can you explain a bit more for what purpose you think the average somebody that's trying Linux for the first time would want or need to set up multiple partitions?
danieldsr wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 pm
I and the people I recommended linux to, we find ourselves booting up a windows installation media just to format both the HDDs the way we want to then just plugging the linux usb and having all set to be installed.
I don't follow. You later say "it's much easier to tell what things do if the GUI is providing a visual representation" and then share a screenshot of GParted, I assume as an example of how you think it should be done. But why then are you booting into Windows when GParted comes on the installation medium just for this purpose?

If you meant that Gparted isn't suited for the job and you know of a better partition manager for Linux, feel free to suggest that.
danieldsr wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 pm
The last two suggestions I'd like to give, is to have a "show desktop icon" that fits with the panel's theme (Like the rest of the icons there, having a monochrome style to it, or making it like on windows, a line you click at the bottom right, to look clean and to be easy for new users: https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/up ... ows_10.png )
Please add context. Which Linux Mint version and edition are you looking at? If you don't know, check System Info in your menu or run inxi -S on the terminal.
danieldsr wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:57 pm
Then to complete the last thing I think could be improved is the system monitor, should see a revamp to show threads and stuff as squares, so you can monitor how each performs in a easier way and should show the graphics card load too, if possible temperatures too. https://legitreviews.com/wp-content/upl ... ttling.jpg | https://www.windowscentral.com/sites/wp ... k=V-revNlX
System monitor isn't developed by Linux Mint. If you know of a better system monitor for Linux, feel free to suggest that.
Image

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AndyMH
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Re: Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by AndyMH » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:43 pm

Gparted is a front end for parted. If you don't like it, you are free to develop your own. Personally, I found the windows partition wizard screenshot more confusing than gparted. Each to their own.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

blockhead47
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Re: Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by blockhead47 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:59 am

The thing I like about the Windows Mini Partition Tool vs Linux Gparted is the Windows tool shows ALL disks in its main view.
In Gparted you have to select each disk to view its layout. Most "new to Linux" users don't know that and are not familiar
with the device layouts, /dev/sdX, and partition schemes, etc. At least for me, when I first tried and got into Linux,
that was a big scary issue for me. Especially if I am installing on a dual-boot machine.

Yes the current installers disk/partition selection processes seem intuitive to me now. But I do remember way back when
I started trying distros it was not and it was very intimidating.

danieldsr
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Re: Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by danieldsr » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:44 pm

Sorry if I made it confusing, the purpose would be for example, someone who has multiple HDDs/SSDs would be able to for example install linux on HDD1 and format HDD2, HDD3 and encrypt one of the last two with a password during the installation. (Without having to learn what Var/home/root are)

About the GParted screenshot, I added it as a comparison between it and how the other two look like, I agree I made it very confusing the way I worded it, I believe that GParted is a really good tool, but for a new user it's really complicated and not that intuitive, I don't know if it's possible for someone to fork it and only change the GUI for it, at least during installation as it's the first big bump people find, for someone new like the last comment described, they won't know what most things like var/swap/root mean.

Regarding the desktop icon, I'm using the Linux mint 19 Cinnamon version and this suggestion is more to keep the aesthetics, not important but would look better in my opinion and would help with the usability, since people are used to it, would fit more with the theme, if not as a corner icon, at least as a monochrome one with the same look as the sound and update manager's icons.

As for suggesting, I'm not too experienced with alternatives, looked for them and I think all programs, gparted included are really good, they just are not that user friendly for people who never got to use linux before, making the whole transition very scary for new users, think it would help a lot having some of the GUIs rewritten but that might be outside of what the linux mint team is focusing on.

These are just a few ideas from someone who isn't too tech or linux savvy but likes this distro and the OS a lot.
Thank you

carum carvi
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Re: Partition manager and other small suggestions

Post by carum carvi » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:24 pm

I must admit, just as danieldsr. that the biggest scare I ever got using LinuxMint was the first time I tried to install LinuxMint. I was using the manual option which partition I wanted LinuxMint to be installed in. I did NOT chose the "install alongside Windows" option, but the create your own partition option. Because of that choice I accidentilly erased my Vista backup partition when installing LinuxMint for the first time. I never minded it since then that the Windows Vista backup accidentilly got erased, but I do understand danieldsr fears.

Afterwards I always installed LinuxMint alongside Windows, and that worked perfectly fine. :D But for those Windows users who have several partitions that need to be formatted and assigned to seperatedly, unknown names like "ext4" and "/" are very confusing.

Maybe an extra added FAQ or help guide for newbies when installing would be a good idea?
I just didnt have a clue what the choices offered during the partition proces meant...

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