Status Update: KDE Partition Manager

Good things first: Using the KDE Partition Manager version from svn is safe.

There hasn't been any substantial development work being done on KDE Partition Manager for quite some time. This is indeed very deplorable and mostly owed to the fact that I am so far the only developer working on the project. The time I was able to devote to open source work has been severely limited over the last couple of months due to, as they say, circumstances beyond my control.

So the project has remained in a rather dormant state since my series of blog entries about the upcoming featurs in version 1.1 and the post about the new partition widget design that had been so magnificiently done by Hugo.

As an aside, this design has again been improved quite a bit after that post, so here's a current KDE Partition Manager screenshot (also, everyone likes screenshots):

KDE Partition Manager 1.0.60 screenshot

Meanwhile, the GNU Parted devs have released a new version of libparted, 3.0, that does away with its former support for resizing FAT-based file systems (and a few other special cases that libparted used to cover for historical reasons). This version is now the only one shipping with a few distributions, among them Gentoo.

In KDE's subversion, I have at one point last year actually added support for the new libparted 3.0 version to KDE Partition Manager (support being an euphemism for: remove FAT16 and FAT32 resizing and a few other things when building against libparted 3.0). Gentoo have then proceeded to ship (as much as Gentoo can be said to ship anything) an svn-snapshot of KDE Partition Manager that has the version number 1.0.60 (denominating it as an alpha release in KDE's version number scheme). Other distributions have followed or will probably do so in the near future.

Now using a subversion snapshot for an application that is supposed to perform potentially destructive actions on your important data sounds like an unwise choice, does it not?

To put it briefly: Version 1.0.60 is no more dangerous to your data than 1.0.3 is. The code involved performing the potentially hazardous actions is mature and thoroughly tested. There's no guarantee in either versions and there have indeed been modifications to code areas that deal with moving data within file systems for 1.0.60, but it's not like this has all been rewritten from scratch with totally unexplored code-paths now being let out into the wild sans any prior testing. The code works, is safe and I have used it numerous times myself on my disks, not just for testing.

Making backups before touching your file systems with any tool is still the diligent thing to do.

If and when KDE Partition Manager will see a 1.1 release is still not certain; I'm trying to figure out what I can do to accelerate matters a bit.

tl;dr Using KDE Partition Manager from subversion (with a version number of 1.0.60 or higher) is no more dangerous to your data than using 1.0.x.


I'm sorry, but your post is

I'm sorry, but your post is confusing. Have you taken away the ability to resize FAT partitions or not?

Many of us still end up dual booting laptops and desktops with some form of Windows system, and having the ability to resize Windows partitions is key to that. Will we still be able to do that or not - ie ntfs, etc.

Thanks, Bob

Just to clarify, it's not KDE

Just to clarify, it's not KDE Partition Manager that is taking away this functionality, but the upstream library (libparted) that it uses. There may be a way to restore it in future but it will take time to implement.

When using KDE Partition

When using KDE Partition Manager with libparted 3.0 there will be no resizing of FAT file systems. NTFS is not affected by this because it has never been handled by libparted.

Great to see PartitionManager

Great to see PartitionManager alive and kicking! Or well... thinking of kicking ;)

Well quite frankly, I've been

Well quite frankly, I've been amazed by the quality that KDE Partition manager has kept up. It works so reliably cool, that I have zero complains.
So, its always better to not to add much features so the app remains stable, very very crucial for a parition manager.

Great news on the progress.

Great news on the progress. However, re libparted 3.0, is there no alternative external to libparted for resizing FAT/FAT32 partitions?

I saw something on the parted

I saw something on the parted list about releasing a new library to handle hfs/fat resizing - based on the old code - this might be it:

parted won't use it, but apps that use (lib)parted can also use this new library, iiuc.

OMG finally! With every six

OMG finally! With every six months we get load of new useless plasmoids but crucial applications are far from done for years, that's not good. Thanks for your work an hope to see more development in this one