Revision 4 as of 2007-05-27 09:00:38

Clear message

Please check the status of this specification in Launchpad before editing it. If it is Approved, contact the Assignee or another knowledgeable person before making changes.


This specification is about providing a consistent and user friendly representation of the drives and volumes over the desktop

Release Note

The drives and volumes representation has been made consitent over the desktop and their naming has been simplified


At the moment the drives and volumes are not represented in the same way over the desktop (computer location, fileselector, places menu) and the naming is confusing in some cases

Use Cases

  • Martin has connected has several window partition mounted on his desktop, they have explicit name which make it easy for him to find the one where his music is stored


Naming to use on the desktop:

  • use the label if there is one available (also for unmounted partition)
  • if there is no label use the hal vendor information
  • if there is no vendor information appends the /dev device name

Volumes to hide:

  • volumes that can't be browsed by the user (EPERM)
  • volumes that are automounted at boot in a "standard known directory" (/home, /var, /usr, etc.)
  • add a layer in gvfs/gnome-vfs to hide some of the volumes => the user can click Remove in nautilus to hide the volume

When an user mount a volume without a label ask him for one

Look if ubiquity is setting label to partitions, if not teach it to do it

  • We deliberately stopped doing this, and I think it would be a really bad idea to start again. Labels are for the system administrator to set. If you try to set them automatically, then either you get conflicts between different operating systems installed on the same computer (this really happened - both Red Hat and Debian automatically labelled the root filesystem "/", which broke one or the other of them randomly), or you get silly autogenerated names with numbers on the end that look odd. Plus, there's no standard scheme for generating labels so we're almost certain to conflict with somebody else's scheme for doing the same kind of thing. I'd strongly suggest using labels if they exist, but otherwise doing something else that doesn't involve writing a string into the filesystem metadata. --ColinWatson

    • Would labels like "/ (Ubuntu)" avoid this problem? Also, do you have more details on why RH and Debian were broken by the automatic labels? Do they depend on labels to do some stuff (this sounds wrong)? -- VincentUntz

Make partitions editor set label on partitions their create (gparted?)

  • Same issue as for the installer. --ColinWatson

    • Well, in gparted, there can be a small entry with the label name when creating the partition, and the user can change the automatically computed label before creating the partition. -- VincentUntz

Add way to change label easily ( (

  • This, on the other hand, would be pretty good, since it's up to the system administrator. --ColinWatson


Test/Demo Plan