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Include a disk management utility in default Ubuntu installs.

Release Note

There have been complaints that Ubuntu lacks a disk configuration utility, which forces newbies to manually edit fstab if they want to use a drive that was not present when they installed the system. Manually editing the file is difficult and frustrating to them, and not an ideal way to handle the issue on the long run.

An application exists by the name of Disk Manager (http://flomertens.free.fr/disk-manager/index.html), which keeps tracks and notifies of newly added units, and for extremely easy (automagical) configuration. That is the kind of stuff we want in Ubuntu.

Disk Manager notifies about new drives:


Disk Manager allows the user to mount or unmount drives without any hassle, even by providing a simple name for them:


Disk Manager allows to easily enable NTFS writing support:


Disk Manager allows to keep track of mounted / unmounted partitions and free space on them:



Ubuntu strives to be the easiest to use Linux distro. Several steps have been taken to make the user experience natural. Installing Disk Manager by default would make adding and removing hard disk units natural. Just another field where Ubuntu would stand out in simplicity.

Use Cases

  • David has been using Ubuntu for a short time, but he has already filled his hard drive. He buys a second one and, when he reboots, gets a notification telling him that a new HD has been found. He clicks the notification area icon and gets his new drive up and working in seconds and just with a few clicks. He doesn't know what fstab is, he will never need to worry about that.

Further Ideas

A application that will partition, edit fstab, label & create RAID is needed for Ubuntu to make life easier for the normal user. This will also help in the adoption of Ubuntu in the business environment.

We have most of this functionability in Disk Manager & Gparted. What we need is a "one-stop" application similar to Mac OSX's Disk Utility.


  • GNOME already has this functionality to an extent. I have some volumes that are not listed in fstab, but I can see them if I go Places → Computer, and if I double-click on the drives, they automagically mount (thanks to gnome-mount, I believe). --JeremyVisser

  • I have a problem with the way GNOME mounts things like using Places -> Connect to Server. This only works if you use applications provided by GNOME and few others. Even gEdit has problems editing text files over SSH using the Connect to Server feature. VLC is unable to play media using this feature because it has no way to access it, so I have to manually edit my fstab to mount a remote Samba share in order to stream media to VLC. In short, I think this spec is a great step in the right direction. Now, I would love the ability to use this to mount remote Samba shares without having to touch my fstab. --RossPeoples


DiskManagerByDefault (last edited 2008-08-06 16:18:06 by localhost)