This specification describes a partitioning tool with an easy-to-use graphical interface. It requires changes to a derivative version for inclusion in the UbuntuExpress installer.


The existing partitioning tool (partman) is cumbersome, especially for inexperienced users, who may be put off installing Ubuntu by the inability to quickly and safely create a dedicated partition.

Scope and Use Cases

  • A user wishes to install Ubuntu to a given disk, replacing any existing data
  • A user wishes to install Ubuntu on a system where another operating system (especially Windows) is already installed. It is necessary to repartition the disk in order to create space for Ubuntu.
  • A user has both Ubuntu and another operating system installed, and wishes to change the amount of space allocated to each of them
  • A user is installing Ubuntu on a system, replacing any existing operating system, and wishes to exercise more control over the partitioning process (amount of swap space, separate root/home, etc.)

Implementation Plan

Move gparted into ship (the list of packages included on the CD but not installed by default).

Several UI changes must happen as well as one commandline option needs to get included for the UbuntuExpress installer:

  • Add a commandline option to gparted for:
    • showing, creating, editing and adding mountpoints.
    • spit out a mountpoint <--> device list on stdout after operation.

  • Add a option to edit existing partitions (add/remove mountpoints).
  • Change application title to "Advanced Partitioning".
  • Remove the menubar.
  • Remove copy/paste toolbar items, they are not needed for the installer.
  • Add text to the toolbar icons by default, the icons themselves are not descriptive enough.
  • Change the "Move/Resize" icon to reflect its functionality a bit more specific
  • Rename the "Apply" icon to "Save and Exit"

For normal desktop usage the tool may stay as it is.

Data Preservation and Migration

The only GNOME based graphical partitioning tool available is currently gparted, which is well maintained upstream as well as in universe (DanielHolbach's package), it is in universe since Hoary and thus receives constant user testing. It would be desirable to have it on the live CD, so it could get included in the UbuntuExpress installer. gparted would need to be extended/tweaked in order to allow the user to specify which partitions should be used as mount points, and communicate this information to the caller.

Packages Affected

  • As minimal requirement gparted needs to be moved from universe into ship (see explanation above).

User Interface Requirements

  • gparted needs some UI changes like mentioned above to get included in the UbuntuExpress installer.

  • For KUBUNTU, qtparted needs to be studied.

Outstanding Issues

  • Mail upstream (who is currently in South America for a study travel until June) if he wants to do the implementation.
  • KUBUNTU might have to take over maintainership of qtparted in case they want to use that.

UDU BOF Agenda


  • gparted
  • qtparted
    • qtparted has support for ntfs resizing. There is a libntfs that can probably be interfaced with libparted. This will enable Windows XP users to resize their partition and install Ubuntu.
  • Check with parted list about preferred frontend - there have been some issues with qtparted and error handling in the past. May be fixed now, it's been a little while since I hung out on the list (StewartSmith)

  • Morphix's partitioning tool (morphix patitionmorpher looks very interesting, seems to work with native gtk2 and parted bindings )( (OliverGrawert)

  • Knoppix's partitioning tool (knoppix uses cfdisk/qtparted)
  • PartitioningAndResizingMockups

CategoryUdu CategorySpec

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/GraphicalPartitioningTool (last edited 2008-08-06 16:21:34 by localhost)