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Re: partman review

Thanks for your review.  I agree with everything I don't comment.

On Fri, Feb 27, 2004 at 01:35:47PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:
> * It really does need a progress bar at startup. It does seem that fair
>   bit of the delay is disk-bound and not cpu-bound.

Yes, it is mostly disk-bound and includes also tests on your
relatively slow usb device.

> 	"Undo all actions"
> 	"Abort the partitioning" 
> 		- what is the difference between these? Why not just have one?

"Abort" does the same as the <Back> button -- partman exits
immediately with error code.  It is necessary for frontends without
back-capability.  Suppose that for some reason you want to see the
main-menu without any partitioning.  Without "Abort" and "<Back>" this
is impossible.  Consider this and then apply your patch.  (You don't
have to use non-break spaces in your patch as all spaces will be
automaticaly converted to non-break spaces.)

> 	"Commit the partitioning to the storage devices"

This was usefull for debugging.  It can be removed.

> * If I do choose a device, the first menu item is "Cancel this menu", which
>   is redundant because there is a back button. The third item is something
>   about dumping the partition info, which might be useful for debugging,
>   but I did not understand. The second item is the only one I think anyone
>   will want to select.

I added the "Cancel" item only recently.  I think it is safe default
because the second item is very dangerous.  The third item is intended
for bug reporters, I should change it to dump in syslog rather than in

> * If I create a new partition, its settings default to "do not use", not
>   bootable, not mounted, no filesystem type. These are not good defaults and
>   mean a lot of work to get a usable setup.

It is not easy to find the good defaults.

> * The mount options screen is excessively long, all these defintions should
>   be in the select list after the option names.

I will try this but I am not sure cdebconf will accept it.  This
screen shows only once per partman-session.

> I think that the "usage method" and "file system" items could be
> combined into one menu item, which would have the options "do not
> use this partition", "keep and use existing data on this partition",
> plus the filesystem types and swap. This would address my swap
> formatting confusion, and simplify it generally.

I wish this occured to me earlier...  I will implemend it but probably
not right now.

> * Back on the main menu, I notice that free space is listed as
>   "unusable".  I think this is at best confusing, and that field of
>   the table should be blank for free space. I've also seen the free
>   space listed as "pri/log", which makes little sense .. oh, now I get
>   it. It was unusable because I had 4 primary partitions. Somehow,
>   this could be clearer. It should be understandable if you don't know
>   about, or have forgotten about, the 4 primary partition limit.

I plagiarised from cfdisk.  If the user chooses the unusable free
space there could be an explanation of the problem.  I have no idea
how to make this clearer in the main menu.

> * I cannot seem to figure out how to use partman to create extended
>   partitions, at all.

It creates one automatically together with the first logical partition.

> * When it writes the partition data, I always get this error from partman:
>     The kernel was unable to re-read the partition table on
>     /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/disk (Device or resource busy).
>   That is the usb device I booted the installer from, and I did not tell
>   partman to do anything with it (nor does it), so I do not know why it
>   displays this message.

Currently partman doesn't keep track which devices were changed nor
when they have been changed.  It reads the partition tables of all of
them and then writes them back even if there have been no changes in
some of the partition tables.

I have to think for the proper way to fix this.  If some partition is
used as a component of LVM or RAID volume then partman should disallow
any changes to the containing partition table.  Currently there is no
protection against this.

> * After setting up 3 1 gb ext2 partitions (/, /usr, /home), and 128 mb swap,
>   and letting partman format them, it blue-screened. ps shows
>   finish.d/90aptinstall_basicfiles is running. The load average is 0.08, and
>   this is a fast p4. I waited for 5 minutes, and nothing. I am able to
>   reproduce this easily if there is something I can do to debug it.

This script is recently added.  Please change its number from 90 to
70.  The same change should be done with the script aptinstall_ext3
from partman-ext3.

Anton Zinoviev

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