Why is gnome disks replacing gparted?

I refer to this post:

Now, for someone like me, installing Gparted after installation is no big deal. But, for a new user, wanting to resize and add extra partitions, I fail to see how gnome disks makes this easier or, even, is simply as easy as Gparted.

In which case, why get rid of Gparted? Gparted is not broken, so why “fix” it?


I agree, additionally having gparted in the live session is nice since one usually makes changes to partitions using a live session. Gnome disks could be seen as a replacement of the ubuntu disk creator but not gparted IMO.


Doesn’t make sense to me. gparted is a fundamental tool and should remain.


I agree with what has been said so far. GParted has that ability to expand/shrink partitions while Disks is better suited for more simple tasks plus its ability to create/restore an image file (great for flash drives and RPi SD Cards). I think they should both exist, if there’s room on the disk.

Is it just my computers, but does Disks always throw a harmless time-out error after every partition operation…? Unless this has been fixed, I think this would scare users…

I see Disks as a buggy tool for partitioning:

  • The time-out error…
  • There was a time where a complicated disk only saw a few partitions, the remainder was “Unknown”. GParted handled them fine.
  • Sometimes Disks needs restarting to see changes.
  • It has silently crashed a few times.

Doesn’t make sense when GParted is quite reliable and transparent if an operation needs to be diagnosed.

The fact GParted is there in a live session when there’s no network connection too makes the distro useful. I believe Ubuntu has had both for years.


I probed the question to @Wimpy - this change has definitely been set for 16.04.

The rationale is people want GParted can install it, just like Synaptic. But for Ubuntu MATE 16.04 Alpha 1 (now due on. Monday 4th) Disks is in the Live session and pre-installed.

Never had an issues with Disks, but I’m not stubborn, if there is something fundamentally broken we can either fix it or revert to GParted.

I still don’t get it. I would bet if there was a poll done of Linux users as to which was the easiest and most graphically intuitive to use program for partitioning - Disks or Gparted? - the majority would say Gparted. Disks is just not as easy to use for this task. It may have many virtues, but compared to Gparted, this is not one of them. All of which leaves the question of why it has been removed from the live image, the very environment where an easy to use disk partitioner is required the most?

I for one, would appreciate Martin coming on here and explaining in detail the reasons for this decision rather than simply stating that this is going to happen. On the one hand, it is a small thing for a competent user such as myself. On the other hand, it is potentially a bigger issue for a new Linux user who wishes to easily manually partition their disk as part of the installation process. And, finally, it does not feel like a very community led decision to drop Gparted. It wouldn’t be so bad if Gparted was merely not on the installed OS. But, the fact it is not on the live image is going to leave any Linux newbie disadvantaged in terms of manual partitioning at installation time as compared to if it was present.

On the other hand, I am quite happy to be shown how I have hitherto missed an easy to use method of disk partitioning in Disks, as compared to Gparted. In which case, the removal of Gparted would make some sense. So, if anyone would like to post an explanation of that easy method on here, I would appreciate it.

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So we did run a poll about Gparted or GNOME Disks in the past, the results were 50/50. The reasons for choosing GNOME Disks over Gparted are these:

  • It is far more obvious which disk you’re about to make changes to using GNOME Disks. I think new users would struggle more with being presented /dev/sda and /dev/sdb as their options for choosing a drive in Gparted.
  • GNOME Disks has a Restore Disk Image feature which is effectively a nice UI for dd type functionality. Very useful for people wanting to put Raspberry Pi images on SD cards or ISO images on USB sticks.
  • GNOME Disks has active SMART+ monitoring and will alert you to imminent disk failure.
  • GNOME Disks can manage APM and Write Cache settings.
  • GNOME Disks can edit mount options.

The above, in my opinion, make GNOME Disks are far more comprehensive tool and why I’ve chosen to include it by default.

Now, to your point about the Live session. Is GNOME Disks completely unable to perform common repartitioning tasks or does it just do it differently when compared with Gparted? Is there something fundamental that GNOME Disks simply can’t do?

As I said while chatting with @lah7, I’m not stubborn. I will reinstate gparted into the Live session if it is absolutely required. But I try to avoid shipping multiple applications that clutter up the system with duplicate functionality, because this is also confusing to new users.

I hope that explains my rationale and I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on this :slight_smile:


I’ve just checked what the other flavours are doing. Ubuntu and Lubuntu both include gparted in the Live session only and gnome-disk-utility in both the Live session and installed system. I’ll update the Ubuntu MATE seeds to do the same.


Thanks @wimpy for reconsidering, both tools are valuable and both have their strengths and weaknesses. I use then both a lot depending on what I’m doing.

What GParted can do that Disks can’t:

  • Shrink/expand partitions.
  • Ability to manipulate a far wider range of partition types (more then FAT, NTFS, ext*, such as Apple, XFS, etc)
  • Check a filesystem for errors.
  • Be verbose/show detailed progress in its actions.
  • Can attempt to recover position tables.

I agree with @stevecook172001 about this being an environment where partitioning is used the most. Especially if we consider dual boot users or even Windows power users who know about partitioning, but are new to Ubuntu.

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Thank you for reconsidering this Martin. It seems a good compromise to have it only on the live session since, as has already been mentioned, if someone wants it on their installed OS, they can always install it after the fact of OS installation.

Personally I like both tools, but for different reasons. If I am giving someone less on the tech side of things, I make sure they have disks. At most, people need to ID a device as the one they want to work with and at most, install a single partition maybe two? onto a disk of some sort. My experience says those people are going to be using external hard drives and flash drives for backing up. If I am going to do something more complex with a disk that command line tools are not going to be fast enough for, I always default to gparted. Most of my gparted usage on a monthly basis is going to be for data recovery or repair of corrupted data on customer drives. In that case gparted is my tool of choice. I prefer the data overload on the screen to make sure I am certain I did the right thing before applying the changes

I personally use live USBs frequently when doing tech support at work, and for this I usually use “standard” Ubuntu or Ubuntu Gnome so that I don’t have to connect to the networks to download Disks. Now I can use Ubuntu MATE!

gparted can be helpful when partitioning, so I like the option of having both in the live session and Disks in the installed system.

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