Nautilus only identifies partitions by label (and falls back to size), not the mount point name

Bug #190366 reported by John McCabe-Dansted on 2008-02-09
76
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Nautilus
Expired
Medium
gvfs
Invalid
Undecided
Unassigned
nautilus (Ubuntu)
Low
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs
Hardy
Low
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: nautilus

In "my computer" I have a large number of hdd partitions, many of them the same size. As the name of the partition (in nautilus) contains only the size, this means that many have the same name. In the details view the type is listed as unknown, however the type (ext3/vfat etc.) of the partitions could be retrieved from e.g. 'mount' or fdisk.

Also I cannot right click the partitions and get details such as which device the partition is on. This makes it hard to tell which partition is which.

This is on Hardy (alpha liveCD) with nautilus 1:2.21.90-0ubuntu1

I would expect nautilus to:
1) give a different name to each partition
2) make it easy to get detailed info on the partition (such as device name)
3) give extra information in detailed view over icon view.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug

Changed in nautilus:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
importance: Undecided → Medium
milestone: none → ubuntu-8.04
status: New → Confirmed
A. Walton (awalton) wrote :

This is happening because the HAL backend in GVFS is being used to set the name for volumes. If the volume's label isn't set, then HAL has no clue of what the volume's name should be, and it falls back to setting it based on the volume's size (%s media).

This can be fixed by setting the volume label on the file system so that HAL will read it correctly. This page contains the information on how to do this for various common file systems.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RenameUSBDrive

We could patch this in for Ubuntu if the mount location's name is really the preferred way to go for us, but I'm not sure if this is really an upstream issue.

Mikael Nilsson (mini) wrote :

Earlier versions set the Nautilus label based on hardware information in the absence of a label, I think. Such as "Corsair USB memory" (manufacturer name + more) etc.

Can this method somehow be resurrected? It was *very* useful.

A. Walton (awalton) wrote :

Think it comes down to how ugly we want that specific piece of code to be and it's pretty ugly now. Once we start querying for hardware device names and such in there it's only going to get even uglier, as we'll have to start dealing with lots of special cases on top of what it does now. I believe the HAL key that returns a name like "Corsair USB Memory" is info.product on the relevant volume, however, this is even more ugly for internally mounted drives (with the key giving us something like "Volume"; imagine instead of having a bunch of links to "Volume" instead of "500.1GB Media", you'd be playing Roulette every time you needed a file, not that this isn't the case now if you've got lots of like-sized drives).

I wouldn't be totally against it checking to see if we could get a better name from the info.product key, but in all likelihood it's not going to be very helpful as the USB key companies like to set the volume labels on their devices (though you're out of luck if you've reformatted it), and you'd still need to guard against displaying e.g "Volume" which is worse than "500.1GB Media". It would also be nice if Nautilus exposed some way of modifying the volume label, but there are way more important things on the schedule right now to be fixed, so this is probably an Ibex goal. It would also be a rather complicated and nasty fix, and would require lots of utilities that don't ship with the regular install (as seen on the Renaming page above), being a super-user, and unmounting the volume, or faking it via a .autorun/.desktop file (my preferred way, as you could give the volume an icon and decide whether or not the mount should be shown by Nautilus, etc), or something else I can't think of.

Forlong (forlong) wrote :

> We could patch this in for Ubuntu if the mount location's name is really the preferred way to go for us

I would really like this better. At the moment I have 15 partitions mounted to /media
Of course it would be possible to set a label to all of them but the problem is, the next time I'm changing/creating a new partition I will have to create a proper dir in /media, edit the fstab *and* change the label.

Can't HAL just be configured to fall back to the mountpoint instead of the volume's size?
It was just much more logical the way it used to be.

A. Walton (awalton) wrote :

Sebastian Bacher said that he would look into patching this issue, but I can if he doesn't get around to it in time. I think (at least for Ubuntu, not sure what the rest of the world wants) that adding the drive's /dev entry path is probably the most correct way to go (e.g. "500.1GB Media (sdb2)"), and all of this was specified before on Ubuntu's wiki before I even got here (Ubuntu's really on top of things, just not easily discoverable all of the time).

Read more here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopVolumesRepresentation

fre 2008-02-29 klockan 15:42 +0000 skrev A. Walton:
> Sebastian Bacher said that he would look into patching this issue, but I
> can if he doesn't get around to it in time. I think (at least for
> Ubuntu, not sure what the rest of the world wants) that adding the
> drive's /dev entry path is probably the most correct way to go (e.g.
> "500.1GB Media (sdb2)"), and all of this was specified before on
> Ubuntu's wiki before I even got here (Ubuntu's really on top of things,
> just not easily discoverable all of the time).

-1

I can't see how the /dev entry helps much, given that this might change
on every boot with USB devices.

>
> Read more here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopVolumesRepresentation

This does specify that vendor info should be used, so +1.

/Mikael

I don't particularly agree with the /dev entry method either, but that's what the spec says, and I'm not sure of a better way to do it other than specifying a name. But then again I specify labels for my volumes ;). As that's too difficult to do without lots of work for the average user (requires root permissions, manual labor, etc), I would do it by dropping a .autorun/.desktop file in the root directory of the partition that looked something like:

[Mount]
VolumeName=Ubuntu Harddisk
UserVisible=True/False

It's not elegant or anything of the such, but it's braindead simple (K.I.S.S. and all). The real problem with the info.vendor/info.product label is the problem I referred to a post or two ago: the vendor label isn't uniformly set. Sometimes it's as stupid as "Volume", which is A Bad Thing (as "Volume" is even more generic than "500.1GB Media"), which then turns that code into a mess of complicated "parse the vendor label" games. The fun part about the .desktop/.autorun file is that you can even do translated strings, or specify more information (like the icon for your media).

Of course, I'm really late to comment on this, as that spec already put everything they intend to do here in pretty clear terms, so I'm just stepping out of the way for now.

Changed in gvfs:
importance: Medium → Low
Changed in gvfs:
milestone: ubuntu-8.04 → ubuntu-8.04.1
milestone: ubuntu-8.04.1 → ubuntu-8.04
jcar87 (julius87) wrote :

I don't it is a problem but a matter of preference. I dont think it's bad that ubuntu searchs for the labels instead of displaying the sda/sdb names. The problem is that by default most partitions lack a volume name.
For windows users I would advise editing the volume name directly on windows, when they come back to ubuntu they'll notice the changes. Although this would require admin rights on windows.

Mac OS X just names label-less partitions as "Untitled" (Untitled 2, Untitled 3..) etc. Perhaps the same approach could be taken here, and name them something like
Untitled (sdb)
or Untitled(xxGB volume)

I think it makes sense to use the label names instead of other names, so I think that label names should be used wherever they exist. The problem is what names to use with volumes that have no label, and clearly people are not liking the "xxGB volume".

jcar87 (julius87) wrote :

I've just seen this:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=766167

And I can see how it can be a problem to not be able to tell where the partitions are mounted. Basically, those applications that don't use the default "open.." dialog in gnome, won't be able to find the volumes in the sidebar, and the user will have to 'guess' the mount point. If the name of the mount point is not at all related to the "xx GG volume", it can be a problem.

Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2008-05-02
Changed in gvfs:
milestone: ubuntu-8.04 → ubuntu-8.04.1
Changed in gvfs:
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gvfs:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2008-06-07
Changed in gvfs:
milestone: none → ubuntu-8.04.1
milestone: ubuntu-8.04.1 → none
Steve Langasek (vorlon) on 2008-06-30
Changed in gvfs:
milestone: ubuntu-8.04.1 → ubuntu-8.04.2
description: updated
Steve Langasek (vorlon) wrote :

This remains an unfortunate misfeature of Ubuntu 8.04, but by this point in the 8.04 support cycle I'm afraid correcting this in an SRU would be more disruptive to users than leaving it as-is. Marking 'wontfix' for hardy.

Changed in gvfs:
milestone: ubuntu-8.04.2 → none
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Chris Cheney (ccheney) wrote :

Shouldn't this issue be forwarded to upstream?

summary: - Nautilus does not identify partitions, except by size
+ Nautilus only identifies partitions by label (and falls back to size),
+ not the mount point name
Chris Cheney (ccheney) wrote :

Updated the description to reflect that this also affects duplicate labeled partitions as noted in my duplicate bug report.

eg

/media/storage-1
/media/storage-1_

both show up in nautilus as "storage-1"

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the bug should be sent upstream yes

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

I've sent this upstream at: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=589384 ; Thanks.

Changed in gvfs:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in gvfs (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in gvfs:
status: Unknown → New
Przemek K. (azrael) on 2009-07-22
tags: added: usability

Reassigning to match the product of the upstream bug.

affects: gvfs (Ubuntu) → nautilus (Ubuntu)
Changed in gvfs:
importance: Unknown → Undecided
status: New → Invalid
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New
Changed in nautilus:
status: New → Expired
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