Topic: gparted should explicitely asks user to choose which partition to work
I would like to share my user experience with gparted. Not my general experience (I've been using it on and off for over a decade), but what I experienced today.
My intent with this post is to useful give feedback
I do NOT intend nor want to get help on how to handle the problem I encountered.
I am not blaming anyone but myself
To give some context, even though I use macOS as my primary operating system, I have been using linux for over 10 years and it was my only operating system for a couple of years. I am comfortable with using the terminal and computers in general. I have used gparted for over 10 years, off and on, as mentioned.
I still managed to do something stupid, something that I think could be avoided by slightly changing the way gparted displays information.
what I have done
I plugged a external hard drive that I wanted to work on.
I opened gparted, the erased all the partitions on the disk.
I clicked "apply".
There were some information messages i did not read.
So now the disk seems to have all the partitions erased as requested.
the problem i encountered
BUT… the disk I was working with was not the one I intended to work with. It was the « sda » disk that is I think displayed by default. The disk my laptop boots on and whch is hosting all the data on this computer.
So here I am, not knowing if my local partitions were wipped away, if my computer will be able to reboot or not. So I'm currently doing a massive rsync / /media/another-external-drive to backup my data in the case my computer would not reboot and that my data would be lost. Hope that everything would be fine when I come back monday. Maybe I've freaked out for nothing and even if gparted keeps displaying my main drive as emptied of any partition, nothing has been wiped out, but I am not confident enough to take any risk.
how things could be done to avoid that in my opinion
I think gparted should not display a disk with editing tools without informing which disks have been found beforehand and without asking explicitely the user which disk he wants to work with.
The process could be : gparted scan for disks, then display how many disks where found (ex : 1 disk found). Along that the disks that were found are displayed and the user need to click a button with a clear label (edit this drive) to be able to display the usual interface used to edit drives.
But this is just a quick thought, my desire is more to point out an area for improvement than to claim that I have the solution.
I hope this topic will be somewhat useful, and thanks for the great software!
P.S.: the computer on which I had my mishap is a spare computer that I was using to clean up old hard drives, thanks to rsync I should be able to back up the old data stored on it without any damage, so I will certainly only have lost time!