Blivet-gui 2.0

Blivet-gui has reached another milestone few days ago — I’ve released version 2.0. This happened mostly because of the new Blivet 2.0 and its new API, but there are some new features in blivet-gui as well.

Blivet-gui 2.0 is currently available only in Fedora Rawhide, packages for other versions of Fedora are available in my Copr repository.

New features

LVM RAID support

One of the biggest features of blivet-gui 2.0 is support of LVM RAID. When adding a new LV, you can now choose RAID level for it. LVM supports the same RAID types mdraid does but you can choose different level for every logical volume so it’s more flexible than using LVM on top of an mdraid.

blivet-gui_lvm-raid

Creating a raid5 LV with blivet-gui

LVM Cache support

Second “LVM-related” feature is support for creating cached logical volumes. It’s “hidden” under advanced options when adding a new LV. This allows you to create a bigger logical volume on “slow” devices with a cache located on a “fast” device (e.g. an SSD drive). You can read more about LVM Cache here.

blivet-gui_lvm-cache

Creating a new cached logical volume

LUKS resize

One of the new features in Blivet 2.0 is support for resizing (both shrinking and growing) of encrypted devices (partitions, LVs etc.). Thanks to that, resizing of such devices is possible in blivet-gui too.

Progress during start and reload

There is a new “progress” report window when starting blivet-gui and during re-reading storage configuration. Blivet actually doesn’t provide progress report for storage configuration scan so this is just a “progress bar without progress” but it provides at least some feedback when starting blivet-gui.

blivet-gui_reset-progress

Part of this change is support for ignoring disks with corrupted partition tables or other issues that makes Blivet unable to work with them. If blivet-gui finds there is such device during start, it will allow you to continue and work with other drives instead of crashing. We plan to add some functionality to allow you to either fix or at least wipe the corrupted partition table.

Other features

  • Support for creating Btrfs Volumes and LVM Physical Volumes inside an existing LVM Volume Group.
  • Support for creating partitions (or logical volumes) without filesystem.
  • Support for creating an NTFS formatted devices (of course only if you have ntfsprogs available).
  • UI improvements for device editing — new separate dialog windows for resizing and formatting devices.
  • Support for specifying custom chunk size when adding a new mdraid device.
  • And of course some bugfixes, small tweaks etc.

Future features

Blivet-gui currently supports all features that Blivet provides (except some system installation specific) so new features mostly depend on new features in Blivet. We are currently working on Blivet 3.0 that will bring some nice new features for blivet-gui too:

  • “Real” progress reporting for action processing — blivet-gui currently just shows which action is currently being processed but not progress of the action itself. This might change with Blivet 3.0 at least for some “slow” actions like pvmove.
  • Wider support for changing existing devices. Blivet was originally part of the Anaconda installer and it didn’t need to support changing “properties” of existing devices (other than resizing them to make space for Fedora). This will change now and Blivet (and thanks to that blivet-gui too) will allow changing device names, filesystem labels, RAID levels, creating new logical volumes from existing ones (e.g. creating thinpools from existing lvs) and more.
As always, if you’d like to help, the source code is available on GitHub. New ideas and bug reports are welcome as well. You can submit them as RFEs using our Bugzilla or simply use the GitHub Issues. Visit Zanata if you’d like to help with blivet-gui localization.

 

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