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KDE Partition Manager and KPMcore 4.0 beta / KAuth review request / Name of the program




Hi,

I would like to announce beta release of KDE Partition Manager and KPMcore partitioning library.

https://download.kde.org/unstable/kpmcore/3.80.0/src/kpmcore-3.80.0.tar.xz.mirrorlist
https://download.kde.org/unstable/partitionmanager/3.80.0/src/partitionmanager-3.80.0.tar.xz.mirrorlist

Summary of changes:
 * libparted backend is removed and replaced with sfdisk backend. util-linux 2.32 is required.
As a result FAT16/FAT32 resize support is only available if fatresize is installed. fatresize is a thin
wrapper around libparted and is already packaged by most distros. Unfortunately, HFS(+) resize
support is no longer available.

 * Added support for resizing LUKS2 volumes (we don't support resizing LUKS2 if it is used with dm-integrity).
LUKS2 creation support is added to KPMcore but it is not yet exposed in KDE Partition Manager GUI.

 * Dependency on unmaintained libatasmart library was removed and replaced with smartmontools
(version 7 released on 2018-12-30 is required).

 * Detection support for Bitlocker and APFS (Apple File System) if util-linux 2.33 is available.

 * Support for FAT12 file system (no resize support). This is partially a result of libparted->sfdisk switch
as libparted does not have support for FAT12.

 * And last but not least is KAuth. KDE Partition Manager no longer runs as root but instead uses KAuth.
In fact half of the features above were prerequisite for KAuth work. It solves issues with DBus access,
improves Wayland support (especially on Gnome).

KDE Partition Manager needs root for most of its operations, and a simpler operation (e.g. resize and
move partition) from the user perspective requires executing quite a few commands as root from
the backend perspective. Therefore the way KAuth is implemented is quite different from the other apps
but other suggestions so far were not practical. When KAuth helper (externalcommandhelper.cpp) is started,
it enters even loop and does not exit until the application finishes. Then it starts DBus interface where the
original GUI program can request execution of various partitioning commands as root. These requests are
RSA signed by the GUI program and come with a cryptographic nonce which prevents replaying them.

https://invent.kde.org/kde/kpmcore/tree/master/src/util/
KAuth work is in externalcommand* files.

In addition to that request, I would like to ask for some feedback on the name of the program.

See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=388661

Basically the bug says that the name of "KDE Partition Manager" is uncommon due to spaces
and presence of KDE in the name. What is the consensus on this? We actually have more applications
with space like "Calligra Words" or "System Settings", so maybe the space is alright?
I am not opposed to removing "KDE " from the name, i.e. "Partition Manager" should be fine.
I think some of the suggestions on the bug like KParted are now misleading, since parted library is no longer
used.

Best,
Andrius

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