New blivet-gui for Fedora 22

A lot has happened since my last blog post about blivet-gui (I really should write some updates more often). The biggest (and quite old) new is that blivet-gui is now available in official Fedora repositories so if you'd like to test it, just use

sudo dnf install blivet-gui 

(only for Fedora 21, 22 and rawhide).

"New" blivet-gui for Fedora 22

What's new in Fedora 22

The blivet-gui itself looks mostly the same -- change of the UI is planned for Fedora 23 (see below) -- but there are some remarkable new features including:

  • Btrfs support -- it is now possible to add new Btrfs volumes and subvolumes. This includes options for setting a Btrfs RAID and using Btrfs as a disklabel.
  • Software RAID support -- it is now possible to create a software RAID using MDRAID.
  • Edit support for LVM Volume Groups -- new option to add a new Physical Volume to an existing VG or remove a PV from it.
  • Better support for adding devices with multiple parents (e.g. Btrfs volumes or RAIDs).
  • Support for encrypted partitions using LUKS. (Support for encrypted LVM was already in previous versions.)
  • Localization support using Zanata project. Feel free to help translate blivet-gui into your language.

Adding a mirrored (RAID1) Btrfs volume

A lot also happened "under the hood". Blivet-gui now supports both Python 2 and Python 3 (but there is no python3 package for Fedora 22 due to missing dependencies) and version for Fedora 23 will be Python 3 only. New logging support and exception handling using python-meh helps a lot with debugging and bugfixing. (But I hope you'll never see this part blivet-gui in action.)

What's planned for Fedora 23

The biggest new for Fedora 23 is that blivet-gui will no longer require root privilegies for the GUI part. There are now two separate processes, one for the UI, running as a regular user and second one for the "backend", running as root. But you'll still need to provide your root password to start the backend (it isn't a daemon). This feature is already finished and packaged in rawhide repos.

The second big new is new UI. Current UI and especially the storage visualization part works for simple storage configuration (like partitions and "simple" LVMs) but gets more and more confusing for complex storage configurations.

Encrypted Thin-LVM over RAID = Nightmare for blivet-gui visualization

I already have some mockups for new, simpler and (hopefully) better UI. I'll publish them in few days.

Other new features for Fedora 23 includes LVM thin-provisioning support and support for creating and managing LVM snapshots.


As always, if you'd like to help, source code is available at GitHub. New ideas and bugreports are welcomed as well.