Format a USB flash drive using gpart

Polytropon freebsd at
Sun Jul 8 12:30:35 UTC 2012

On Sun, 8 Jul 2012 14:16:31 +0200 (CEST), Wojciech Puchar wrote:
> > Perhaps, and I know that this will offend some purists, but a nice GUI
> not about purism but (lack of) usability.
> GUI interfaces never helps, only hides real things and prevent 
> understanding anything. You maybe understand it, maybe not. Most people 
> will not.
> GUI interfaces are actual a PROBLEM with today software.

The main problem here is that you have no efficient way of
documentation. What do you want to do? Describe pictures?
And as soon as the GUI changes (e. g. different toolkit
version), things may change, not "look the same" anymore.

Also GUIs seem to be limited, especially if you want to
apply options that make better use of characteristics of
a flash drive (compared to a regular hard disk). A GUI
"disk initializer" would have to take _every_ possibility
into mind, everything that might be specific to the OS
it runs on (as for example Linux differs from FreeBSD
filesystem-wise), making things much more complicated
than they need to.

With few routine, tasks are performed more natural using
the desired CLI tools. You don't go "Now I have to remember
which command to format the disk", you just format the disk,
which means "spaking to" newfs. The more often you do it,
the more obvious the tools are, and they won't change in
look and feel (or options). That makes them superior.

I admit that they might be confusing for people who do not
want to read, learn and practice. That's okay. Those should
use GUI tools and live with the (limited) set of selections
they are presented. As there is no real distinction between
user and administrator anymore, this is something we need
to live with.

That being said, CLI tools offer the easier interface to
the more advanced functionality and better flexibility, which
is especially useful in the discussed case: initializing a
USB flash drive that might need different options than what
you could default to for a regular disk drive.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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