[xubuntu-users] No indication of disk checks at login

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Sun May 21 16:02:20 UTC 2017


On 05/20/2017 06:05 PM, Chris Green wrote:
> [..]
> But you *still* haven't actually understood my problem!  :-)

Don't fret :-) It has sometimes taken me a year or more to make myself
plain...

> In the past (i.e. previous xubuntu installations) whenever the system
> decided it was time to do a disk check automatically it would do the
> disk check *and* put a message up on the GUI to say what was
> happening.  This no longer seems to happen, the system just displays
> the xubuntu logo for a *very* long time (if it's my 3Tb disk being
> checked) with no indication as to why it appears to be doing nothing.

That's the key. The boot process no longer tells the user what's going on.

Part of the problem is that the "old" method basically scrolled a
console log of what went into dmesg, and this was putting new users off,
who just wanted to see a logo while it booted.

Like most cosmetic changes, it has gone too far and now te
lls the user absolutely nothing at all. The correct solution is probably
some way between these two extremes.

> Mine is a fast modern machine but it still takes a *long* time for
> fsck to check a 3Tb disk drive - like 20 or 30 minutes.

I think the point being made earlier (which misled some readers into
thinking that fsck was the topic) was that fsck should be an extreme
rarity, something that only happens when the machine has been shut down
suddenly, or on a scheduled but very sparse timescale. Yes, 3TB will
take a long time, but for the output to be suppressed (by initrd?) is a
poor design choice and should be reversed.

On 05/21/2017 01:56 PM, Joao Monteiro wrote:
> One sure way I have learnt to check if the system is hung or just
> slowly mawling whatever it is doing, is by looking at the Hard Disk
> indicator light on the machine;

Good advice...if the system has one. Increasingly, these are no longer
being fitted. Which makes it all the more important that the boot
process tells the user what it's doing AT ALL TIMES, not just when
something long is expected.

As with many interface usability problems, the two key factors are
Obviousness and User Expectation.

///Peter




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