Device Identification in Dolphin

I find that in Dolphin in the “Places” panel the identification of devices is sort of abrupt. The Windows devices are identified but the Linux partitions are identified as either “Primary” or “xx GiB Hard Drive”. It creates a problem if one has same sized partitions. Is there an option to indicate the HDD on which the partition is, say something like sdb2 or sdc5?


I assume that the KDE developers think that expressions like sdc5 are not very clear to the desktop end-user (they are more for the system manager). Thus they try to give a more explanatory indication that might trigger recognition for the end-user.

I am not sure (I never use Places in Dolphin, IMHO it is something that shouldn’t be there at all, it is the Windows way of thinking), but it could be that when you give the file systems Labels, then Dolphin shows them. Which would possibly mean a lot to the end-user.

Yes, it does. Which is very usefull.:wink:

That sounds humorous!

Regarding giving file system labels, how to do that? The labels assigned to partitions are from a select menu in the partitioner itself. I have a separate HDD for Linux where I keep lets say latest two versions of Leap. And since the passwords are common, data can be accessed from either installation. Now if each partition can be quickly identified some ease of working is achieved.


Isn’t this answering your own question?

And there are CLI commands for the several file systems, like for ext/2/3/4

tune2fs -L ......


e2label .....

and for xfs

xfs_admin -L ........

and for btrfs

btrfs filesystem label .........

and more I guess.

But it is of course most easy to use YaST partitioner, because it knows of all these different ways to do it and hides the gory details from the GUI user.

Yes, I would prefer to use the YAST Partitioner. However though a column for labels exists in the table, there is no place for input in that field. Neither under the Edit menu nor when Adding a new partition. The selection menu I referred to is for “Type of Partition”. The labels assigned in Windows are of course shown.


Your description is a bit vague :(. And we are not talking about Parrtition types. We are talking about Volume labels (at least that is what my post above says).

When I do
Yast > System > Partitioner, I get a list of mass-storage devices and their partitions.
When I then “double click” on a partition, a new screen is opened which has at the right a button Fstab Options. When I click that a window pops up which has amongst othet things a field Volumjelabel. I can type there more or less what I want (don’t make it too long and stay with simpleASCII, no spaces, etc.).

Guilty of not examining carefully the fstab options. It remains disabled till the option to mount the partition is clicked. I had opened it a long time back (version 11 probably) and it stuck in my mind that it had to only do with mounting the partition and as UUID option was fine did not give the menu much attention. By the way does fstab mean file system tab?

And THANKS for the guidance.


Nice you now got it.:slight_smile:

Please try to see the difference between the “container” (the partition, whole disk, Logical Volume, RAID device, …) and that what is inside it (file system, swap space, Physical Volume, raw disk space, …).

I know that many people are very sloppy in using expressions like “mounting a partition”, but try to do it correct “mounting a file system”. This for your own better understanding and maybe others can learn from it too. I know that in order to mount the file system (the contents) you have to mention the container, but you still mount the file system.

Even the openSUSE installer (partition part) is guilty of doing it wrong. It talks about “mounting of a swap partition” where it should talk of “using a partition for swap”.

And when you re-read my post #2 above, you will see that it not only looks a bit humourous (but I mean a very serious undertone), but that it also says “… when you give the file systems Labels”. The File Systems, NOT the Partitions!

I guess fstab means “file system table” as you suggested. But most of these names do already exist since the beginning of Unix in the 1970s and it is not always easy to reconstruct their way of creation. Keep in mind that in those days there was only the CLI (which wasn’t of course named the CLI) and that you had to type on the Teletype (TTY) which required a considerable amount of hammering with the fingers. Thus typing less characters was then much more user friendly then it is now (short commands, even umount instead of unmount, were prefrerred). The same for output. At speeds of ~10 chars/second short outputs (the infamous ununderstandable error messages) were the result and we still have to live with many of them.

We do have to live with our “inheritance” like the QWERTY keyboard! Some expressions do tend to confuse. As you say it may be more correct to use “file system” instead of “partition” when speaking of mounting and unmounting. But the term “file system” is understood by many as selection between XFS, NTFS, btrfs etc. And one could have several partitions using the same system e.g. NTFS or XFS. Now since a partition can contain only one “system”, instead of saying mounting a “file system on a particular partition” its shortened to “a particular partition”. And of course English is not one language :). Most users today have a different first language and slants from that (language) creep into their expressions.

Importantly, as I found, the best time to label a “file system on a partition” is when creating it. Especially the “/ and /home” as one cannot safely make changes when mounted.

Thanks for the patience and help.


Now you are confusing “file system” with “file system type”.

You can have many file systems. They can be of different or the same type.

And you can mount the file systems on directories (a directory used as such is called a mount point) in the one and only directory tree that is the organisation of mass-storage on a Unix/Linux system.

Saying “I have a xfs /home” is very short for “I have a file system of type xfs that I (intend to) have mounted on the /home directory of the system I am just talking about”. There is always a lot of assuming included in those short expressions. Often the assumptions the other partner(s) in the conversation has/have to make are correct. But then as often they are wrong, leading to much confusion and misunderstanding.

Agree, making out exactly what another person means could be quite tricky. And short-forms with acronyms do not help either.


Look again. I have done it in there many, many times. When you choose a partition and choose to Edit it, you click on Fstab Options, in there you can choose to mount by Volume Label, at which point it allows you to enter a Volume Label.