Best Disk Partition Managers for Linux

Posted by jun auza On 4/27/2012
Back in the olden days when installing Linux was painfully tedious, disk management and partitioning was an area even the tech experts refused to venture into. The reason for this reticence was the fact that partitioning, as opposed to most of the other administrative tasks, was the riskiest of them all. If you make one mistake in typing a command, you’d risk losing all your data, thus leaving you in the lurch.

Thankfully though, as time progressed, Linux became more GUI-friendly, and more and more tools started popping up, thus giving new users a chance to tweak disks to their liking. Also, with the advent of tools like Palimpsest, users started feeling more confident while making major changes to their hard drive, all thanks to the user-friendly GUIs these tools offered. Now, Linux has more than half a dozen of such tools that help users partition and manage their disk, and also, help them with multi-booting, bootloader management, and other tasks.

So, if you’re looking to tweak or manage your disks, here’s a collection of the best disk management tools out there for Linux:


GNU Parted

GNU Parted is a free tool used to create, destroy, check, and copy partitions. It has a command-line front-end called parted and forms the base for the undermentioned programs like GParted and KDE Partition Manager.



Palimpsest Disk Utility

Palimpsest is a disk utility used for S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, benchmarking, partitioning, and software RAID. It is the default partition manager for Fedora and Ubuntu along with many other distributions. The application comes with a very simple user interface, along with some important data about the hard drive. For example, Palimpsest shows warnings if a partition is misaligned or if the disk is unhealthy, thus prompting users and admins to make important fixes to their system. Apart from formatting, ejecting, and deleting a partition, Palimpsest can also help users benchmark their disks and run various self-tests to analyze disk health. On Ubuntu, Palimpsest can be accessed by opening the launcher and typing in ‘disk utility’ without the quotes.



KDE Partition Manager

Based on the aforementioned parted tool, KDE Partition Manager is KDE-based tool for creating, deleting, resizing, moving, checking, and copying partitions and file systems. Written in C++ and designed using the Qt GUI toolkit, KDE Partition Manager was first seen when KDE 4.1 was released. Though not much different from GParted underneath, the UI blends in perfectly with the K desktop and differs quite a lot from other partitioning tools. In fact, it looks more like the disk management tool on Windows system, except that there’s a space for viewing the application and the live progress log.



GParted

GParted is the GUI version of the aforesaid parted tool. It helps users create, delete, resize, move, check, and copy partitions and filesystems. The application is more useful for creating dual boot systems (for example creating space for a Windows 7 installation), reorganizing disk usage, and mirroring a hard disk.


GParted's user interface is quite simple and easy to use. The top bar shows the disk space of the partition and the bottom part of the page lists all the partitions that are available on that disk. Written in C++, GParted, in my opinion, has the simplest UI on the list, and, even when compared to the mighty Palimpsest, it still comes out as the strongest. Apart from plain partitioning, the free tool can also be used for manipulating a lot of different file systems from Btrfs to FAT16. Though GParted comes with a really simple user interface, it loses out to Palimpsest as the latter comes with a lot more features (like S.M.A.R.T. tools and more) and is also a more powerful tool for benchmarking.


You may also check out: Linux-based Hard Drive Data Recovery Tools

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