Drive icons on desktop

Puppy 4.1alpha1 has drive icons in the JWM tray. The main problem with that is it is restricted to JWM. There are other window managers and trays that we can use in Puppy, such as OpenBox window manager and Lxpanel tray -- that is a very nice combo. We may have to move from JWM if its bugs are not fixed.

So, I have moved the icons onto the ROX-Filer desktop, similar to HotPup. My current implementation does not have all the bells and whistles of HotPup, and also has some conceptual differences. There is no common base of code.

Here is a snapshot:

My system, well, to give it a name, it's part of pup_event, only displays an icon for an entire drive, not for individual partitions. If any partition in a drive is mounted, a big "MNTD" is displayed on the icon -- so you know at a glance if a drive can be unplugged or not.
So far pup_event only displays icons for removable drives/memory on the desktop, though that could be extended to the internal drive(s). Also, the icons are currently limited to running along from left to right just above the tray.

I have updated these web pages with the latest developments for pup_event:

Those pages refer to having a choice between having the drive icons appear in the tray or on the desktop, however the desktop implementation is superior and I may drop the JWM tray option.

Note, I have put the utility 'xwininfo' into Puppy4. This is part of Xorg and it is in earlier puppies I think, but did not make it into 4.00. It's handy for determining screen resolution -- simpler than using xrandr.

Posted on 31 May 2008, 16:42


Posted on 31 May 2008, 20:00 by kirk
Drive mounting
If pup_eventd could update fstab, then Rox could handle the mounting and unmounting of non-removable drives (actually removable too), which is does very nicely. Then you could just put a folder on the desktop labeled storage or drives or something, that contain the mount points.

Posted on 31 May 2008, 22:19 by nfisher
Re: Drive mounting
I'd like to second what kirk just said about updating fstab. It is how I had planned to implement something similar in Grafpup because it also allows me to let non-priviledged users access removable media. Also, the code becomes simpler in my opinion if fstab is used.

I have also the beginnings of an fstab manager which allows the user to specify any drives they wish to auto-mount at bootup, which is something that has been missing in Puppy for some time IMHO. The concept could be expanded somewhat to allow more controls, and still be less complex than Pmount.

Posted on 31 May 2008, 24:11 by dogone
Drive mounting
I also like the fstab approach. The fewer wheels re-invented the better. As to a GUI, I employ both hotpup and pmount in 4.0 depending on which is easier to access (maximize a window and hotpup is not). And as for representing devices, "MNTD" and like text looks too much like a device label ("sdc1", etc.). Perhaps just a diagonal line through the icon. Lastly, Puppy's desktop in getting rather cluttered. We need to watch that too.

Posted on 31 May 2008, 24:46 by dogine
Drive mounting
Other thoughts. For safety's sake, I often unmount sensitive internal or external device partitions when not in use. I therefore have to check carefully for still-mounted parts before pulling an external device. How best can Puppy help. Very large, multi-part external storage devices are certainly becoming more common (and users less patient).

Posted on 1 Jun 2008, 18:19 by BarryK
Re: unplugging a drive
The new system makes that super easy. If the drive icon has the "MNTD" text on it, then one more or partitions are mounted. You can see at-a-glance whether a drive can be unplugged or not.

If a drive has one residual partition that cannot be unmounted as it is in use by Puppy, then you will get the yellow "MNTD". If you mount more partitions on that drive, "MNTD" turns green. So the principle still works -- it is still telling you that there are partitions you should unmount, when green, and the yellow text tells you that you should not unplug it at all.

It is extremely simple to use, and I predict will be very popular with newcomers. The code is also very small, efficient and highly integrated into pup_eventd.

Posted on 1 Jun 2008, 21:02 by nic2109
Mounted drives
If a window has been maximised then they will be invisible until the window has been hidden. This is no great hardship but makes the mounted drive(s) information easy to forget about and overlook.

How about a single task-bar icon that is present when any drives have been manually mounted which will be visible even when the desktop details are hidden? This would serve as a warning and prompt.

Posted on 1 Jun 2008, 22:37 by dogone
Mounted drives
nic2109 has a point. How about presenting drive icons in a window rather than on the desktop. The window:

- appears on top when a new device is detected
- appears on top when one clicks a related tray icon
- can be managed like any window and tweaked via Event Manager options

Posted on 1 Jun 2008, 23:17 by BarryK
Pmount pops up
The Event manager GUI has a setting for Pmount to pop up if there is an event. It's either on or off, and when on Pmount will pop up whenever a pluggable block device is inserted or removed. I found that a bit annoying, so turned it off by default, but perhaps that can be finetuned somewhat, for example to only popup when a drive is inserted.
Well, try out 4.1alpha2 and test it, see what you think needs to be improved.