Xfce USB Format

Florian Rivoal frivoal at gmail.com
Mon Jan 17 16:46:16 CET 2011

>> I don't think that a 'Format...' c-menu item is good in a file
>> manager, since it's not its job. Personally I wouldn't want one (by
>> default) in Thunar. If you want to format a device, use a Partition
>> Manager. ;)
> I understand. Just occurred to me that, as it has the possibility Thunar  
> Send to a USB memory, the same function could have it but to format ..

Even though I personally do it from the command line, I agree that thunar  
is a fairly good place to format drives, from a discoverability point of  

Most computer users, even semi advanced ones, are somewhat confused when  
it comes to partitions, if they have even heard of such of things. Most of  
those who are not confused are (rightfully) scared to break something. I  
wouldn't be surprised if it was a small minority, even among linux users,  
who are comfortable with using a partition manager.

On the other hand, formatting a removable drive, be it a floppy, an  
sd-card, or a usb key, is something most people are familiar with. Even  
pocket cameras format sdcard, and people are fine with that.

As far as most people care, thunar's side pane is the only drive manager  
they (need to) know about, because that's where removable drives pop up  
when you plug them in, and that's where you click the eject button. I  
think that having an format entry in the context menu of removable drives  
would be a good thing. It should be simple, as indeed, if you want to do  
anything advance, the command line or a partition manager is what you  
should use.

What I have in mind is a "Format..." context menu entry on removable (only  
removable) drives, which when clicked, would propose two choices:
  - Format for interoperability with other OS (fat32)
  - Format for reliability, (whatever journaling or softupdate filesystem  
is mainstream on the os used)

with the first one checked by default. After picking one, the user clicks  
Format, we display a warning about everything being destroyed, and then  

I think this much would be useful and appropriate to have that as a Thunar  

I'd try to write it if I had some more free time, but I already have  
plenty to do with panel plugins, and I should finish that before starting  
on other things.

  - Florian

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