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-   -   is there a Frontend/Gui for dd? (

browny_amiga 07-18-2003 08:10 AM

is there a Frontend/Gui for dd?
I searched but found none. Is there a gui for that marvelous program dd?
I know, it's pretty simple in the CLI, but still would like to have a gui, to show to people not versed in CLI.
Does it exist or is this my chance to write a frontend?
(as in: Usualy everything exists already somewhere and there is not need/opportunity to code)

mad_ady 07-18-2003 09:50 AM

If you write a frontend for dd, I'd like to use it too! :)
Sometimes I forget all the options from dd, soit would come in handy! :)

browny_amiga 07-18-2003 09:57 AM

Oh my, you don't know what a lousy programmer I am. I don't know jack about Linux programming, so we might all get beards (exept the ladies here) till I have it finished.

Well, if we going to wait that long, let's make a wishlist of features that it should have.

one of me:
Have a pull down menu for /dev/fd0 /dev/cdrom etc. in the input box (infile)

Hmm, that is the only feature I can think of right now.
It should have input boxes for infile and outfile and a go button.
what else?

whansard 07-18-2003 10:10 AM

your best bet might be taking a program that uses
lame, the mp3 encoder, and alter it to use dd. just
don't test it as root, cause dd is short for "d*&m dangerous"

acid_kewpie 07-18-2003 10:13 AM

if they're scared of a command line what are they doing messing around with somethign like dd in the first palce? i seriosuly can't see how a frontend would be of any use at all...

whansard 07-18-2003 10:33 AM

how about a voice controlled frontend for dd that
always runs as root, and the default output is of=/dev/hda.

that way people that can't type or use a mouse can use
the power of dd.

browny_amiga 07-18-2003 10:34 AM

Well, I do know (from my own experience) that forcing people to HAVE to use the commandline is putting them off. So making a frontend for dd, well, would make it more sympathetic for them.
Of course, as you say, dd is a powerful (and dangrous) tool. You have to know what you are doing anyway. I am not trying to provide "a glove for somebody to pull the triger on the gun, because that person does not like to touch the trigger with the fingers directly"
I am just doing this for myself, because I want to see how windowing environments are programmed (or better how to programm in one) I could not get myself to do it in windows (YUCK), but in linux I really would like to.
And so far, I could not find ANYTHING that has not been done before, depriving me of the necessity to do it (instead of looking some and then downloading). Also: This project is sooo simple, I might even finish it ;-)
Thing is, that I had once a floppy image writer/reader on windows and when I heard what dd can do, I was amazed at the simplicity and power of it, especially because it is included in linux and not in windows (had to look for it big time). So I guess I am trying to replicate the whole thing in linux, combined with some gtk coding and C learning. I doubt that it will ever be big/good enough to be released to the linux world, but let's see...
I don't NEED the tool, I can use dd in the commandline with no probls... Just want the "nice to have"

whansard 07-18-2003 10:51 AM

you can use dd in windows. get the cygwin package.
you can even use cdrecord in windows. i've burned
many cd's that way. bash and cdrecord under windows
2000, because thats where i was.
the reason dd is so powerful is because of the devices.
most of what people use dd for can be done with cat.
well, lots of it anyway. anyway, it's the devices that make
the stuff work.
in windows, most of the stuff you would do with dd
would be done with a hex editor, like norton diskedit.

edit. just found this.
for windows.

mad_ady 07-19-2003 12:35 AM

browny_amiga, I have little experience with programming in QT, but I think I can do a frontend for dd... Now, if somebody would use it, I would be might happy!
Post things that you want to see in the frontend, and i will start working on it maybe as soon as next week! :)
I estimate that I could release the first version early this autumn... :)

whansard 07-19-2003 02:02 AM

how about some specific functions commonly done
with dd,where you see the command, but don't have
to type it, like.
back up boot sector or partition table of certain drive to
certain file. copy drive to drive. encrypt file. write zeros
to drive. write zeros to boot sector. write random to drive
9 times over to foil recovery attempts. create iso cdrom
image. burn cdrom image. burn cdrom on fly using
cdrecord. create floppy disk image. write floppy disk
save recent commands.
perhaps novice and expert or safe and dangerous
maybe even adding a boot sector file to winnt boot.ini
creating the bootsector image, and writing the entry
to the file.

mad_ady 07-19-2003 01:58 PM

Yes, that would sound great... How about e-mailing me the correct commands and I'll start building! :)

I'd try to find them myself, but I'm afraid I'll screw up! :)

browny_amiga 07-21-2003 04:37 AM

That's great. These suggestions pretty much hit what this tool needs to do. I don't know the exact command line for it, but I am sure somebody can provide them.

Expert modes I guess we can forget. There needs to be a disclaimer, that "xdd" is a powerful programm. It's improper use can bomb your harddisk (100% sure non-recoverable), bomb your floppies, bomb your OS, bomb your MBR. If you don't know what dd does or you are unsure why you are using this tool, better don't. You might loose your data and a lot of hair with it."

acid_kewpie 07-21-2003 04:39 AM

if you're doing things like this to automate procedures then remember you'll also benefit imensly from automatically detecting partition types, device types, filesystem formats and the likes... check for available space before copying yada yada yada.

whansard 07-21-2003 05:42 AM

dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/filldrive.tmp bs=1M
rm /tmp/filldrive.tmp
1 problem is tha tcould crash programs if a program
needed space to write. i picked 1M because i hoped
that would leave a little some space after writing the
file for a little temp space.
replace with /dev/random for random data.
i guess make a for loop for 9 or 10 times.

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/iso.image
let the person pick the device and the image name.

mad_ady 07-22-2003 03:01 AM

OK guys! This sounds good! How about opening a project on
Does anyone volunteer to be team captain? Or do I have to do it? :)

I have worked a bit with QT, but I am not a master of it... I know its relatively easy to bind commands to the buttons, but I NEED THE RIGHT COMMANDS.
So, if a dd guru would be so kind to post a list of commands that do what whansard suggested (and more!).
I also think it's a good idea to put a button that would show the final command (with parameters and all) and allow the user to 'tweak' it before proceding!

All those of you who would like to take part in this project (and maybe program some parts of it) please post a reply here!
We can make a team project on sourceforge and work together!

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