Thursday, June 3, 2010

When Nautilus is wrong , the confusion of GiB and GB !


Today I tried to burn a folder on my computer , which Nautilus said it is 4.5 GB and strangely it wouldn't fit on a 4.7 GB blank DVD-R !

Using another file manger , I found out my actual folder size is 4.5 GiB which is equal to 4.83 GB , and I was convinced that it wouldn't fit on a 4.7 GB blank DVD .

it seems that Nautilus the File manager of Ubuntu doesn't care about difference of GB and GiB .

so whats the difference of GB , and GiB ?

Giga in math means 1 billion . we all know digital world is binary , and computers work by binary numbers, while the humans use decimal numbers.
GB =Decimal Giga Byte = one billion bytes
GiB=Binary Giga Byte = 2^20 billion bytes

The capacity of storage devices [for i.e blank dvd , or hard disk] are measured in Decimal GB .
probably because it is meant to be read by a humans .
for instance , you buy a 300 GB hard disk which literally means 300 hundred billion bytes . [but for the binary world of computers it is actually 2^20*300= 279 GiB]
therefore a 4.7 GB DVD-ROM is actualy 4.3772 GiB for a computer .

IEC Standard :
"MiB [Meby Byte] GiB (Geby Byte) is a standard that was defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in December 1998 to solve the confusion of Decimal and Binary Giga Byte." (src : wikipedia)

Nautilus is not following the IEC Standard but KDE applications are already using IEC standard . Hi5 to KDE fans ;)

I submitted a Bug in Launchpad .

+ P.S :Here is online convertor to calculate GiB and GB .
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