Enable the hardware certification framework to test desktop images via Ubiquity preseeding.


Desktop images should be tested on a daily basis so that regressions can be detected as early as possible. Desktop images are the most common use case by far for installing Ubuntu. They are the most downloaded, distributed by shipit and commonly used by vendors.

User stories

  • Test preseed functionality in Ubiquity to get daily testing of desktop images
  • Kubuntu images can also be tested via preseeding as this does not involve ATK


This specification assumes that it is actually possible to install desktop images over the network. It is already known that there is NFS support in capser to mount the image over the network. However, since this code path doesn't get exercised much, this will need to be confirmed.


There should be little design implications to add support for testing desktop images. The hardware certification framework already supports the concept of testing alternate images, so desktop images should map quite closely to the existing design.


Most of the work will consist of extending the current implementation to support testing desktop images within the constraints of the current design.

First, this will consist of extending the satellite servers to accept messages requesting to specifically test desktop images. The services on the server should then be configured so that the images can be booted and installed over the network. The most significant difference with the current implementation is that this will require configuring NFS. The other services such as dhcp, tftp, and even rebooting the systems should remain essentially the same.

Second, the image prober on the hardware certification website currently only filters alternate and desktop images. This should be extended to include desktop images which should be trivial. Then, another message type will have to be created for the activity queue in order to support testing desktop images.

UI Changes

The only noticeable user interface changes should be limited to the hardware certification website where current images are displayed. Once this specification is implemented, the desktop images should appear in addition to the current images.

Code Changes

The most significant code changes will affect the satellite server. First, a plugin should be created to accept message types from the activity queue relating to testing desktop images. Second, another plugin should be created for configuring the NFS server to provide access to the desktop images.

As far as the hardware certification website, the changes should be rather trivial. First, changing the image prober to include desktop images. Second, adding a new message type for desktop images.

There might be other changes necessary, most likely on the satellite server. More exploration will be needed in order to evaluate the complete set of requirements in order for the desktop images to be installed over the network.

Test/Demo Plan

Once the implementation is completed, we should see test results for desktop images automatically appear on the current /builds page from the hardware certification website.

Unresolved issues

As of writing this specification, it is still not clear how to preseed casper when performing a network installation of desktop images. Ideally, this should not require changing the image itself.

Future work

  • Test interactive install interface
  • Publish results to the open results tracker



QATeam/Specs/InstallFromLiveCDImages (last edited 2009-06-08 15:27:09 by cpc4-oxfd8-0-0-cust39)