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## page was renamed from server-pre-installation


We should look at the current installation design and remove any questions we can, add anything that we think is missing and have a firm grasp on our overall status.

  • Compare our installation to the current ones by Red Hat and Novell SUSE (Microsoft Windows?)
  • Examine whether our installation meets the common use cases (means specifying them in a specification)
  • Change the installation to meet anything that we are currently missing or over-complicating

Release Note


We know that the speed and simplicity of the installation process is key to providing a "Just Works" experience. We want to offer the best default configuration we can, and offer the ability to set up optional pieces (tasks), so we must balance these two areas. We firmly do not want a second stage after the installer has run. We should look at the current installation design and remove any questions we can, add anything that we think is missing and have a firm grasp on our overall status.

Use Cases


A number of specific changes were identified to streamline the installation process.

Reducing number of questions

Default the keyboard detection question to "no": if you inadvertently hit "yes" (the current default), you have to go through dozens of key presses. [done, console-setup 1.28ubuntu2]

Try to auto-detect the proxy details (remove question if not needed) (bug 209691). APT's timeout is rather long, and inconvenient in environments where a proxy is required.

We may try to auto-detect the timezone, although this is low-priority.

Partman problems

LVM and root, var, home on a different position, is too complicated. Don't know where you are, cannot see visually what you are doing.

On LVM, just use 20G instead of all the space, so you can add LVs?

Sane LVM configuration by default. Defined max size for root, but not more, leave the rest of the disk free for additional partitions. Percentage up to a certain size.
Want to be able to edit automatic configurations like applied templates.

  • Evan to see if this is feasible within the constraints of d-i/partman.

                      4 G                    20 G
       | All for root  | 4 GB + 20% for root  | Free  |
| Boot |                  LVM                         |

Miscellaneous changes

We will allow manual package selection, probably by fixing tasksel's "manual package selection" option (currently deactivated in Ubuntu) to work when tasksel is being run under cdebconf. This will probably require a cdebconf plugin in order to wrest control of the console from newt.

We will implement a facility for help text in the installer. This will require a debconf protocol modification (or at least a cdebconf plugin), and will need to be proposed upstream in Debian.

  • Check password strength
    • cracklib vs pam
    • Kees and Colin should discuss
  • GTK front-end for d-i


UI Changes

Code Changes

Test/Demo Plan

Unresolved issues

BoF agenda and discussion

Default keyboard selection to selection via a list rather than detection using typing letters. Want to be able to do a tree selection in tasksel, but that's not possible.

Proposal for 9.04

See also:

Possible idea to consider separately: better tools (web based) to generate preseed / kickstart files.

Can we use ubiquity?

  • serial port support
  • preseeding?
  • easier beautification?
  • no LVM or RAID support
  • Jaunty+1 at the *earliest*
  • Evan thinks it's feasible, but Colin would know if there's any reason why we absolutely cannot.
    • Would need LVM support, RAID support, etc.
    • Would need to fall back to d-i if we cannot start a graphical session. We don't want a text frontend to ubiquity because that would create unnecessary layers.
  • Surely the core problems are that Ubiquity has absolutely no idea how to install a system by building it up from .deb packages, but only by copying a live filesystem; and that Ubiquity requires a live filesystem with an Ubuntu desktop in order to work, which is unlikely to fit on the server CD. --ColinWatson


ServerPreInstallation (last edited 2009-02-19 16:01:08 by 82-69-40-219)