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Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

Dear developers,

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the number of images we ship for
Ubuntu, and to make the desktop image more useful in a variety of scenarios,
Dmitrijs Ledkovs has been hard at work in quantal adding support for LVM,
cryptsetup, and RAID to ubiquity.

The good news is that this means today we already have support in ubiquity
for cryptsetup and LVM in the guided partitioner, with manual partitioning
support soon to follow. The somewhat bad news is that we will not have
support for RAID setup in ubiquity this cycle.

I would like to propose that, in spite of not reaching 100% feature parity,
we drop the Ubuntu alternate installer for 12.10 anyway.

The arguments that I see in favor of this are:

- RAID is relatively straightforward to turn on post-install. You install
to one disk, boot to the system, assemble a degraded RAID with the other
disks, copy your data, reboot to the degraded RAID, and finally merge
your install disk into the array. It's not quick, but it's *possible*.
- Desktop installs on RAID will still be supported by other paths: using
either netboot or server CDs and installing the desktop task.
- RAID on the desktop really is a minority use case. Laptops almost never
have room for more than one hard drive; desktops can but are rarely
equipped with them. So the set of affected users is very small. Some
rough analysis of bug data in launchpad suggests a very liberal upper
bound of .8% of desktop users.
- RAID on the desktop correlates with conservatism in other areas: we can
probably continue to recommend 12.04 instead of 12.10 for the affected
users.
- It lets us tighten our focus on making the desktop CD shine: fewer images
to QA, fewer different paths to get right (like the CD apt upgrader case)
means more time to focus on the things that matter.

So my opinion is that we should drop the Ubuntu alternate CDs with Beta 1.
Other flavors are free to continue building alternate CDs (i.e.,
"debian-installer" CDs) according to their preference, but we would drop
them for Ubuntu and direct users to one of the above-mentioned alternatives
if they care about RAID on desktop installs.

Please note one implication here that, with the possibility of not having
i386 server CDs for 12.10, the only install option for an i386 user wanting
RAID on a desktop would be to install via netboot or with the mini ISO.

Do any of you see reasons for not making this change, and dropping the
alternate CDs? Are there shortcomings to the proposed fallback solutions
that we haven't identified here?

Thanks,

Comments

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Gunnar Hjalmarsson at 10/09/2012 - 13:36

On 2012-08-27 23:50, Steve Langasek wrote:
Is the desktop CD safe enough now? I ask because I experienced serious
problems on my multi partitioned disk, and the alternate CD became a
rescuer.

<a href="https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/770091" title="https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/770091">https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/770091</a>

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Gunnar Hjalmarsson at 10/12/2012 - 10:39

Gunnar Hjalmarsson
Yesterday I used several desktop CDs to install in new partitions
alongside existing ones, and there were no problems of the kind
described in the linked bug. Therefore I closed the bug.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By =?ISO-8859-1?Q?... at 09/04/2012 - 19:39

I think dropping the alternate CD would be a serious mistake. There are
many of us who depends on installing via this CD for various reasons,
like boot issues, Video card problems, CLI only installs etc.

Few people read this mail list, and i think there would be a lot more
protests if more people know about it. Chances are there will be a
back-lash when 12.10 is released without the alternate CD. How many
users are you willing to loose over this?

Regards,
Mikael Ström

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Colin Watson at 09/13/2012 - 08:25

On Wed, Sep 05, 2012 at 07:39:14AM +0800, Mikael Ström wrote:
Are you aware that it's possible to use the netboot mini.iso for largely
the same use cases (it does help to have a local mirror if you're doing
lots of installs, but if you're just doing one then the cost of
downloading the image vs. doing the netboot install is basically
equivalent)?

<a href="http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/" title="http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/">http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/netboot/</a>

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By cariboo907 at 09/13/2012 - 10:27

On 12-09-13 05:25 AM, Colin Watson wrote:
The netboot iso needs wireless device firmware to make it usable by all
users. There are now laptops being sold without an ethernet connector.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 09/25/2012 - 21:34

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 07:27:30AM -0700, cariboo907 wrote:
This is a fixable bug. If there is firmware not included in the mini iso
that you need in order for it to be usable on a particular machine, please
file a bug report against the debian-installer package in launchpad.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Ma Xiaojun at 09/26/2012 - 17:37

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM, Steve Langasek
<steve. ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
WTF?
I do report bugs to Launchpad but I never expect any of them would be
fixed in a reasonable time.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Colin Watson at 09/28/2012 - 06:12

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 06:34:30PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
Absolutely.

Actually, if you could file it against linux-firmware, that would save me
reassigning it.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Paul Smith at 09/14/2012 - 12:10

It may behoove us to be concerned over being able to download and verify
the entirety of the packages that are not included in the mini ISO and
provide the ability to perform a command line install on one cd. I know
that we do not currently offer the ability to order a hard copy of the
alternate cd. However, there are other online vendors who do, which means
at present there is an existing way to order a *verified* *hard copy* via
mail.

Are we considering the difference between debsums on an installed system
vs. md5sum of a disc? Also, where would I re-emphasize that we currently
have no gpg verification for any of our images despite it's adoption by our
competitors?

P.S.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 09/25/2012 - 21:45

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 04:10:24PM +0000, Paul Smith wrote:
I don't know what you mean by "verified" here. Neither Canonical nor the
Ubuntu project offer any guarantees of the legitimacy of such third-party
CDs.

All Ubuntu images are accompanied on the download mirrors by GPG-signed
checksum files.

<a href="http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS" title="http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS">http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS</a>
<a href="http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS.gpg" title="http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS.gpg">http://releases.ubuntu.com/12.04/SHA256SUMS.gpg</a>

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Paul Smith at 09/28/2012 - 20:25

Hey Steve,

I wouldn't expect that of them. I meant GPG key verification in general.
Thanks for clarifying. On other distros
that documentation is alongside the download and I just missed it.
I'll research more thoroughly in the future.

For anyone else:
<a href="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM" title="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM">https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowToMD5SUM</a>
vs.
<a href="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VerifyIsoHowto" title="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VerifyIsoHowto">https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VerifyIsoHowto</a>

Best,
P.S.

On 09/25/2012 09:45 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Oliver Grawert at 10/01/2012 - 04:33

hi,
Am Freitag, den 28.09.2012, 20:25 -0400 schrieb Paul Smith:
ciao
oli

[1] <a href="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto" title="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto">https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto</a>

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Colin Law at 10/01/2012 - 04:57

On 1 October 2012 09:33, Oliver Grawert < ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
But if one knows how to burn an iso then one is not going to look
there. Verifying the sum is not part of the operation of burning the
iso. Most users (I guess) will start the download from [2] where
there is no mention of md5sums, and does not appear to link to [1]
either.
I submitted a bug on this a year ago but it has not received any
attention [3]. Perhaps it is not considered necessary to verify the
sum.

[1] <a href="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto" title="https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto">https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto</a>
[2] <a href="http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop" title="http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop">http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop</a>
[3] <a href="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-website/+bug/873462" title="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-website/+bug/873462">https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-website/+bug/873462</a>

Colin

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Aigars Mahinovs at 08/30/2012 - 08:43

On 28 August 2012 00:50, Steve Langasek <steve. ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
I objected to this before (as a person maintaining desktop Linux
policy in a large corporate deployment, that mandates full-disk
encryption), and now I can say that with the implementation of
cryptsetup support in ubiquity my concerns are fully addressed and I
no longer have any objections to dropping the alternate CD.

This is great news :)

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Andrea Grandi at 08/28/2012 - 00:01

Hi,

On 28 August 2012 00:50, Steve Langasek <steve. ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
for the sake of any god, please do NOT do it!

For two valid reasons:

1) you can't imagine how many time the alternate installer saved my,
when ubiquity wasn't able to boot on some computer.
2) You need it to setup RAID and I don't want to risk to mess my data
assembling a degraded RAID or something like that.

If you want to give me a valid reason not to use Ubuntu anymore on my
desktop, please feel free to remove the alternate install iso.

Regards,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/29/2012 - 05:04

On 28 August 2012 05:01, <a href="mailto:a. ... at gmail dot com">a. ... at gmail dot com</a> <a. ... at gmail dot com> wrote:
For the above to reasons you can use:

* mini or netinst or server images

Which are "Alternative Installer" without packages, the latest
versions will be retrieved over the network.

Are you doing installs where there is (i) no network available and
(ii) no local mirror available?

Regards,

Dmitrijs.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Andrea Grandi at 08/29/2012 - 05:49

Hi,

On 29 August 2012 12:04, Dmitrijs Ledkovs <dmitrij. ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
yes, sometimes network is not available or we have a slow DSL
connection (2 Mbit).
We also have to make many installs. It's already a big work to
download all updates, but if we had to download all packages due to a
netinstall it would be even more hard.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 08/29/2012 - 15:11

Hi Andrea,

Thanks for the feedback.

We all understand that there are valid use cases that will not be addressed
as well in 12.10 without alternate CDs. But there is a real cost to
developing, QAing, and releasing these images; we don't get them for free,
and we need to ask ourselves whether, by continuing to maintain them, we're
missing out on opportunities to spend the time doing other things better.

For a long time, the team has already intended to drop the Ubuntu alternate
images once ubiquity's disk support was complete; and the Kubuntu developers
have indicated that they are thinking along this same line. The only
difference now is that I'm proposing we drop the alternate CDs while disk
support is one step short of "complete".

So we want to gather as much information as we can about how users are using
the alternate CD today and make sure we are directing users to suitable
replacements - or if there really is no suitable replacement, consider
whether those missing features are a sufficient reason to keep the alternate
CDs around. But RAID support alone is not likely to be sufficient reason,
given the range of fallback solutions I already mentioned.

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 07:01:59AM +0300, <a href="mailto:a. ... at gmail dot com">a. ... at gmail dot com</a> wrote:
If there are cases where the alternate CD boots and the desktop CD doesn't,
those are bugs that it's important to fix. Users should get a good
experience when they download the CD that they're pointed at on the
ubuntu.com website; having the CD fail to boot and then be pointed to
download a *second* CD is not a good experience. Nor is it a good
experience if they're handed a pre-pressed Ubuntu desktop CD and it fails to
boot.

If removing the crutch of the alternate CD causes users to actually *report*
the issues they're having with the desktop CD (because, btw, I'm not aware
of any outstanding reports that the desktop CD is not bootable), then that's
a *good* thing. And if there are bugs with booting the desktop CD, then
some of the developer time saved by not maintaining the alternate CDs can be
used to make sure those bugs get fixed.

Sorry, but I don't find this persuasive. First of all because there are
other ways to do the install that don't require you to assemble a degraded
RAID, if that's your concern; second, because when properly assembled, a
degraded RAID is no more dangerous than a non-RAID install; and third,
because at install time there's no data at risk because it's a fresh
install. So aside from the fact that all the other options for installing
RAID on a desktop are a little more cumbersome than the alternate CD, which
is already known, this really comes down to personal preference.

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:49:27PM +0300, <a href="mailto:a. ... at gmail dot com">a. ... at gmail dot com</a> wrote:
If you're doing a large number of installs, then you should consider setting
up a local mirror (or caching apt proxy) and using preseeding. This is
already best practice for large site installs, whether using alternate or
desktop CDs or netbooting.

Hope that helps,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Doug McMahon at 08/27/2012 - 22:18

On 08/27/2012 05:50 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:
Maybe this is a well known issue & expected to be resolved, if not then
removing the alt. installer will prevent many from installing the beta
or thereabouts if not fixed in the near future.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 08/29/2012 - 15:29

Hi Doug,

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 10:18:36PM -0400, Doug McMahon wrote:
The purpose of the alternate CD is to install an Ubuntu desktop. If the
desktop is not usable for you, then what purpose does it serve to use the
alternate CD instead of the desktop CD? You're then only testing the
alternate installer itself, which we want to discontinue anyway. So it
would be better to get rid of it to save testers from spending time doing
such testing!

I don't know if this issue is known to anyone else, but it's not known to
me. Can you provide a bug number to a report of this issue?

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Doug McMahon at 08/29/2012 - 18:19

On 08/29/2012 03:29 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:
Did manage to retrieve most of the logs so maybe the bug report can be
improved though if only affecting a small number hardware then doesn't
particularly matter. (give the report a day or 2 & we'll see..

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Andrea Grandi at 08/29/2012 - 23:58

Hi Steve,

On 29 August 2012 22:29, Steve Langasek <steve. ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
I have a very simple solution: create a single .iso and set ubiquity
as default installer, BUT also give the user the possibility to press
$A_KEY_YOU_DEFINE to boot Ubuntu in TEXT MODE (aka = boot using
alternate installer).

Is it so difficoult to have both installer on the same CD and let the
user choose what he/she wants? In this way you won't have the problem
to create a separated.iso to test.

I hope you will take this solution in serious consideration and you
will make everyone happy!

Best regards,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Kowalik at 08/30/2012 - 04:19

On 30/08/12 13:58, <a href="mailto:a. ... at gmail dot com">a. ... at gmail dot com</a> wrote:
Indeed, it is. Impossible, in fact. Ubiquity and the live system use a
compressed filesystem to install (a "squashfs") which takes up a large
portion of the space on the CD.

The alternate CD is full of actual .deb's -- the archives for
installing. We can not fit both on the CD, which means we can't offer a
simple keypress to do so.

The DVD, on the other hand is large enough to fit both, but weighs in at
4.7GiB, rather than 750MiB.

Cheers,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/30/2012 - 04:24

On 30 August 2012 09:19, Steve Kowalik < ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
The debian-installer has been modified to support a squashfs based
installation & server images have switched to squashfs based ISOs so
it is possible.

This does increase image size, because some things need to be outside
of squashfs.

This reduces the image count & time to build the whole set of images,
but not the amount of testing that needs to be performed as both
installers need to be exercised.

Regards,

Dmitrijs.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Cody A.W. Somerville at 08/30/2012 - 05:04

On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 4:24 AM, Dmitrijs Ledkovs <dmitrij. ... at ubuntu dot com

Unfortunately I don't think there is enough room on the desktop CD to
include d-i with live-installer instead of base-installer - otherwise I'd
advocated for such an approach since it would effectively allow us to
retain installation via d-i.

Ultimately, I'd rather see Ubiquity be able to boot from a minimal
environment similar to d-i however. There is value in the installer being
able to operate independently of the system actually being functional. From
personal experience, I've spent hours debugging a Ubiquity installer issue
that turned out to actually be an issue with a customization performed for
one of PES's custom projects that affected the boot process and thus
affected the installer.

Regards,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Andrea Grandi at 08/30/2012 - 05:51

Hi,

On 30 August 2012 12:04, Cody A.W. Somerville
<cody- ... at ubuntu dot com> wrote:
yeah the available space would be a problem, but...you weren't
planning to discontinue the usual ~700Mb CD in place of 1Gb ISOs to
use them on USB keys?
I think that using a CD to install Ubuntu is even more uncommon than
using USB. It's also slower.

What do you think about?

Best regards,

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Andrea Corbellini at 08/31/2012 - 01:15

On 30/08/12 11:51, <a href="mailto:a. ... at gmail dot com">a. ... at gmail dot com</a> wrote:
Having a bigger image won't just limit the set of devices, but will also
make the download much, much slower.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Pranav at 08/31/2012 - 05:23

it has happened to me some times that the alternate CD has saved my life ,
dunno what i will do without the latest version of ubuntu !!! , ive got a
dell XPS 15 latest one with good graphics and 8gb ram (meaning i dont need
to use alternate installer) and the normal installer fails to load in few
of the stable releases , this has happened to me in Ubnutu 11.04 , all m
fresh installions were alternate .....
Heights by great men were reached and kept
Were not attended by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
--------- Henry William Longfellow

On Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:45 AM, Andrea Corbellini <

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Paul Sladen at 09/03/2012 - 17:46

On Fri, 31 Aug 2012, Pranav wrote:
Would you be willing to organise and run the QA for the alternate CD?

-Paul

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Bryce Harrington at 08/29/2012 - 17:34

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:29:35PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
I do know that users are installing from the alternative CD in order to
work around graphics problems with the live cd. For instance, nouveau
locks up on their hardware, but they can do the alternate CD and
manually install nvidia. Searching for "Live" against
xserver-xorg-video-nouveau shows a couple dozen bugs in this class filed
over the past several releases. #1040495 and #1037915 are examples.
There's probably a bunch filed against the kernel and other X components
too. So, it's definitely a legitimate issue. But it's less common than
Doug suggests.

However, while the alternative CD is one way to work around these kinds
of issues it's not the only way. For instance, in those bugs the users
used "nomodeset" to work around it. Obviously, few users will know to
try that, but even so I don't think this is very strong justification
for keeping the alternative CD. Time would be better spent a) making
the kernel parameter workarounds more obvious to users, and especially
b) solving the actual bugs.

One complication we should consider is that when a user *can't* boot the
CD on their system for whatever reason, filing a bug report about it
becomes *very* hard. Since they can't boot, they can't invoke
ubuntu-bug to file a bug with auto-collected log files. They can't
manually collect log files either. They probably have no idea what
package to file the bug against, and maybe don't even know where to go
to file it (challenge: try getting to the +filebug page from
ubuntu.com). Chances are high that a lot of these problems are just not
getting reported, at least not through the channels we expect.

Bryce

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 08/29/2012 - 17:55

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 02:34:45PM -0700, Bryce Harrington wrote:
Thanks Bryce, that's useful information. I agree with you that this is also
not a justification for keeping the alternate CDs around. We should instead
make sure the nomodeset option is documented appropriately (and
independently of the alternate CD deprecation).

Right - if you can't install Ubuntu it's very hard to engage with Ubuntu
around this problem. I don't think having alternate CDs makes this
significantly easier either, though. Do we need to consider having a more
prominent support link on the download page?

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By =?utf-8?B?2KPYr... at 08/28/2012 - 08:18

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 02:50:24PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
Will the text-based installer be provided by the desktop CD ?

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/28/2012 - 08:22

On 28/08/12 13:18, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
No. The text-based installer will be provided by:

* amd64 ubuntu server images

* amd64/i386 mini.iso, netboot CDs

Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubuntu a

By Martin Pitt at 08/28/2012 - 01:38

Hello Steve,

Steve Langasek [2012-08-27 14:50 -0700]:
I got curious and tried it the other way: I used gparted for creating
my partitions, installed mdadm in the live system and used it to build
a /dev/md0, then told Ubiquity to create partitions in that and
install to it. That part worked fine.

After Ubiquity was done, there is some unnecessary "fun" though, which
might still be fixable for Quantal:

* It would be nice if Ubiquity could install mdadm for me if it sees
that any of its target partitions are on /dev/md*.

To do this manually, I tried:

* mount /dev/md0p1 /target, chroot /target
* apt-get install mdadm; that fails because /etc/resolv.conf is
empty, so exit chroot, apt-get download mdadm, copy to
/target/tmp, chroot again, dpkg -i
* that fails because it cannot access /dev etc, so back out of the
chroot, bind-mount /dev/, back into the chroot, dpkg
--configure -a, get scared by the warnings about not being able
to load MD suppport

If ubiquity would install it along with its other setup, these
would be avoided.

* After that, booting fails because the generated grub configuration
hardcodes /dev/md0p1, but initramfs/kernel create it as /dev/md127p1.
It would be nice if grub/Ubiquity used UUIDs for the root partition
as usual; in the initramfs /dev/disks/by-uuid/... exists just fine.

After that, the system boots just fine. I think this approach is still
faster than post-install setup of RAID.

Is it desirable/possible to fix these issues? If so, I'm happy to file
two bugs for these issues.

Thanks,

Martin

P.S. +1 from me for dropping Alternates.

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Steve Langasek at 08/28/2012 - 19:12

Hi Martin,

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 07:38:39AM +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
I'm not convinced that this is an install method we would want to recommend
to users, but it seems like the work to fix these issues would be a
prerequisite for supporting RAID in ubiquity - so yes, please file bugs
about this.

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Martin Pitt at 08/29/2012 - 01:32

Steve Langasek [2012-08-28 16:12 -0700]:
Filed as <a href="http://pad.lv/104309" title="http://pad.lv/104309">http://pad.lv/104309</a>

Filed as <a href="http://pad.lv/1043096" title="http://pad.lv/1043096">http://pad.lv/1043096</a>

Heh, certainly not. But if these two issues were fixed, then someone
who already knows how to use mdadm would get a working result, so it
might be a little less painful in some circumstances.

Done.

Thanks,

Martin

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Martin Pitt at 08/29/2012 - 01:35

Martin Pitt [2012-08-29 7:32 +0200]:
Erk, sorry: <a href="http://pad.lv/1043094" title="http://pad.lv/1043094">http://pad.lv/1043094</a>

Martin

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/28/2012 - 03:42

On 28/08/12 06:38, Martin Pitt wrote:
Yes, that could be done, even this cycle.

Why mdadm started to generate md127 instead of md0, I don't know. And
it's a bug I should look into.

If you search mdadm package bugs for UUID, there is plenty demand for
it. Using UUIDs fail when lvm is on top of raid, or raid is on top of
crypt (as raid device is not seen). But it is definitely the direction
we should aim for.

I am assigned to work on this as part of:
<a href="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-q-software-raid" title="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-q-software-raid">https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-q-software-raid</a>

One is known, and I will incorporate the other one into the ubiquity
raid blueprint, once I get the ownership of that one on launchpad.

Thank you for power-user testing this =)

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Robie Basak at 08/28/2012 - 06:17

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 08:42:26AM +0100, Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote:
This sounds like this bug: a race between udev workers and mdadm:

<a href="http://dev.bizo.com/2012/07/mdadm-device-or-resource-busy.html" title="http://dev.bizo.com/2012/07/mdadm-device-or-resource-busy.html">http://dev.bizo.com/2012/07/mdadm-device-or-resource-busy.html</a>
<a href="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mdadm/+bug/1030354" title="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mdadm/+bug/1030354">https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mdadm/+bug/1030354</a>

Robie

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/28/2012 - 06:43

On 28/08/12 11:17, Robie Basak wrote:
While this is true, and I now have assigned this bug to myself, I am not
sure how the two interacted during boot.

At boot, udev is incrementally assembling md arrays on ubuntu. So why
would it not create stable names?

Re: Installing on RAID with Ubiquity [was: Proposal to drop Ubun

By Robie Basak at 08/28/2012 - 06:49

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 11:43:32AM +0100, Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote:
From <a href="http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.raid/34027:" title="http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.raid/34027:">http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.raid/34027:</a>

"""
When a new device appears (such as a new md array), udev springs in to
action and examines it to see if it should do something with it.
While udev (or some tool that it ran) is examining the md array it looks like
it is busy so an attempt to stop it will fail.
"""

This sounds like a reasonable explanation to me, but I've not verified
this or looked into it further. I only mention the bug because the
behaviour sounds familiar and may be related.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Alkis Georgopoulos at 08/28/2012 - 01:56

For the LTSP use case, another possible workaround for post-12.10 releases:
* In the last stages of installation, copy the whole /target system to
/target/opt/ltsp/i386,
* Chroot to /target/opt/ltsp/i386 and install ltsp-client and ldm,
* Run /target/opt/ltsp/i386/usr/share/ltsp/cleanup to remove the user
account that was created, regenerate dbus machine id etc,
* Install ltsp-server to /target,
* And run /target/ltsp-update-image to generate a squashfs image in
/target/opt/ltsp/images/i386.img out of the fat chroot in
/target/opt/ltsp/i386.

This changes the default LTSP chroot to one that supports fat+thin
clients (instead of only thins), but with the current trends that
require 3d acceleration on desktops, that's probably a good thing.

And it only requires minimal network connectivity to generate the
chroot, or a couple of MB of packages in the installation media
(ltsp-server, ltsp-client, ldm).

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By =?UTF-8?B?U3TDq... at 08/28/2012 - 03:49

On 08/28/2012 01:56 AM, Alkis Georgopoulos wrote:
You seem to be assuming that the Ubuntu desktop media will be containing
LTSP which it won't.
Even then, that wouldn't solve the RAID question as no media letting you
setup RAID will contain LTSP if alternate is removed.

Being able to re-use the squashfs/target as a bootable LTSP system is
indeed quite nice and in some cases (Edubuntu i386) will help save a lot
of space on the media, however it won't be helping with the RAID problem.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Alkis Georgopoulos at 08/28/2012 - 04:12

Στις 28/08/2012 10:49 πμ, ο/η Stéphane Graber έγραψε:
As I said:
The "minimal network connectivity" part is in order to download the LTSP
packages, like is the case now with language support. Downloading a
couple of MB of packages is acceptable in many cases (as opposed to
hundreds of MB that ltsp-build-client currently needs).

Also, the LTSP packages would be present in the edubuntu DVD.

I think shipping a fat-capable chroot by default is more significant
than supporting the amd64 server / i386 client use case. With Unity-2D
and gnome-fallback going away, Unity-3D and gnome-shell not working well
(or at all) over the network, many people are switching to fat clients
(+remoteapps when needed).

Also, having a lot of concurrent users on the server makes the i386 RAM
savings more significant, and many installations prefer i386 on the
server as well.

For the cross-arch case, another idea would be to ask the sysadmin to
download the desktop CDs for both architectures, and use the first
squashfs for the server installation and the second one for the chroot
installation (either from ubiquity, if possible, or post-install).
This will also make amd64/arm combinations possible.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Dmitrijs Ledkovs at 08/28/2012 - 03:25

On 28 August 2012 06:56, Alkis Georgopoulos < ... at gmail dot com> wrote:
This sounds very ubiquity friendly. We would probably install
ltsp-server, ltsp-client & ldm in the squashfs, and remove them as
needed (this is what ubiquity currently does). Then an ltsp
installation plugin needs to be added that can do the rest of the
steps =)

Copied to prevent disappearing:
<a href="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-r-ubiquity-ltsp" title="https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-r-ubiquity-ltsp">https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/foundations-r-ubiquity-ltsp</a>

Regards,

Dmitrijs.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By =?UTF-8?B?U3TDq... at 08/28/2012 - 03:51

On 08/28/2012 03:25 AM, Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote:
No need, the code already exists in edubuntu-live and has been around
for years ;)
The only difference is that with what Alkis describes, it's possible to
re-use the livefs squashfs instead of using a separate ltsp squashfs
like Edubuntu currently does.

The biggest concern we found with that, and the reason why we didn't
switch to it for 12.10 in Edubuntu is that most thin clients are unable
to run amd64 code, yet the server ideally should be amd64.

That's why the Edubuntu media contains both a regular livefs for the
desktop/ltsp server installations and a separate ltsp squashfs that's
always i386 so even when installing with the amd64 image you get an i386
LTSP chroot.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Barry Warsaw at 08/27/2012 - 18:41

I would just say that, at least the last time I tried to do a netboot, it
wasn't easy. The documentation was difficult to find, somewhat out of date,
and didn't describe exactly what and where to download the necessary bits and
pieces.

It's been a little while so I don't remember the details, but maybe part of
the task of dropping the alt CDs should include reviewing the available
documentation for netboot and mini ISO for up-to-dated-ness.

Cheers,
-Barry

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By Steve Langasek at 08/28/2012 - 19:14

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:20:16PM -0400, Stéphane Graber wrote:
On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 06:41:52PM -0400, Barry Warsaw wrote:

Thanks for the feedback. I've opened a release notes bug to track this:

<a href="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-release-notes/+bug/1042999" title="https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-release-notes/+bug/1042999">https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-release-notes/+bug/1042999</a>

Any help in fleshing it out with specifics is welcome.

Re: Proposal to drop Ubuntu alternate CDs for 12.10

By =?UTF-8?B?U3TDq... at 08/27/2012 - 18:20

On 08/27/2012 05:50 PM, Steve Langasek wrote:
Another use case that would be dropped when dropping alternate is LTSP.
At the moment LTSP is installable from Ubuntu Alternate by pressing F4
and selecting "Install LTSP server", it's my understanding that it's the
most widely used way of install an LTSP server today.

In order to install LTSP from a media, you need ltsp-server and its
dependencies + a full Ubuntu desktop (for the application server), so it
can't simply be moved to the server media as it'd require the addition
of several hundreds of Megs of packages.

What we were planning for LTSP, knowing that alternate would disappear
was to keep it in main (by adding it to the supported seed) as it's
currently supported by Canonical and quite popular in some governments
and educational networks.
We'd then recommend using Edubuntu as the easy way of getting LTSP.
However Edubuntu is a live-only product so that plan isn't possible
until we get RAID support in ubiquity...

Almost all LTSP setups that I know of are using RAID1 or RAID5 (or a mix
of both for system/home), no longer having the alternate and not having
RAID support in ubiquity would likely prevent a significant part of the
LTSP users from installing it on 12.10.

That being said, we could certainly try to get these people to install
using the server media, then getting ltsp post-install. This will still
require them to download a substantial amount of packages and my
experience is that setting this all up by hand properly is scaring a lot
of people.

I'd certainly expect most large scale deployments of LTSP to stick on
12.04 LTS, so I can't provide any number on how big a user base we're
talking about, but I'm sure we'll be getting quite a few questions and
complaints should we drop the alternate media without a viable
alternative for these users.

I don't think this use case alone is enough to keep the alternate
images, but it's surely something to keep in mind and make sure is
clearly communicated to the users, telling them that this is a temporary
situation and will all be resolved in 13.04.