very bad experience installing edubuntu edgy

Gavin McCullagh gmccullagh at
Wed Dec 20 11:58:41 UTC 2006


having failed to install our second server with dapper some time back[1], I
tried last night to install edgy. The server is an IBM xSeries 336.

I downloaded the edubuntu-*-install-i386.iso from my local mirror and burnt
the cd.  I deliberately picked the install cd and not the live one,
thinking that I was getting what ubuntu call the "alternate" installer, it
the old fashioned text-based one.  It now appears that there is no
alternate install cd, you have to use the live installer.  I have had
nothing but bad experiences with live installer, so this presents something
of a problem to me.

I decided to proceed with the installation using the live cd installer and
double clicked on the desktop icon, filling out the basic info.  

Then I got to partitioning.  I really want to use software raid.  This
server is going to be relied upon by 20-40 users for their desktop so it
*must* be fault tolerant and inform us when there is a fault.  Unless I'm
mistaken, there seems to be no way to configure software raid or install
onto it using the edubuntu live installer.  The text-based installer did
provide this functionality, albeit the system didn't actually boot for me
in the end[1].

As all of my old partitions (from the last failed install[1]) were still
present, I just needed to tell the partitioner how to pair them up and what
filesystem to put on the resulting raid partitions.  I could work out no
way to do this.

I decided to just go ahead and install onto a single existing 9GB
partition.  I disabled the other partitions and just configured the root
and swap partitions.  The installer proceeded and then bombed out
complaining that it could not create a root filesystem.  I guessed this
might be to do with the partitions being labelled for raid, but when I
looked back, gparted appeared to have change the label to ext3.  I tried
again and it failed again.

I decided to discard the other partitions and install onto a fresh
system.  I then opted for the simple install with non-interactive
partitioning.  This failed at the same step.  I then manually wiped the
partitions off the disk with cfdisk and tried again.  Again, the install
failed trying to create/find a root filesystem.

I'd love to have more feedback on later parts of the process, but I never
got to them.

I appreciate that the live installer is nice for newbies but it seems to
remove support for a whole host of useful things like software raid and is
really horribly unreliable and slow in my experience.  Please could we have
the alternate installer back?  

Would I be better off just installing regular ubuntu and adding the extra
-edu packages?  Does this really create the exact same environment as the
edubuntu installation?



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