Release notes should warn against installing Ubuntu on old machines

Caroline Ford at
Tue Mar 6 23:17:57 UTC 2007

Sitsofe Wheeler wrote:
> Ubuntu can have serious problem when installed on machines whose BIOSes
> cannot read files past the 1023rd cylinder. This is a well known problem
> and there have been a fair few reports of this problem listed on the
> forums as well as within launchpad. One of the more recent version of
> these reports was marked as rejected:
> I feel this is wrong as there is no indication that Ubuntu is a poor fit
> for old machines. The installer should check to see if the BIOS is older
> than 2001 and if so, put up a warning saying that Ubuntu is not suitable
> for such an old system. Additionally, the release notes should also
> mention that Ubuntu is not designed for old systems to save people the
> negative experience of going all the way through the install and then
> being unable to boot the machine at the end. Perhaps a force option can
> be used at grub/isolinux for those who want to go ahead anyway...
I wonder if that's why Edgy wouldn't boot on this laptop - but would 
install. Ubuntu's loss was OpenBSD's gain... As xubuntu is  for old 
machines this seems like a real issue.

Also from reading the mailing list machines of that age are 
very common amongst our user base - in the developed world. I presume 
older machines are much more common in the developing world and other 
poorer countries..

In short I agree with the high priority given to that bug but not with 
the rejection.


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