SSH and the Ubuntu Server

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Thu Nov 18 15:30:24 UTC 2010

(Please, in future, do not cross-post between the moderated ubuntu-devel
and the unmoderated ubuntu-devel-discuss.  Doing so produces time lags
which confuse people.)

On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 03:38:53PM -0600, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
> I am asking for ubuntu-devel's consensus, and an eventual Ubuntu
> Technical Board approval of a new prompt in the Ubuntu Server ISO's
> text-based installer, which would read something like the following:
>  ----------------------------------------------------------
> |  If you need a secure connection to this
> |  server remotely, you may wish to install
> |  the openssh-server package.  Note that
> |  this service will open TCP port 22 on
> |  your system, and you should use a very
> |  strong password.
> |
> |  Do you want to install the SSH service?
> |
> |        [[YES]]        [no]
>  ----------------------------------------------------------
> Rest assured that the exact text will be word-smithed by an
> appropriate committee to hash out an optimum verbiage.

Without wishing to express any opinion either way: this is an
excessively painful choice of implementation.  If you want to default it
to yes, it would be sufficient, and much easier (take it from me, I'm
the one who gets to deal with the translation merge workload when you
guys add questions ...) to check the "SSH server" entry in tasksel by

> These key points map to the following considerations:
>  1) the current option to install SSH on Ubuntu servers is buried in
> the tasksel menu

No, it's not.  In Maverick it was arguably buried.  In Natty, it is the
very top entry on the tasksel menu, and the cursor rests on it when you
reach that screen.

>     - and that selection is easily overridden by hitting <tab><enter>,
> or by experienced admins in preseed configurations

We change preseeding too much, and it requires work from admins each
time they bump to a new Ubuntu release.  Many of those admins turn up on
#ubuntu-installer and ask for help.  The load is not insignificant.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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